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2.11 Verbs: Fun With Grammar

Pattern Puzzle

Our minds are constantly organizing information. We naturally fit ideas and observations into patterns, and if something doesn't fit a recognizable pattern, we may be confused by it or not even notice it at all. Playing with patterns in the verbs you've been studying may help you to notice useful characteristics of the different verb forms.

1. Look at this jumble of shapes. On scrap paper, arrange them into some orderly pattern. It's easier, of course, to PRINT this page, and then cut out the shapes. If you don't have a color printer, you can work with the shapes in grey.

2. After two or three minutes, show your arrangement to other students and compare your different organizing patterns.

3. When you have finished comparing patterns, click here to see some of the patterns that other students have developed.

4. Now look at this jumble of sentences. On scrap paper, arrange them into some orderly pattern.

We were waiting. We wait.
We had waited. We waited.
We will wait. We are waiting.
We will be waiting. We have waited.
We will have waited.

5. After five minutes, show your arrangement to other students and compare your different organizing patterns. Try to explain why you arranged the sentences as you did and listen to other people's explanations.

What does your arrangement show you about verbs? What do other people's arrangements show you about verbs?

6. When you have finished comparing patterns, press here to see some of the patterns that other students have developed.

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