Anomalous Finites Exercises

What are Anomalous Finites?

Verbs can be either Non-Finites, or Finites

  1. The Non-Finites are the Infinitives {present and perfect), the Participles (present and past), and the Gerund (also called the verbal noun). The Non-Finites of the verb be are : (to) be, (to) have been, being and been.
  2. The Finites are parts of the verb other than the Non-Finites. The Finites of the Verb be are : am, is, are, was, were.

The term anomalous finite is used for the 24 finites, given below:

Am, Is, Are, Was, Were will, would
have, has, had can, could
do,does,did may, might
Shall, Should must, ought, need, dare, used

The finites of the verb, be {am, is, are, was, were) are auxiliary when used:

  1. With a past participle to form the passive voice; as,
    They were told to stay where they were.
    We were informed in time.
  2. With a present participle to form the progressive tenses; as,
    She is writing a letter.
    They were playing chess.

The verb be is not an auxiliary verb when it is used :

  1. Meaning “to exist”; as
    There are two kinds of camels, the Bacterian camel and the Arabian camel.
  2. Meaning “to happen”, “to take place”; as,
    When is the wedding to be?
  3. Meaning “to go” or “to visit”; as,
    I have been to Goa.
    Have you ever been to see her?
    NOTE : In this case, the verb be is used only in the Perfect Tenses.
  4. To express how or where a person or a thing is; as,
    The cat is under the table.
    How is your sister?
  5. With an adjective or a noun; as,
    The box is too small.
    He is a good teacher.

The auxiliary do is not used for the formation of the negative and interrogative. The interrogative-negative may be formed with auxiliary don’t.

Do is used with the Imperative.
Why don’t you be more careful?
Why don’t you be a man and face your troubles boldly?
Why don’t you be (= train in order to become) a mechanic?
Do be quiet! Do be patient! Don’t be so excited!


The Finites have (have, has, had) are anomalous when they are used as auxiliaries to form the Perfect Tenses; as,

  • I have taken my camera.
    He has left. She hasn’t left. Has she left?
    They had left. They hadn’t left. Had they left?
    She will have arrived by now.

Have is used to indicate possession or ownership of material objects; as,

  • How many pens have you (have you got)?
    Ashok hasn’t got (hasn’t) a pen.
    Have you got any money?
    Did you have ten rupees yesterday?
    No, I hadn’t ten rupees yesterday.

Have is also used to indicate permanent connections and relationships. Got is used with have and has in colloquial language.

  • This car has four doors.
    This jacket has four pockets.
    Has Mira blue eyes or brown eyes?
    He has a very good character.
    You have a brother.
    King Dasaratha had four sons.
    How many pockets has your jacket got?
    Hasn’t she got long hair?
    I’ve got only one brother.
    Have you got many friends in the town?

When the verb have is used to express something that is habitual or occasional (but not permanent), it is conjugated in the negative and interrogative with the auxiliary verb do’, as,

  • Does your friend have much money to spend?
    He doesn’t have much time for sports and amusements.
    Did the Roman slaves have the right to own property?

When the verb have means the same as experience, it is conjugated in the negative and interrogative with the auxiliary do’, as,

  • Do they have much difficulty in learning Sanskrit?
    Savages do not have the toothache.
    Did you have a good sleep?
    Did he have a pleasant journey?
    Did you have (= experience) any difficulty in finding my house?

Have is also used with such meanings as take, get or receive’, as,

  • Do you have (= drink) coffee or milk for breakfast?
    At what time do you have (=take) breakfast?
    I have breakfast at eight.
    They had dinner at twelve.
    We don’t have tea at four.
    Do you have tea at five?
    How often do you have (=take, receive) English lessons?
    At what time do you have a bath?

When we ask or order somebody to do something, when we cause something to be done by somebody, we may use the various tenses of the verb This is called the causative use of the verb have.

  • I must have my shoes mended.
    We shall have some visiting cards printed.
    He had his hair cut yesterday.
    He didn’t have his hair cut yesterday.
    Did he have his haircut yesterday?

Have is also used to indicate obligation or

  • He has to be (= is obliged to be) there at ten.
    At what time do you have to be in the office every day?
    I have to be (= have got to be) in the office at nine instead of at ten tomorrow.
    We don’t have to go to school on Saturdays.
    They had to work hard for a living.
    She had to travel by air.
    I have to attend her wedding.
    You will have to start at once.
    He would not have to work so hard if he had not fallen ill at the beginning of the academic year.

Instead of saying:

  • I must ask the shoemaker to send my shoes.
    He is going to tell the barber to cut his hair.I shall ask the printer to print some visiting cards.

We say:

  • I must have my shoes mended.
    He is going to have his haircut.
    I shall have some visiting cards printed.

NOTE : The prepositional object after by is omitted. It is unnecessary to say : by the shoemaker: by the barber; by the printer.

Exercise 1 – Rewrite the following sentences, using the finites of the verb have (see the examples given above) :

  1. I must ask the tailor to make a new suit for me.
  2. I shall ask the photographer to take my photograph.
  3. He asked his dentist to take out a bad tooth last week.
  4. He is going to tell the workmen to whitewash the house.
  5. I shall ask them to clean these rooms thoroughly.
  6. I shall ask the plumber to repair the leaking water-taps.

Instead of saying :

We were obliged to do it.         It was necessary for us to do it.

We were compelled to do it.

We may say :

We had to do it.

Exercise 2 – Rewrite the following sentences, using the verb have (see the examples given above) :

  1. It will be necessary for you to start at once.
  2. She was obliged to travel by bus.
  3. It is necessary for her to leave at once.
  4. I hear that you were obliged to go to court.
  5. It is not necessary for us to go to school on Sundays.
  6. We were obliged to start early.
  7. They will be compelled to sign the contract.
  8. Is it necessary for him to work so hard?
  9. She will be compelled to sell her ornaments.
  10. Was it necessary for you to leave so soon?
  11. It will be necessary for her to work so hard.
  12. They were obliged to leave the town.
  13. It was not necessary for us to answer all the ten questions.
  14. They were obliged to work hard for their living.
  15. They were compelled to agree to her terms.


As a Principal verb —

  • They do [= perform] their work well.
  • Do [=act] as I tell you.

As an auxiliary verb —

  • Do they work hard? [Here the verb do helps to form a question.)
  • They do not work hard. [Here the verb do helps to form a negation.]

To form the emphatic affirmative—

  • If I do see her, I’ll give her your message.
  • You do play well.
  • Do come in, won’t you?
  • They do work hard. [Here the verb do helps to emphasise an assertion.]
  • She didn’t say much, but what she did say was very important.

The verb do is also used as a substitute for other verbs, except be; as,

He works more than you do (=work).

Did you find it? Yes I did (= found it).

Who broke the chair? Ashok did (= broke the chair).

Who wants to come with me? All of us do (=want to go with you). She didn’t often grumble and when she did (grumbled), no one paid any attention to her.

I hear you failed in the examination. No, I didn’t (=1 did not fail in the examination).

Did you not expect me? Yes, I did. (= expected you.)

She likes mangoes, and so do I. [Here do = like mangoes.]

She went to town yesterday, and so did I. [Here did =went to town.]


Ought is used to express desirability, moral obligation and duties. Ought is a defective verb. It can indicate present or future time. It takes an Infinitive as Object; as,

We ought to love our neighbours. [= It is our duty to love our neighbours.]

We ought to work hard.

I ought to visit my sister tomorrow.

You ought to get better marks.

You ought to help your poor friends.

He ought to be ashamed of his rude behaviour.

Everybody ought to love his country.

We ought not to walk on the grass.

We ought not to abuse a beggar.

We ought not to make a noise in the class.

Ought we to go there? Yes, I think you ought (to).

I told her that she ought to do it, so she did it.

Ought to have with a Past Participle is used to indicate a past obligation that was not fulfilled or carried out.

You ought to have helped her (but you did not).

He ought to have been more careful. (He was not careful enough.)

She ought to have obeyed her husband. (It was her duty to obey her husband.)

He ought to have worked hard.

I ought to have visited my sister yesterday.

Ought not to have is used to indicate disapproval of something that was done in the past.

You ought not to have laughed at her mistakes.

She ought not to have treated her husband like that.

Exercise 3 – Fill in the blanks with ought, should, have, must or may

  1. ________ I Open the Window?
  2. ________ We Play in the garden?
  3. We ________ not to talk on the grass.
  4. I am Working hard so that I ________ pass this year.
  5. We ________ to help the poor people.
  6. We ________ not spit on the floor.
  7. You ________ be punctual.
  8. Little children ________ be careful when crossing the road.
  9. You ________ take exercise daily.
  10. ________ God bless You!
  11. He ________ be mad to do this.
  12. They ________ to do their homework every day.

Exercise 4 – Fill in the blanks with the correct word out of the following:

Shall, Should; will, would; can, could; may, might; must, ought

  1. We ________ go shopping next week, We ________ need a lot of things for the holidays.
  2. We ________not waste time in idle gossip.
  3. It ________ rain soon. (It is likely to happen.)
  4. You ________ see a doctor at once (it is an advice.)
  5. ________ You please stop talking?
  6. You________ go only when you have finished your work.
  7. ________ You rather have tea or coffee?
  8. I ________ rather prefer not to give any explanation.
  9. one ________ obey one’s parents.
  10. ________ You lend me some money?
  11. I ________ like you to answer my question properly.
  12. ________ God give you courage to face it!
  13. ________ You like to have lunch now?
  14. ________ You please tell me where the cinema house is?
  15. I ________ help you if you deserve it.
  16. It ________ rain, it is so sultry.
  17. You________ have given him a helping hand. It was your duty.
  18. I_________ try to get you a job. I promise.
  19. The doctor told me that I_____ not smoke any more.
  20. I_________ come even if it rains.
  21. If you have a ticket, you_____ go inside.
  22. __________ I come in? I’m sorry I am late.
  23. You________ to respect your elders.
  24. Your mother likes mangoes. You_____ to buy some for her.
  25. Your mother is sleeping. You_____ not speak loudly.


When in need = stand in need of, require, it has Third person singular,

Present tense needs.

I need to work harder.                                                                               .

I need a holiday.

We need many things for our journey.

She needs a little rest.

He doesn’t need new shoes.

Does she need a new frock?

It needs to be done with great care.                                                           ‘

The work needs time and patience.                                                            ;

The blind man needs somebody to help him across the road.

These socks need to be darned (need darning).

Do you need to work so hard?

He doesn’t need to work so hard, does he?

[Here the meaning is ‘be obliged’, ‘be compelled’.]

Anomalous Finite – The anomalous finite need is not used in the affirmative. It is used only in the negative and interrogative. It forms its Third person singular, Present tense, without s, and takes as its Object an infinitive without to; as,

He need not copy out the whole page.

She need not come here tomorrow.

He need not worry at all about us.

She need not write all of them, but she must write the last two.

Need he work so hard?

He needn’t work so hard, need he?

Need she apologise to him?

NOTE : The regular verb can be used in the Past Tense with a to infinitive.

They didn’t need to hurry. [= It was not necessary for them to hurry],


Used is anomalous. It has the negative usedn’t (but it not used now) and the interrogative used (we, he, she etc.) In tag-questions and responses, however, did often replaces  used.

The past tense used expresses what was repeatedly seen or done during a period of time in the past.

There used to be a building here before the war.

She used to play chess before her marriage.

People used to think that the sun travelled round the earth.

Life is not so hard as it used to be.

We used to enjoy their pleasant company.

They used to go swimming every morning.

She used to go to the temple every morning.

I used to smoke; I took it up only a year ago.

You used to smoke a pipe, didn’t you?

But didn’t use to is also found; as,

I think I know that man. Didn’t he use to keep a car?

It may also express a permanent state in the past.

There used to be a cinema house here before the war.

When I lived here, many years ago, there used to be a well near the temple.

Used to = be accustomed to; as,

He’s not used to hard manual labour.

I’m not used to a hot climate.

I am not used to this kind of treatment.

I am not used to walking long distances.

They soon got used to drinking tea without any sugar in it.

I am not used to drinking tea without any sugar in it.

Exercise 5 – Rewrite each of these sentences, using ‘used to’ instead of ‘be in the habit of’ as shown:

He was in the habit of drinking too much alcohol.

He used to drink too much alcohol.

  1. She was in the habit of visiting the temple on Sundays.
  2. They were in the habit of swimming in the lake everyday.
  3. The officers were in the habit of arriving late at the office.
  4. His mother was in the habit of watching the television every evening.
  5. The girls were in the habit of playing tricks upon their teacher.
  6. My parents were in the habit of going to the hills every summer.

Exercise 6 – Rewrite each of these sentences, using ‘used to’ instead of ‘be accustomed to’, as shown

The general was accustomed to giving orders.

= The general was used to giving orders.

  1. He was not accustomed to obeying orders.
  2. As they were not accustomed to a humid climate, they fell ill.
  3. If your sister is accustomed to hard work, she shouldn’t be so tired.
  4. If you are not accustomed to the noises of the city, it’s difficult to enjoy your stay there.
  5. The boy was soon accustomed to the strict rules of the hostel.
  6. I am not accustomed to being spoken to in that way.

Exercise 7 – Rewrite each of these sentences, as directed :

  1. It is not necessary for you to answer all the questions. (Rewrite, using need.)
  2. She was in the habit of visiting us regularly in those days. (Rewrite, using used.)
  3. We are not accustomed to that kind of work. (Rewrite, using used.)
  4. It is not necessary for you to attend the meeting. (Rewrite, using need.)
  5. He was in the habit of taking coffee after meals but now he doesn’t. (Rewrite, using used.)
  6. It is not necessary for her to come here tomorrow.(Rewrite, using need.)
  7. He was not accustomed to that kind of treatment. (Rewrite, using used.)


Have to is used to indicate obligation; as,

He has to be (= is obliged to be) there at ten.

At what time do you have to be in the office every day?

I have to be (= have got to be) in the office at nine instead of at ten tomorrow.

We don’t have to go to school on Saturdays.

They had to work hard for a living.

I have to attend her wedding.


Note the following uses of the verb ‘dare’ :

  • Present Tense:

I dare to declare that what she says is not true.

I never dare to say things like that, do I?

I am surprised that he dares to play jokes on the Headmaster. Does not dare to refuse what you ask.

Does she dare to jump of the window?

He doesn’t dare to ring her’up again, does he? No, he doesn’t.

  • The verb dare (= venture, have courage) has the form dare for the Third person singular, Present tense, when it is followed by a negative: as, He dare not take such a foolish step.

He dare not oppose us.

He dare not punish the child.

A Senior English Grammar & Composition_________________

He dare not ask her again, dare he? No, he dare not.

She dare not go out alone on a dark night.

  1. Past Tense:

They dared not say such things again.

The roads were covered with ice yesterday. They dared not take their car out.

They were afraid of an accident. They dared not go very fast.

  1. Interrogative Sentences:

How dare you ride a cycle without brakes?

How dare you speak against your teacher?

How dare you insult your mother like that?

Exercise 8 – Fill in the missing forms of ‘dare’:

  1. He did not ________ to wander in the streets at the night.
  2. They ________ not sleep in the open in winter, ________ they?
  3. ________ Your sister touch a snake?
  4. Sometimes he ________ to climb up a tree to get a birds egg, ________he?
  5. ________ I ask you to lend me ten rupees?
  6. How ________ you ride a cycle without brakes?
  7. He ________ not ask you again, ________ he? No, he ________ not.
  8. They ________ not drive very fast, ________ they?
  9. She ________ not disobey her husband.
  10. The dog barked so loudly that we ________ not approach it.

Exercise 9 – (Miscellaneous) Fill in each blank with the correct word, choosing it from those given in brackets:

  1. I speak to the Principal for a minute? (may, can, will, must) not drive
  2. The breeze is cool and fresh, it_ rain soon. (may, can, will, must)
  3. You________ apologise to your mother for your rude behaviour. (can, may, must, will)
  4. The rich_______ help the poor, (should, would, must, might)
  5. She________ speak French when she was hardly five. (should, would, could, might)
  6. Visitors________ take off their shoes before going into the temple. (should, must, can, ought)
  7. We________ buy any sugar. There’s enough in the house. (can’t, needn’t, shouldn’t, wouldn’t)
  8. In order to produce good crops we ___ use fertilisers. (may, must, can, shall)
  9. we ________ live in a big house when we were children (Should, ought to, used to, had to)
  10. My parents ________ feed the poor on my birthday.
  11. She ________ say such rude things about me. (date not, must not, need not, ought n’t)
  12. How ________ defy the orders of your boss? (need, dare, would, should)
  13. He ________ obey you whether he likes it or not (Will, Shall, Should, Would)
  14. Sometimes the boys ________ play a trick on their teacher. (Will, Shall, Should, Would).
  15. ________ you do me a favor? (Shall, will, may can)
  16. You ________ not answer all the questions, but you ________ answer the last four. (must, need, can, will, would, shall, should)
  17. _______ you mind waiting here a few minutes? (should, would, can, may)
  18. We_________ hear someone singing in the bathroom. (might, could, would, should)
  19. He________ have stolen your pen. (would, could, should, might)
  20. I’m afraid the news______ be true. (can, may, will, shall)

anomalous finites exercises

anomalous verbs

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