Verbs and Verbals Practice Exercises for English Grammar

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Aug 12, 2011

The study guide for these practice exercises can be found at:

Verbs and Verbals for English Grammar

  1. Restructure the following sentences as necessary to achieve consistency of voice, person, tense, and mood, as shown in these examples:
      After I succeeded in overcoming the virus, progress toward general recovery began.
      Investors often will reinvest in declining stocks, because they were willing to throw good money after bad.
  1. The first thing to do is remove the wheel, and then you should examine the brakes.
  2. Some writers work only four hours a day, because you cannot do creative work for longer periods.
  3. They found that they could not sew the seams well, since you always make mistakes when you first try to learn a new skill.
  4. When one has little money to spend, you are careful about every purchase.
  5. If you go to the dance, one will find unescorted women welcome.
  6. Because he considered the design perfect, the judges had ruled against him.
  7. Be seated, and the lecturer will tell you all you need to know.
  8. He selected the material for the coat, and the tailor is then told to begin work.
  9. The women had insisted on admitting men to their group, but most of the men find the meetings dull.
  10. Nightmares disturb his sleep night after night, and he will find no relief in sedatives.
  1. In the following sentences, identify the functions of the italicized infinitives as noun, adjective, adverb, or complement as shown in these examples:
      To teach well is an art.   __noun__
      She has a cross to bear.   __adjective__
      She was content to take half the money.   __adverb__
      He is to be congratulated.   __complement__
  1. Copies of the Oxford American Dictionary are to be purchased.   _____
  2. That book is small enough to be carried in a vest pocket.   _____
  3. She helped him work the calculus problem.   _____
  4. To learn grammar is not easy.   _____
  5. They watched us pour the wine.   _____
  6. The seeds are to be planted in shallow beds.   _____
  7. To have understood her was my earnest desire.   _____
  8. The instructor may have to delay the final examination.   _____
  9. Can we expect to find happiness?   _____
  10. He wants to speak before the others have a chance.   _____
  1. In the following sentences, underline each infinitive phrase, identify its function, and identify the function of each word within the phrase as shown in these examples:
      Fred wanted me to buy snowshoes immediately.
      To judge by her skeptical nature, she must have had some unfaithful friends.
  1. The company executive ordered the employees to complete the job on schedule.
  2. To identify enemies, the President met with the National Security Council.
  3. Alex told her to forget her achievements completely.
  4. She asked me to answer the phone in her absence.
  5. To achieve his ambition required hard work.
  1. In the following sentences, supply the correct form of the infinitive as shown in these examples:
      There was no way possible (consume) all that food in one sitting.   __to have consumed__
      He decided (reveal) the whole truth.   __ to reveal__
  1. How could he have been stupid enough (take) such a position on an issue so grave?   _____
  2. There will be time enough (forgive) those who bolted the party.   _____
  3. He is inclined (delay) payment at least for one more month.   _____
  4. The elephants ought (feed) now by the keepers.   _____
  5. The rhinoceroses ought (feed) hours ago.   _____
  6. Can you think of any gentle way for us (tell) them the details of the ugly incident?   _____
  7. I was unable (tell) them all the facts of the case.   _____
  8. They intend (play) fair with their opponents.   _____
  9. He is reluctant (admit) that he intentionally ruined their chances.   _____
  10. Everyone agreed it was difficult (prepare) for such an examination.   _____
  1. In the following sentences, underscore and correct any awkward infinitive constructions as shown in these examples:
      The advice of the doctors was to moderately eat.
      She made it a rule to never hurriedly eat her meals.
  1. They expect to more than lose a million dollars.
  2. To relax and think quietly was her habit most afternoons.
  3. To more than two hours work overtime in a day is against company policy.
  4. After the game, the team was instructed to not board the bus for the trip home.
  5. The hope of the search party was to safe and sound find the child before darkness set in.
  6. She has decided to firmly but respectfully demand that her husband be hired.
  7. To have within an hour walked around the park was impossible.
  8. There was nothing worthwhile left to do under the circumstances.
  9. He decided to without hesitation tell the entire story.
  10. The Smiths were impatient to without delay sell their car.
  1. In the following sentences, underline the participles and identify the word or words they modify as shown in these examples:
      The book relied on most by writers is the dictionary.   __book__
      Having written another best-selling novel, she was able to take an extended vacation.   __she__
  1. Rushing through both rooms, Christopher slammed the door.   _____
  2. Having been told the news, Hillary quietly left the room.   _____
  3. Found money most often is spent foolishly.   _____
  4. Sustained by my faith, I shall go on as though nothing happened.   _____
  5. A child locked in a room will find mischief.   _____
  6. Swallowing hurriedly, the older boy reached for the rifle.   _____
  7. Left on her own, Felice began to mature.   _____
  8. Having refused the second offer, William had little chance of keeping negotiations open.   _____
  9. Tired by the long argument, the attorney found herself unable to continue.   _____
  10. Congratulating her opponent, Hingis left the court.   _____
  1. In the following sentences, supply the correct form of the participle as shown in these examples:
      (stare) at me severely, the child refused to answer.
      (conclude) her summation of the evidence, the defense attorney rested her client's case.
  1. (tell) he was no longer needed, he decided to ask for a transfer.
  2. (find) the door closed behind her, she looks about for an emergency exit.
  3. (leave) the Army with an honorable discharge, she was surprised that it took three months to find a job that would pay a living wage.
  4. (refuse) the honorary degree, the physicist did his best to justify his behavior.
  5. (offer) the house for $5000 less than its market value, the couple expected to sell it quickly.
  6. Customers (arrive) after six o'clock will find the store closed.
  7. The auditors will be concerned with entries (omit) from the books.
  8. Our new dean will find the new position (challenge).
  9. Not (realize) your problem was that difficult, I wonder why you were so long in arriving at a reasonable solution.
  10. (retire) from the stage, my wife is often called on to perform without pay.
  1. In the following sentences, identify the functions, modifiers, and objects, if any, of the italicized gerunds. Remember that a gerund may function as the subject of a verb, object of a verb, object of a preposition, or complement. If a gerund is modified, the modifier is either an adjective or adverb. Use the following examples as guides:
      Hours of dull editing proved too much to take.
      Economic forecasting is far from precise.
      Swallowing food hastily can lead to disaster.
  1. Plowing was hard work when a man had to depend on an animal instead of a tractor.
  2. He found cooking interesting for a while.
  3. For relaxing, Mr. Churchill often turned to painting.
  4. He also enjoyed bricklaying from time to time.
  5. Her principal occupation was finding enough to eat.
  6. Preparing specimens for dissection is not enjoyable before lunch.
  7. Cutting quickly to the bone helped the surgeon find the source of the infection that threatened the patient's life.
  8. Writing scholarly papers rapidly is not as important as writing them well.
  9. Good writing is not easy to find.
  10. I found his writing tedious.
  1. In the following sentences, correct the dangling and misplaced modifiers as shown in these examples:
      Stretching across the yard, I saw a clothesline.
      After showing my pass, the gate immediately opened.
      To reach my office by 8:15, the train must be on time.
  1. To sell that many automobiles, a great many people must like the design.
  2. Standing in the runway, a plane will hit somebody.
  3. Having run for many weeks, I considered the play a success.
  4. Before gaining admittance to his apartment, a bell must be rung.
  5. Having helped the old man cross the street, the rest of the walk was uneventful.
  6. To achieve even modest acceptance, all aspects of the painting must be considered carefully.
  7. To win over a hostile audience, the performers must be at their best.
  8. Stumbling blindly in the fog, I saw a man appear.
  9. Having assembled all the necessary ingredients, a fine dinner is certain.
  10. To prepare a fine dinner, all ingredients must be fresh.
  1. Where appropriate in the following sentences, supply all necessary parts of the verbs and infinitives as shown in these examples:
      She loves to swim, to skate, and fish.
      Many of the new nations of Africa have been struggling to ensure that their populations will have employment and that their economic goals been met by the end of the next decade.
      The various community groups are joining forces to demand equal treatment of men and women, to increase welfare payments for the needy, and establish day care centers for the children of working parents.
  1. The firefighters must be given sufficient free time to regain their strength and repair their equipment.
  2. Teachers report that all the children they teach have been under strain and going to do badly on citywide achievement tests.
  3. Books are said to comfort the bereaved, inspire the young, and guide the perplexed.
  4. Reading Scripture is said to comfort the invalid and guide the student.
  5. They have been training for the expedition all year and leaving by January.
  6. Job applications are available for distribution to those who have passed the qualifying examination and now desire employment.
  7. Applications will be given only to those who have passed the examination and willing to take jobs immediately.
  8. The couple decided to abandon their life in the country, to sell their possessions, and take an apartment in the city.
  9. Large houses have been and continue to be difficult to sell these days.
  10. Seal hunting has always been considered inhumane, but men continue to hunt these beautiful animals, skinning them alive and to leave their dying bodies behind to be eaten by scavenging birds.
  1. In the following sentences, underline the mistakes in parallel construction and correct them, as shown in these examples:
      Marianne Moore was an outstanding American poet, loved baseball, and a Dodger fan.
      When jobs are hard to find, people who want a job must look for work constantly, keep their spirits up, and be alert to every opportunity.
  1. Poor direction by management can cause employees to make many mistakes and creating poor morale.
  2. Rhododendrons should not be planted in northern climates or be cultivated closely.
  3. He admires good books, loves classical music, and adores beautiful women.
  4. Neither borrowing nor to lend will lead to happiness.
  5. She spent her days peacefully, but she was finding that the evenings dragged.
  6. The President's goal is to help other nations and preserving the independence of her own people.
  7. Blending an acceptable spaghetti sauce and cooking it properly are easy tasks even for a novice cook.
  8. Ketchup is an all-purpose food disguise, capable of masking the worst in a meat loaf and to ruin the best scrambled eggs.
  9. Harry shattered the window and then went right to his father to ask forgiveness.
  10. Commencement exercises seemed to Jack both a bore and annoying.
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