Finite verbs and non-finite verbs are two broad categories of verbs.
We shall now try to understand the difference between these two categories of verbs.
We look carefully at two groups of sentences...and especially at the verbs which for the moment need appear to us only as "greens" and "reds".
In sentences in Group A above, we have the verbs like and sing. The verb like takes on different forms (like, likes) in the seven sentences in the group. The verb sing has the same unchangeable form to sing in all the sentences.
So, we have one verb which changes and the other which does not change.
Now look at...
In the sentences in Group B too, we have something similar to what we saw in Group A. Here, we have the verb be in different forms (am, is, are) and the unchanging verb form eating of the verb eat.
Here too, we have one verb which keeps changing and the other which remains unchanged.
The verb like in group A and the verb be in group B are verbs which change. The reason these verbs change their forms must surely be because of the words I, we, you, he, she, Anita, they...since it is clear that all other words within the same group of sentences are the same.
These verbs which change according to words I, we, you, he, she, Anita, and they, are called Finite Verbs.
The word finite means limited. Since the words I, we, you, he, etc., can make these verbs change, the power of these verbs must be limited indeed! This idea will help us to remember what these verbs are.
They are verbs which do not change. In group A above, the verb to sing and in group B, the verb eating are non-finite verbs of two different types. No word in a sentence can impose a change on these verbs. I suppose, that is why we call them non-finite, which means not limited by other words in a sentence.
Verbs of this type are...
Yes. Every sentence in English needs such a verb. It is an essential part of a sentence.
You may find sentences in which a noun or a pronoun is missing (because it's hidden), but you won't find a sentence in which a finite verb is missing.
No finite verb, no sentence!
They may be transitive, intransitive or linking. In a sentence you can have any one of these types.
About these verbs we need to understand important things like:
We can think of these as properties of the verb or as "rules" which finite verbs obey. They are obedient and reliable verbs!
Non-finite verbs are the wayward ones in the family! Though they are born in the verb family, the non-finites often act like nouns, and sometimes like adjectives or adverbs.