November 2006: Sample of e-book: Insights into Spoken English (A Textbook for ESL Students and Translators)

Brian Steel

Copyright © 2006 Brian Steel


Available as a .pdf document. Reference below.


Chapter 4 [first half: pages 61-72]


Spoken Variations in the English Verb System


The preceding chapters have dealt with those emotional and other special characteristics of spoken English which manifest themselves in the form of ritual units, subjective comment sentence patterns, and spoken signals, etc. In addition to these, there are many other syntactical, morphological and lexical characteristics of spoken English. Some of these consist of variants or equivalents of components of standard spoken sentences.

These types of spoken structural variants occur in all parts of the sentence but the greatest number - and those most likely to affect accurate comprehension and translation by students of English as a Second Language - are variations of the central feature of the standard clause and sentence, namely the VERB. Examples of spoken verbal variations are offered in this chapter, leaving other types of structural variation for Chapter 5. The following groups of variation are illustrated in this chapter.
 spoken verb forms (Exercises 1-2)
 condensed sentence structures (Exercises 3-4)
 special uses of to be, auxiliaries and modal verbs (Exercises 5-11)
 tense usage (Exercise 12).


For Exercises 1-7,see the .pdf Sample:

The remaining exercises in Chapter 4 are:

Exercise 4.8 Special Uses of will and would

Exercise 4.9 Uses and Variants of should

Exercise 4.10 Special uses of may and might

Exercise 4.11 Special uses of can and could

Exercise 4.12 Variations in Tense Usage

Please note also:
For readers of this Sample:
The reference abbreviations for examples refer to the Bibliography of 190 novels, plays and biographies. It is available for consultation

There is also a General Sample of this e-book, with an Introduction and a brief Contents list.

A WORD document version of the General Sample of Insights into Spoken English is available from the author (Brian Steel) at

For details on how to purchase this new e-book, see my Writings page.