Imagine you are discussing your day. Perhaps you want to describe your morning – what you did, how you felt, and so on.
Morning is a time of action. You wake up, you drink something, you plan your day.
Verbs describe such actions.
In today’s Everyday Grammar, you will learn about how to use different kinds of verbs to talk about the morning. You will learn about phrasal verbs, linking verbs, and an important verb and noun phrase structure.
Phrasal verbs are groups of words that have a meaning that differs from what the individual words suggest. Phrasal verbs have a verb and another short word or words.
Phrasal verbs play an important part in describing mornings.
Let's consider an example: wake up.
You might hear a sleepy person say,
“I woke up at 11:00 AM. I was supposed to be at work at 9:00!”
In the example, you heard the past tense form of wake up, woke up.
Waking up is the first action of every person’s day. And usually, after you wake up, you do another action that involves a phrasal verb: get up.
Get up means to rise or to cause another person to rise after sleeping.
Many parents have told their children “Get up! It's time for school!”
Get up is close in meaning to yet another phrasal verb: get out of as in “get out of bed.”
After waking up and getting up or getting out of bed, you might consider how you are feeling. At this point, we move from phrasal verbs to linking verbs.
Linking verbs: Be, Feel
Linking verbs are verbs that connect the subject to a word or words that give more information about the subject. They are different from other kinds of verbs because they don't really describe actions. Instead, they describe feelings and states of being.
One of the most common linking verbs is the verb be.
A person that just woke up might say “I am tired” or “I am sleepy.”
In both of these cases, the verb be connects the subject I to an adjective such as tired or sleepy. These are qualities or states of being.
People who have just woken up might also use adjectives like hungry or thirsty.
But be is not the only linking verb you might use to describe how you feel in the morning. You can also use the verb feel. A person might say “I feel sleepy” or “I feel energetic.”
After considering how you feel, you might take action. The verb make is important for describing actions in the morning.
Make + noun phrase
Make often appears with a noun phrase - a group of words that acts like a noun in a sentence.
So, for example, a person might say:
“After I wake up, I always make my bed.”
In the example, the noun phrase my bed comes after the verb make.
But people don't just make their beds in the mornings. They make coffee, they make tea or they make breakfast.
In today's report, you learned about how different verb forms or structures help describe the morning and the morning’s activities. Try to use some of what you have learned today when you are speaking English in class or with friends.
Pay careful attention to movies or shows - you might hear some of the verbs we just talked about today. You might learn about some other verb structures too.
We hope that the next time you wake up, you will say to yourself: “I am excited to learn more about English grammar!”
I’m John Russell.
John Russell wrote this lesson for VOA Learning English. Susan Shand was the editor.
Words in This Story
be supposed to – idiom to be expected to do something
energetic – adj. having or showing a lot of energy
excited -- adj. very enthusiastic and eager about something