Choose the verb that fills the blank most appropriately.
1. No sooner had the family spread out their picnic, than it _______ to rain.
2. When I saw the look on Zack’s face, I knew he had _______ his promise.
3. At the signal everyone _______ and began to sing.
4. If you ________ around all day, you will never amount to anything.
5. Lucille _______ very still and listened intently to her aunt’s instructions.
Answers and Explanations
1. No sooner had the family spread out their picnic, than it began to rain.
The principal parts of this verb are begin, began, (have) begun. The simple past “began” is called for here.
2. When I saw the look on Zack’s face, I knew he had broken his promise.
The principal parts of this verb are break, broke, (have) broken. The past participle form broken is used with the helping verb had.
3. At the signal everyone rose and began to sing.
The verb rise is an intransitive verb meaning “to stand up” or “ascend.” The principal parts are rise, rose, (have) risen.
4. If you lie around all day, you will never amount to anything.
The principal parts of the intransitive verb lie, meaning “to recline,” are lie, lay, (have) lain. The present tense is called for in an “if clause” when the result clause is in future tense.
5. Lucille sat very still and listened intently to her aunt’s instructions.
The intransitive verb sit means “to be seated.” Its principal parts are sit, sat, (have) sat. The verb set is transitive. It takes an object. The principal parts of set are set, set, (have) set.