Grammatik

Actual and potential events

Actual and potential events

Most ergative verbs can be used to indicate events that have taken place (actual events), or events that might take place (potential events). An example of an actual event is:
The glass broke.
Examples of potential events are:
This kind of glass tends to break in cold weather.
This kind of glass breaks easily.
Some ergative verbs, in the pattern with the 'doer' as Subject, are usually used only to indicate potential events. The pattern with the 'causer' as Subject can be used to indicate both actual and potential events.
This cream smells clean and fresh, and applies easily.
After you have stepped from a warm bath, apply the cream evenly over your body.
These eye shadows won't fade or crease and contain herbal extracts to soften the skin in this delicate area.
Ultraviolet light will fade the colours in organic materials.
These verbs are indicated in the meaning groups described below.

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