April 29, 2017

Anomalous Finites

The anomalous finites are the auxiliary verbs which help the principal verbs to construct the tense or portray the mood of expression. There are twenty four (24) finites:

  • is, am, are, will, would, shall, should, can, could, was, were, has, have, had, do, does, did,may, might, must, ought, need, dare, used

Most of the anomalous finites have past tense forms, but finites like ‘must’ and ‘ought’ have no past tense form.  Anomalous finites are irregular, i.e., their past tense is not formed by the addition of -ed, -d or -t, but by a change in the root vowel. These irregular finite verbs act, behave, or are used differently from other finite verbs, so they are grouped as anomalous finites.

The most striking difference between anomalous finites verbs and other finites verbs is that they can be used with the contraction n’t which is the shortened form of not.

  • You aren’t playing. (You are not playing.)
  • He isn’t coming to your place. (He is not coming to your place.)
  • You’re most welcome. (You are most welcome.)
  • He doesn’t know how to cook. (He does not know how to cook.)
  • I didn’t invite him. (I did not invite him.)

The anomalous finites like have, do, need and dare are used as main verbs and as auxiliary verbs as well. The remaining of the 24 anomalous finites can be used only as auxiliaries. Examples:

  • I have the key to house. (have as main verb meaning possess)
  • I need money. (need as main verb meaning require)
  • I could not dare to approach her. (dare as main verb meaning ‘muster courage’)

The other usage of anomalous finites

The anomalous finites are used to form negative sentences

  • I love her – I don’t love her.

Note: We can’t use – I not love her.

  • I loved her – I didn’t love her.

Note: We can’t use – I not loved her.

It’s quite obvious from above mentioned examples that the anomalous finites help to change positive statements into negative statements.