What is a Verb?

Read this article to know the Verb in English Grammar. Should we begin?

Every day we do a lot of work or think about our future Mercedes or dream about something that will never happen “If I were a bird!”

These all are actions. Thus a verb is a part of speech that represents action. Actions can be of three types:

  1. Physical Action, like swimming, playing, sleeping, bathing, laughing, weeping etc.
  2. Mental Action, like thinking, believing, dreaming, guessing, supposing etc.
  3. State of being, (also known as Linking Verbs or Auxillary Verbs) like is, was, were etc. These verbs describe situations that exist and are thus inactive.
  • 10 Examples of Verb

Now that we have understood What is Verb, let us look at these 10 examples to understand the use of Verb.

  1. He goes to Pizza Hut.
  2. She drank Mountain Dew.
  3. I take bath in winters.
  4. We visit Bhangarh Fort in the night.
  5. I am thinking about my iPhone 20.
  6. He believes that he is the best.
  7. They guessed that I punished him.
  8. PK is a movie.
  9. Politicians are honest.
  10. She was very rich.

In the examples above, the sentences 1-4 depict Physical Actions, 5-7 depict Mental Actions and 8-10 depict State of Mind.

  • Forms of Verbs in English

A verb has mainly four forms. These forms are used in the Tenses. So we should understand them carefully.

1) Simple or Root Form: It is the basic form of verb. e.g. eat, fall, think, sleep, play, listen, hear, speak, cry etc.

2) Third Person Singular: In the present indefinite tense, a verb used with third-person singular (He/She/It/Person’s name) ends in –or –es i.e. We add or es in the end of the simple verb. e.g. eat becomes eats, drink becomes drinks, go becomes goes, play becomes plays.

3) Present Participle: A present participle verb is formed by adding – ing to the root verb. Present participle verb depicts that is continuous and going on. e.g. eating, laughing, playing etc.

4) Past: These verbs represent past action. Past form of the verb is only used in Past Indefinite Tense. e.g. See becomes Saw, Eat becomes Ate, Grow becomes Grew etc.

5) Past Participle: These verbs represent an action that had, have or will have completed. e.g. Eat becomes Eaten, Go becomes Gone etc.

Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs

We have discussed that there are five forms of the verb, however, generally, we considered three forms of verb i.e. Present, Past, and Past Participle. Based on this there are two types of verbs.

  1. Regular verbs: Those verbs which form their past tense and past participle by adding -ed. 
  2. Irregular verbs: Those verbs which form their past tense and past participle in a different way. The irregular verbs can have all the three forms same, two forms same or all the forms different.

Below are some verbs that we should memorize.

  • Types of Verb

Main Verb

In the beginning, we learned about Physical and Mental Actions. The verbs that depict these actions are called Main Verbs. These verbs can be divided into two types:

  • Transitive Verbs: 

A transitive verb is that which requires an object to complete its sense. It carries the action of the subject and applies to an object. In other words, transitive verbs tell what the subject does to something else. The following examples describe the use of transitive verbs.

In these sentences, if we remove the objects, the sentence becomes incomplete (e.g. He brought…what?) Hence the object is required.

  • Intransitive Verbs:

An intransitive verb is that which doesn’t require an object to make the sense complete. In other words, it doesn’t require the subject’s doing something to something or someone else. The following examples describe the use of intransitive verbs.

  1. He danced.
  2. They walked.
  3. She ran away.

In these sentences, there is no need for an object.

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxillary verbs or  Linking verbs are those which don’t express any action but describe conditions or situations that exist. There are two types of auxiliary verbs:

  • Primary

Following are the primary auxiliaries:

We’ll discuss their use in Tenses chapter.

  • Modals

They express the degree of certainty of the action in a sentence. They help other verbs to express a meaning. They convey no meanings by themselves. Some common modals are may, might, can, could, will, shall, would, should, must, need, dare, ought to, used to.