Recognize Verbs

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A verb is a word that expresses an action or a state of being and is necessary to make a statement. In other words for a sentence to be complete and correct it must contain a verb that is in agreement with the subject noun. Verbs come in many kinds that can be easily identified.

Action Verbs. These tell what someone or someone does. In English which is a Subject Verb Object (SVO) language the verb usually comes after the subject noun and must agree with it. Physical action: “The chorus ‘sang’ the new song” Mental action: “The chorus ‘liked’ the new song.

Transitive Verbs. These are followed by a word or words that answer the question ‘what? or whom?’. E.g.”She ‘spoke’ the words of the challenge.” [The verb ‘spoke’ is followed by the noun ‘words’, which answers the question ‘what?’]

Intransitive Verbs. These are not followed by a word which answers the question ‘what? or whom? E.g.”She ‘spoke’ clearly. [the verb is by a word that tells how.]

Linking Verbs. These link or join the subject of a sentence (often a noun or a pronoun) with a noun, a pronoun, or an adjective that identifies or describes the subject. A linking verb does not show action. E.g. “The tailor ‘is’ an expert.” “This spring ‘has been’ rainy.”

Verb Phrases. The verb in a sentence may consist of more than one word. The words that accompany the main verb are called auxiliary, or helping, verbs. A verb phrase consists of the main verb and all its auxiliary, or helping, verbs. some examples are: forms of BE, am, is, are, was, were, being, been. forms of HAVE, has, have, had, having. Other Auxiliaries: can, could, do, does, did, may, might, shall, should, must, will, would. e.g. “We ‘had expected’ the letter for days.” “You ‘should exercise’ daily.”


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