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Hi,

Please tell me when there are two verbs together in one sentence, in what form should the second verb be,

e.g.
i. after hordes of tourists swept pass. (verb 1=swept; verb 2=pass)
ii. I watched the day melt into night. (verb 1=watched; verb 2=melt)
iii. leaving me alone listen to... (verb 1=leaving; verb 2=listen)

Should the second verb always be in its infinitive form? or in certain condition only?

Thanks in advance!!

troy
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Comments  
I'm not sure about your query, you will have to wait for a grammarian to trek by.
However, in example one, the word pass is incorrect. You need the word 'past', which is not a verb (surely?). They sound the same (passed) and (past) but are not the same. But now I come to think about it the two would seem to be related?

I'll ask someone else to pop by and explain to us all!
This is actually a huge question which syntax scholars study in depth. As Nona said, the first example you gave uses a preposition. The final sentence is also ungrammatical - to me, at least.

Usually, the second verb will be an infinitive where the subject is the same for both: eg., "I wanted to go" where I is the subject of want and go. In your example, "I watched the day melt" you have two different subjects -- I watched, the day melted - so it's not an infinitive. (Note this is a very simplified view syntactically!)

I'm not sure if that's the full story, but I think it basically answers the question.
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Hello

I'm not a grammarian but a mere learner of English from Japan.
But I would like to throw my two cents worth.
1) Hordes of tourists swept pass.
This "pass" must be a typo of "past". To sweep past is something like an idiomatic phrase. It means to move away so as to sweep the place and the "past" here is not a verb but an adverb for the moving manner - in a way like going by.
2) I watched the day melt into night.
This is a correct sentence. To watch object do something is to observe carefully the scene that the object does the thing.
3) Leave me alone listen to something.
This is also a correct sentence. To leave object do something is to allow the object to does the thing.

The verbs[1] allowed to take the construction "verb[1] + object + bare verb[2]" are;
1) perception verbs: see, hear, feel, listen to, look at, notice, observe, watch
2) causative verbs: make, have, let, leave, help

paco
Hello Troy

1. I was passing by, and noticed your post.

2. I shall try to comply with Nona's request, though I too am no grammarian.

3. I shall also try to add a little to Roadrunner's and Paco's replies.

4. Luckily everyone else has gone out for the evening,

5. leaving me alone to listen to the sound

6. of the hordes of tourists that always sweep past at this hour,

7. all of them looking forward to going to see a film or a play,

8. as I sit and watch day melt into night.

The parts in bold show different forms of the second verb, where one verb follows another. As Roadrunner says, it's a big subject that could take up many threads; but perhaps the following notes will help. In parentheses, I've referred you to the relevant section in your grammar book.

1. Passing = present participle (see 'compound tenses').
2. Try = bare infinitive (see 'modal verbs').
3. To add = to-infinitive (see 'non-finite verbs')
4. Gone = past participle (see 'auxiliary verbs')
5. To listen = to-infinitive (see 'to-infinitive')
6. Past here = as Paco says, an adverb, not a verb.
7. Going = gerund (see 'verbal nouns')
8. Melt = bare infinitive. As Paco says, the structure here is [verb of perception + object + bare infinitive]. (See 'verbs of perception'.)

MrP
[url="http://www.geocities.com/endipatterson/Catenative.html"]Try here.[/url]

Google "catenative".
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Cripes.
What wonderful contributions! I agree with what has already been said:

1. After hordes of tourists swept past Emotion: it wasnt me.

'swept past' is a two-word phrase called a phrasal verb. We know the main verb is 'swept' because (a) it comes first and (b) it carries tense. We know that 'past' is not a verb-passed-because in English there can only be one main verb, so even *'swept passed' is NOT a verb phrase. The word 'past' has to be something other than a verb, and since 'past' describes how and where the tourists moved, it modifies the verb, and so it must be part of the verb, which makes 'swept past' a phrasal verb.

Let's look at sentence 2., which is made up of two statements:

2. I watched the day melt into night.
#1 I watched the day.
#2 The day melted into night.

When #1 and #2 are joined, the verb 'melted' becomes 'melt'. That is, its tense (-ED) has been taken away:

2. I watched the day melt into night.

In English, there can only be one main verb per sentence. That is, only one verb can carry tense, so when we join two sentences together, one of the verbs carries tense and the other verb has its tense taken away:

I watched the day + the day melted into night.
I watched the day melt into night.

Let's look at sentence 3. Please note, I have modified the grammar:

3. They are leaving me alone to listen to music.

The main verb is 'are leaving'. 'to listen' is the second verb. In English, there can be only one tense-carrying verb per sentence. That's why 'to listen' doesn't have tense. It's not the main verb.

Now if there's a conjunction (and, or, but, so, for, etc.), then you can have two tense-carrying verbs, one per clause.

1. Hordes of tourists swept past me, but they passed up on the dogs I was selling.
2. I watched the day, and the day melted into night.
3. They are leaving me alone because I am listening to music.
Thanks for all the helps.

The explanation given by paco is clear, I copied and pasted as follows:

***

2) I watched the day melt into night.
This is a correct sentence. To watch object do something is to observe carefully the scene that the object does the thing.

3) Leave me alone listen to something.
This is also a correct sentence. To leave object do something is to allow the object to does the thing.

The verbs[1] allowed to take the construction "verb[1] + object + bare verb[2]" are;
1) perception verbs: see, hear, feel, listen to, look at, notice, observe, watch
2) causative verbs: make, have, let, leave, help

***

That means whenever there are perceptive verbs and causative verbs, we can use the abovementioned contruction, i.e. the second verb can be in its infinitive form.

But this may not be the only structure, right?

Please consider these examples:

i. Tom got into his car and drove away. I saw this. I can say=>
I saw Tom get into his car and drive away.

ii. Yesterday I saw Matt. He was waiting for a bus. I can say =>
I saw Matt waiting for a bus.

If the two examples above are correct, then the second verb can take another form, depends on situation, therefore, there can be more than one tense-carrying verb per sentence, as opposed to Casi's explanation.

How many forms can we use for the second verb?

Thanks a lot!

Troy
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