Auxiliary verbs perish in boating accident

Duck Boat catches fire on the Thames

It’s yellow, it’s on fire, it’s a Duck boat. Photo: Tony Margiocchi/Barcroft Media

Do you know those Duck Boats that roam up and down the Thames? Bright yellow amphibious boats. Great fun for kids and tourists. Well, one caught fire the other day. Luckily no people were injured. But a load of innocent auxiliary verbs perished in this ITN report shortly afterwards. Have a listen to the story.

Keep these small verbs alive

Auxiliary verbs – typically be, do and have – are only small, but they perform an important function. They give meaning to a sentence. Without them, phrases seem breathless, truncated. Here are extracts from the report, with the missing verbs in brackets.

“The emergency services (were) called after a Duck suddenly caught fire.”

“Passengers (were) being forced to jump into the water to escape the fire.”

“The World War II vehicle (was) eventually towed away by the fire brigade.”

“Luckily this woman (was) not involved in the emergency.”

Are we really so short of time that small verbs have to die to satisfy our tiny attention span? I hope not. Sink or swim, this is a plea to keep those little verbs alive.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s