The termÂ anomalous finites refers to the group of these 24 anomalous finite verbs given below:
- Am, is,Â was
- Are, - , were
- Have, has, had
- Do, does, did
- Will, would;
- shall, should;
- can, could;
- may, might;
- must, ought,
- need, dare, used (to).
As a rule of thumbÂ to clarify any doubt about the use of anomalous finites I give you that simple rule I've learned and created myself in my 62 years of experience on english language, not found in the iNet because english native teachers they are not aware they should give it as a rule to foreign students. Rules like this (I have plenty of them) will be missed by the students of Arenys library wich throw me away with untrue comments. How can they say I've been speaking the 90% of the class if I have been away half of the time getting the sheets printed for Mari Paz and my self? In any case I only could speak during the 90% of time I've been in the class, that is => less than a 40%..
When using an anomalous finite in past tense or third person.. the "main" verb must stay in "infinite form"
In that particular case.. if you have a doubt about the correct ortography of the sentence =>
"What does it mean?" or "What does it means?":
"does" is already in third person => the "main" verb must stay in "infinite form"
Anomalous finite forms
The word âanomalousâ means âirregular.â In English language their number is 24. These 24 anomalous finite verbs are a basis of English language. The peculiarity of these verbs is that while framing negative or interrogative sentences, no auxiliary verbs are needed. Another aspect is that these verbs do not have âto infiniteâ or âingâ forms.
As you can probably see, these are all auxiliary verbs. Some of them are also used as principal verbs. As auxiliaries their function is to help principal verbs to form their tenses and moods. As anomalous finites, they have other functions.
Anomalous finites are irregular. They do not form the past tense by the addition ofÂ -ed, -d orÂ -t, but by a change in the root vowel. Some anomalous finites (must, ought) have no past tense forms at all. But these irregular finite verbs are different from other finite verbs in many respects and hence they are calledÂ anomalous finites.
In general, the verb forms that show tense and subject agreement are called "finite forms", while those that don't, are called "non-finite".
The simplest non-finite form in English is the infinitive. This comes in bare ("go") and marked ("to go") forms. Other non-finite forms include the gerund and active participle ("going") and the passive participle ("gone").
The finite forms are the past tense ("went"), the 3rd-person singular present ("goes"), and the non-3rd-singular present ("go").
The single irregular verb "to be" has an additional finite present tense forms for 1st-person singular ("am") and 2nd person (which is identical with the plural, "are").
The most obvious difference between anomalous finites and other finites is that they can be used with the contractionÂ nât which is the shortened form ofÂ not.
- It isnât true. (= It is not true.)
- We arenât going anywhere. (= We are not going anywhere.)
- You shouldnât do that.
- I donât know what to do.
Of the 24 anomalous finites, the 5 forms: "be, have, do, need &Â dare" are sometimes used as principal verbs and sometimes as auxiliaries. The remaining are always used as auxiliaries.
The use of anomalous finites
To form negative sentences
- IÂ know him.
- IÂ donât know him. (NOT: I know not him.)
- SheÂ wrote to me.
- SheÂ didnât write to me. (NOT: She wrote not to me.)
Here the 2 anomalous finites "do &Â did" help to change positive statements into negative statements. The mere addition ofÂ not to the positive sentence is not enough in modern English.
"What Does It Mean" or "What Does That Mean"? Examples | TPR Teaching
When trying to figure out the meaning of something, itâs important to pay attention to which words are being used.
Expressions like âWhat does that mean?â and âWhat does it mean?â may seem similar, but they can have very subtle differences in usage.
If youâre asking âWhatÂ does it mean?,â and âwhat does that mean,â it is hard to categorize and define a rule to follow because they are usually used interchangeably.
Letâs look more in-depth at the differences between âwhat does it meanâ and âwhat does that meanâ with some example sentences. We are also going to mention other relevant expressions, such as âwhat does it meansâ and âwhat is that supposed to mean.â
What Does it Meanâ Vs. âWhat Does That Meanâ
âWhat does it meanâ and âwhat does that meanâ can often be used interchangeably. In fact, the difference is probably so subtle that the listener probably wouldnât even notice. There are some instances when one expression may be preferred over the other, which weÂ willÂ give in our examples below.
What does it mean?
Here are some of the times we may choose to use âwhat does it mean.â
We usually use âwhat does it meanâ to:
Talk More Generally
Maybe we want to talk about broad, abstract topics like the universe, life, God, marriage, society, feelings, and so forth. For these big ideas, it would be better to use âwhat does it meanâ here.
- What does it mean to be happy?
- What does it mean to be successful?
- What does it mean to be in love?
- What does it mean to be a good person?
- What does it all mean?! (referring to life and the universe in general)
When We Want to Know The Definition of Something
If you want to know what a word or phrase means, the expression âwhat does it meanâ is probably yourÂ bestÂ bet.
- What does âserendipityâ mean? What does it mean?
- I donât understand what âironyâ means. What does it mean?
- What does the phrase âto pull someoneâs legâ mean? What does it mean?
When you ask âwhat does it meanâ here, you are looking for a definition of the word.
What does that mean?
Here are some of the times we may choose to use âwhat does that mean.â
We use âwhat does that meanâ to:
Ask for clarification
If someone says something and you want them to be more clear, you can ask, âwhat does that mean?â
- âIâm sorry, I donât understand what you just said. What does that mean?â
- âI canât follow what you said. Iâm confused. What does that mean?â
- âIÂ haveÂ no idea what youâre talking about. What does that mean?â
Asking for further explanation
This is similar to the point above, but we use âwhat does that meanâ when we want somebody to explain something to us in more detail.
- âCan you explain what that word means? What does that mean?â
- âWhat do you mean by âsuccessâ? What does that mean to you?â
- âThe tests show that some scar tissue has formed.â ââWhat does that mean?â
- âThe building just burned down. What does that mean for the company?â
- âThe kid just failedÂ high school. What does that mean for his future?â
- âCovid has just started. What does that mean for our country?â
In these cases, we are not just looking for a wordâs definition. We want somebody to explain the concept to us in more detail.
What does it means?
âWhat does it meansâ is incorrectÂ grammar. When asking a question, we must write âmean,â as in, âwhat does it mean?â If you are answering the question, you could say, âit meansâŚâ
For example, âwhat does irony mean?â â âit means the opposite of what is expected.â
What is that supposed to mean?
The expression âwhat is that supposed to meanâ (often spoken in a frustrated tone) is said if we think someone is not telling us the fullÂ story or they are telling us something indirectly.
- âMaria said she was âbusy,â but what is that supposed to mean?â
The person here believes that Angela is not telling the full story and wants to know what she really means. What is she busy doing? Is she really that busy? Maybe if Angela is a love interest, they are wondering if she is actually busy or if she is just avoidingÂ the date.
- âThe dress looksÂ tooÂ tight on you.â â âWhat is that supposed to mean? Are you calling me fat?â
In the example above, the person is angry because they thinkÂ theirÂ friend is calling them fat indirectly.
- âWhy donât they just come out and say it? What is that supposed to mean?â
Again, the person is frustrated because they think the speaker is not being direct. They want to know what the speaker really means
Now that weâve looked at some examples of âwhat does it meanâ and âwhat does that mean,â letâs summarize the main differences between these two expressions.
âWhat does it meanâ is used to talk about more general, abstract topics. It can also be used when you want to know the definition of something.
âWhat does that meanâ is used when you want somebody to explain something to you in more detail or if you want clarification on something that was said.
If you are offended by a remark made by someone and want to know what they truly mean, you can say, âwhat is that supposed to mean?â
Finally, remember that âwhat does it meansâ is incorrect grammar. The correct form is âwhat does it mean?â
As a native English speaker, this is my opinion on the matter. I hope I have been able to answer your questions. Leave a comment below if you found it helpful and be sure to share this with your friends and family!
I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.Â I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others! I enjoy traveling, nature walks, and soaking up a new culture. Please share the posts if you find them helpful!