Language Art

I saw a young girl (stealing, stole, steal, steals) something from the shop.

which answer should it be and why?

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  1. "stealing" - a participle, not a complete verb, so it cannot serve as the main verb of a sentence unless you put a helping verb with it (is, are, will be, etc.).

    "stole" - past tense, not correct in the sequence of tenses here because the main verb is in past tense (saw).

    "steal/steals" - these are the present tense forms, which is what's needed in this subordinate clause; "steal" is the singular form and is used when the subject is singular; "steals" is the plural form and is used when the subject is plural. So ... what's the subject of THIS verb, and is it singular or plural?

  2. You have 2 choices.
    1. steal
    2. stealing

    Here is one of the best sites to explain verbals. Look at the explanations for infinitives (to steal) and gerunds (stealing)to best understand why:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/627/01/

    Sra

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