Entries Tagged as 'verbs'

Monday Morning Quarterback – Repost

This was the original post from Feb. 1, 2009:

The expression Monday Morning Quarterback describes a person who says that they would have done something differently and better than what someone else did.  The term originates from Sunday being the day when most football games are played, and people talking the next day about how they would have done better plays, made better calls, etc., than the actual quarterback.

Although the term originated in football, it isn’t exclusively used when referring to it.  You may e a Monday Morning Quarterback when referring to how a colleague’s presentation should have been given (“I would have used a blue background on the PowerPoint”), or what a friend should have done at the party last weekend (“I would have asked for her number”).

Tomorrow when you are talking to your colleagues about tonight’s Super Bowl, please note the grammar pattern typically used by Monday Morning Quarterbacks:

modal auxiliary (should or would work best) + have  + past participle of the action you would have done better.

There is, are, was, or were – Subject Verb Agreement

In this quick 1-minute video, you can learn whether to use there is or are in the present tense and there was or were in the past tense.  I hope this helps!

Stative Verbs Explained (and a list)

Click here to listen.

When the same verb, to smell for example, can be used in both the stative and active form, confusion about what verb tense to use can arise.

These roses still smell fresh.
She is smelling the roses.

After some confusion myself, I looked around the internet and found Dowty’s Analysis. It can be a helpful tool in distinguishing between the stative and the active form of a verb.  Simply put, Dowty’s Analysis states:

If you cannot force the action, then it is stative.


  • My cat is forced to weigh 10 pounds.
  • The candy bar is forced to cost $1.20.
  • The trip is forced to take 7 hours.

These sentences are nonsense because the actions (to weigh/to cost/to take) cannot be forced!

However, in this example…

I forced my cat to take the antibiotics.

…you see that the action of taking antibiotics was forced (and I have the scratch marks to prove it)!

Here is a list of stative verbs. Not all of these verbs are stative all the time, so use Dowty’s analysis if you get stuck!

  • act
  • amaze
  • appear
  • appreciate
  • astonish
  • become
  • believe
  • belong
  • cost
  • feel
  • get
  • hate
  • have
  • impress
  • know
  • like
  • look
  • love
  • measure
  • need
  • possess
  • recognize
  • remember
  • resemble
  • see
  • seem
  • smell
  • sound
  • surprise
  • taste
  • think
  • to be
  • understand
  • want
  • weigh

I have simplified the Dowty’s Analysis so it can be useful to English language learners, but you can view the full wiki-version here.