VERBS

A verb is a word that says , what a person is, has or does.

  • Sophie plays tennis. (doing)
  • Monica is an intelligent girl.(being)
  • Mr Wayne has a car.(possessing)

Verb is the heart of a sentence. A sentence almost always has a verb( Except in nominal sentences like” What a lovely picture!”). A sentence can be of a single word, but that word has to be a verb. Eg. Sit . Speak. Stand , Run.

All these words make complete sense and are one word sentences containing verbs.

Most of the verbs are doing verbs.

‘Be’ and its forms suggests being.

‘Have’ and its forms suggests having.

Verbs may be divided into various categories. Let us first look at the two basic types of verbs.  The main verb, and the helping verb or the auxiliaries.

   MAIN VERBS     and    AUXILIARIES

MAIN VERBS:

Main verbs are open class verbs which can be used as full verbs.

There are 5 Main Verb forms:

  •        V1(Present tense)        eat
  •        V2(Past tense)       ate
  •        V3(Past participle)   eaten
  •       V4(Present Participle) eating   
  •      V5(Singular) eats

Main verbs may be divided into Regular and Irregular verbs.

REGULAR AND IRREGULAR VERBS

Weak and strong verbs.

REGULAR VERBS

All the above verbs end with ‘ed’, ‘d’ or ‘t’ in the past tense which was changed from the present tense with or without any change of the side vowel. These verbs are called regular verbs or weak verbs.

Eg; play , played , played , playing , plays

spend , spent , spent , spending , spends

IRREGULAR VERBS

If a verb does not require the addition of ed, d or t  to form the past tense ,it is a strong verb. The verbs given below are examples of strong verbs which are also called irregular verbs.

Eg: go , went , gone , going , goes

sing , sang , sung , singing , sings

These main verbs denote the main action in a sentence.

 AUXILIARIES

Helping verbs are also called auxiliaries. They are of two types primary auxiliaries and modals.

                                          PRIMARY AUXILIARIES                                                                        

  PRESENT PAST FUTURE
BE is/am/are was/were will be/ shall be
HAVE has /have had willhave/shallhave
DO do/ does did Will do/ shall do


The primary auxiliaries are helping verbs that can form sentences without the help of main verb. Eg. Kiran is intelligent. In this sentence ‘is’ acts like a main verb in order to form a sentence.  In the sentence, ‘ I will paint a picture.’Paint is the main verb, and ‘will‘ is the auxiliary.

MODALS

Shall/should
Can/could
Will/would
May/might
Must/dare/need
Ought to/used to

TRANSITIVE  AND INTRANSITIVE  VERBS

Verbs can also be divided into:

i) Transitive verb

ii)  Intransitive verb.

i) TRANSITIVE VERB:

A transitive verb is a word that denotes an action which passes from the subject to the object: These verbs cannot complete their meaning without object and can be used in active as well as passive voice.

Eg:i) Nike flew a kite.

       ii)Rosy recited a poem.

In the first example the action is transferred to the kite , whereas, in the second example the action is transferred to the poem. The words ‘flew’ and ‘ recited’ are transitive verbs.

ii) INTRANSITIVE VERB

An Intransitive verb is a verb which can complete its meaning  without an object. These verbs are used in active voice only and may take a complement.

i)Mary laughed.

ii)The garden looks beautiful.

iii)John is sad.

iv)The minister looked angry.

In the last three examples  the words ‘beautiful’,  ‘sad’, and ‘angry’ help to complete the predicate and are called ‘COMPLEMENT’.

FINITE AND NON FINITE VERBS.

I) FINITE VERB: A Finite verb has present and  past forms and changes with tense, person and number of the subject. It forms an essential part of the sentence.

She writes emails.      ( Present tense)             She wrote emails.    (Past tense)

They write  emails.     (Present tense)              They wrote emails.   (Past tense)

II) NON FINITE VERBS:

Non finite verbs are of two types.

1)     INFINITIVE                                               2)   PARTICIPLES

1) INFINITIVE  VERBS: They  remain unchanged in tenses and is preceded by marker ‘to’.

Eg: She likes to draw landscapes.     ( Present tense)   likes-> finite verb,  ‘to draw’-> infinitive verb, does not change with tense or subject.

 Eg: She liked to draw landscapes. (Past tense)  liked-> finite verb, (changes with tense)  ‘to draw’ -> infinitive verb, (does not change)

2) PARTICIPLE : Participles are non finite verbs , and are of two types.

a) PRESENT PARTICIPLE     b) PAST PARTICIPLE

a)Present participles are made by adding ‘ing’ to the main verb.

Eg; playing, writing, running, driving, painting, flowing.

b)Past participles are made by ‘-d’ or ‘-ed’ to regular verbs and by the third form of irregular verbs.

Eg: played, written, run, driven, painted, flowed.

GERUND  / VERBAL NOUN

A gerund is that form of verb which ends in ‘-ing’ and has the force of a noun and a verb.

Eg: I love shopping.    In this sentence love is the main verb and shopping  stands for something hence is used as a verb.

      Seeing  is believing.    I like writing poetry.     Stop writing,    He is fond of playing  football.

GLOSSARY of VERBS

MAIN VERB :  Main verbs are open class verbs which can be used as full verbs.  There are 5 Main Verb forms:

AUXILIARY VERB:  Helping verbs are also called auxiliaries. They are of two types primary auxiliaries and modals. Primary             auxiliaries can be used as a full verb , while modals accompany main verbs.

CATENATIVE VERB : A chain like structure formed by main verbs when used one after another. Eg: She got hurt. She keeps singing.

CAUSATIVE VERB: A verb that causes something to happen. Eg He had them delivered. She makes me laugh.

COPULA (R) VERB: A verb that joins a subject to its complement.

ERGATIVE VERB : These verbs are used transitively and intransitively with different kinds of subjects. Eg: She opened the door.  The door opened.

EVENT VERB:  Event verbs denote actions. Eg, come , go, play,  run, do, drink.

FINITE VERB: A finite verb changes with tense, number, person of the subject and forms an essential part of the sentence.

INTRANSITIVE VERB : Intransitive verbs are verbs which can complete their meaning  without an object. These are used in active voice only and may take a complement.

IRREGULAR VERBS: If a verb does not require the addition of ed, d or t  to form the past tense ,it is a strong verb, which are also called irregular verbs. Eg: eaten, driven, spoken.

MAIN VERB : Main verbs are base verbs which are used as full verbs .

MODALS : Modals are auxiliary verbs which are used along with main verbs to form a sentence.

PERFORMATIVE VERB : Verbs like ‘request’, ‘forbid’, ‘inform’ , ‘promise’, ‘apologize’, ‘thank’  that clearly state the kind of act being performed are called performative verb. It usually begins with ‘I’.

PHRASAL VERB: A type of verb which works like a phrase is called a phrasal verb. Eg: go up, come down, put down.

QUASI-PASSIVE VERB : These verbs are active in form but passive in sense. Eg: Wheat sells cheap.- Wheat is sold cheap.

Honey tastes sweet.- Honey is sweet when tasted.

REGULAR VERB : All the above verbs end with ‘ed’, ‘d’ or ‘t’ in the past tense which was changed from the present tense with or without any change of the side vowel. These verbs are called regular verbs or weak verbs.

TRANSITIVE VERB :  A transitive verb is a word that denotes an action which passes from the subject to the object: These verbs cannot complete their meaning without object and can be used in active as well as passive voice.

The girl kicked the ball.
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