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Saw- Sawn- Sown- Sewn
This lesson is a complement to another one for beginners, test (a shorter one, lighter one) where the exercise is less long and difficult. Both describe and study British constructions.
In the United States and sometimes in Great Britain too, the regular forms of the verbs are often used. It's then even easier to mix them up. Please, remember that you're strongly advised to use the "academic forms" in exams.
I. TO SEE, SAW, SEEN= To perceive thanks to your eyes.
a) To see is a very usual verb used by beginners. It is irregular: TO SEE, I SAW, SEEN. The irregular forms don't come naturally even to young British kids.
To see to= To take care of, to make sure of.
- See to it that the dog is in before nightfall.
- I'll see to it!
b) « To see », the verb of involuntary perception is most of the times built with the modal auxiliary “can/ could" which shouldn't be translated when going from English to French.
- I couldn't see what was written on the board. It was too far...
c) The verb following the verb " to see" has two different constructions expressing the idea with a very important difference:
- => to see someone doing something
- I saw the old lady falling just in front of the car.( I saw the moment when the lady tripped and fell, right in front of the car )= the precise moment when the action was taking place.
- => to see someone do something
· - The policeman saw the burglar pick the man's wallet in his back pocket. (He saw the whole action, from the beginning to the end.)
II. TO SAW, I SAWED, SAWN = to cut wood with a saw.
Many confusions can be made using these different verbs.
You have to be very careful...NOT TO MIX UP: « I saw », preterite of «to see » and “to saw”, the verb meaning cutting wood. There is also a noun: “a saw”=> plural « saws » = the tool used to saw wood which you shouldn't mix with the 3rd person singular of the verb «to saw».
- He saws his wood every morning.
- To saw => he saws with a saw. = > Yesterday, I saw him saw his wood with a huge saw.
American form of the past participle: "sawed". British form of the past participle:"sawn".
III. TO SEW, I SEWED, SEWN = to stich with thread and a needle.
- She sewed the pieces together but hasn't sewn the buttons on yet.
IV. TO SOW, I SOWED, SOWN = to sow seeds.
: Once again, BE CAREFUL!
"to sow" => "he sows seeds" = the verb; BUT "a sow" = "sows" = a mother-pig.
(Eugenics = The selection of people in order to create "a perfect human race".)
Here you are, now, ready for the test! It's quite easy, but as it's long, you might get tired and mix the different forms. DO NOT HESITATE TO HAVE A PAUSE (and save your answers. ) Good luck!
English exercise "Saw- Sawn- Sown- Sewn" created by here4u with The test builder
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