All about Verbs

What are Verbs?

Definition: Verbs are words that show a physical action, mental action or a state of being.

Let's consider the following examples:

  • Mary bought a dress.

    Here, bought is a verb, because it expresses the physical action of buying a dress.

  • Sam thought about his dog.

    Here, thought is a verb, it expresses the mental activity to think.

  • She is a good teacher.

    Here, the word is acts as a verb form, it expresses a state of being.

Types Of Verbs:

Types Of Verbs

1. Action Verbs:

Action verbs express physical action e.g. "to write," "to swim," or mental action e.g. "to think," "to consider". They tell us what the subject is doing in the sentence.

The following are some examples:

  • Amy walked to school.

  • He cleaned his house.

  • She wrote a letter.

  • He bought a house.

  • I consider John to be a friend.

  • Lily thought the same idea.

  • Mark plays football.

Here, play is an action that Mark is doing.

2. State Or Stative Verbs:

State verbs describe state instead of action. They can not be used in the continuous tense.

The following are some examples: like, love, hate, know, remember, appear.

  • She loves her sister.

  • I hate her bad habits.

  • I like your dress.

  • I don't know his name.

3. Linking Verbs:

Linking verbs do not express action. Instead, they link the subject of a sentence with a word or phrase that tell more about the subject.

The following are some examples of linking verbs: look, feel, smell, be (is, am, are, was).

  • She is a doctor.

  • Tom feels tired.

  • The soup smells delicious.

Here, feels and smells are linking verbs and it connects subject Tom and soup.

4. Main Verbs:

A main verb has real meaning and does not depend on another verb. It express about action or state of being of the subject.

The following are some examples of main verbs: eat, play, buy.

  • They are playing.

  • Alice is going home.

  • She ate two chocolates.

  • He has finished his work.

5. Auxiliary Or Helping Verbs:

A verb of this type helps the main verb in a sentence. It comes before the main verb in a sentence. A helping verb has no meaning on its own.

The following are some examples of helping verbs: is, am, are, was, will.

  • She will meet her sister tomorrow.

  • He does not like juice.

  • They have gone to the party.

  • Maria is eating a chocolate.

Here, eating is a main verb while is acts as a helping verb.

List Of Helping Verbs:

  • be [is, am, are, was, were, being]

  • do [does, did, doing]

  • have [has, had, having]

  • may

  • might

  • must

  • will

  • shall

  • would

  • should

6. Modal Verbs:

Modal verbs are used to express, ability, possibility, intention, and necessity.

The following are some examples of modal verbs: can, could, may, might, will, shall, must.

  • I can ride bike.

  • It may be sunny today.

  • I will call you.

Here can express ability, may express possibility, and, will express intention.

Purpose of use Modal verbs
Ability can, could
Possibility may, might
Intention will

7. Transitive Verbs:

Transitive verbs are always used with an object. These verbs have direct object to receive the action of the verb. A direct object receives the action of the verb. A direct object is acted upon by the subject in a sentence.

The following are some examples.

  • Sam bought a car.

  • She wrote a letter.

  • He is playing tennis.

  • She made a dress.

  • He likes popcorn.

  • They read a story.

Transitive verb Direct object
bought a car
wrote a letter
playing tennis
made a dress
likes popcorn
read a story

8. Intransitive Verbs:

A verb which does not have an object in sentence is called intransitive verb.

The following are some examples.

  • She slept.

  • He laughed.

  • They have gone.

  • He is playing.

Note: Intransitive Verbs can not form passive voice, because there is no one to receive the action. They do not have direct object.

Regular And Irregular Verbs:

Regular Verbs:

Regular verbs always end in ed.

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Agree Agreed Agreed
Allow Allowed Allowed
Bake Baked Baked
Borrow Borrowed Borrowed
Change Changed Changed

Irregular Verbs:

Irregular verbs do not follow that rule.

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Begin Began Begun
Bring Brought Brought
Come Came Come
Feel Felt Felt
Hide Hid Hidden

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See Also:

English Grammar: