A Verb is a word that expresses an action or a state or being. There are three kinds of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary verbs.
1. The mother is feeding the baby.
2. The foolish crow tried to sing.
3. He is a voracious reader.
KINDS OF VERBS:
An Action Verb describes the behaviour or action of someone or something. Action verbs may represent physical actions or mental activities.
Jamil ran all the way home with the news.
The herd of cattle thundered toward us. (Ran and thundered refer to physical actions.)
Ida studies until late last nigh.
Most of the critics admire the new musical comedy. [Studies and admire refer to mental activities.]
A Linking Verb connects a noun or a pronoun with a word or words that identify or describe that noun or pronoun. Many linking verbs are verbs of being, which are formed from the verb be.
Lucy Stone was an American reformer of the nineteenth century. [Was links reformer to Lucy Stone.]
The sofa along the far wall and the rocking chair in the corner are quite comfortable. [Are links the descriptive word comfortable to sofa and to rocking chair.]
There are several linking verbs in addition to be. To tell whether a word is a linking verb, you can substitute a form of be for it. A list of linking verbs follows:
Appear grow seem stay
Become look smell taste
Feel remain sound
Our hockey team seems ready for the game tonight. [Think: our team is ready.]
The extinction of dinosaurs remains a mystery to scientists. [Think: Extinction is a mystery.]
Some verbs can be either action verbs or linking verbs, as in the following examples.
Action: Jafar appeared from nowhere when his mother called. [Appeared describes an action.]
Linking: The department store appears rather crowded tonight.
[Think: The store is crowded.]
Sometimes a verb needs the help of another verb, called an auxiliary verb or a helping verb. The verb that it helps is called the main verb. Together, a main verb and an auxiliary verb form a verb phrase. A verb phrase may have more than one auxiliary verb. Common auxiliary verbs appear in the following list.
am, are, be, been, is, was, were may, might
can, could must
do, does, did shall, should
have, has, had will, would
In the following examples, the auxiliary verbs are in italic type, and the main verbs are in boldface type. Not and never are not part of the verb phrase.
The teachers of
have written a handbook for new students. Central High School
The Kahns will not be moving to
after all. London
How many satellites does the
launch every year? United States
List of the most common linking verbs:
Current Linking Verbs:
Appear John appeared happy when the company promoted him.
Be The graduate students are in Classroom South, Room 106.
Feel She felt really happy with the new baby.
Lie The pieces lay scattered over the floor.
Look This person looks really tired.
Remain Everybody remained silent for a few minutes.
Seem This secretary seems (to be) very efficient.
Smell That perfume smelled so fresh.
Sound She sounded very surprised when she heard the news.
Stay Everybody stayed calm when the fire alarm went off.
Taste this grapefruit tastes very bitter.
Resulting Linking Verbs:
Become He became a successful business man.
Get She got upset with her students.
Grow The professor grew unhappy because the students were not listening well.
Fall My brother fell in love at the party.
Prove The new secretary proved (to be) very friendly.
Run The children ran wild.
Turn The milk turned sour.
Dynamic and Stative Verbs:
The verbs which describe action are called “Dynamic Verbs”. They can be used in Continuous Tenses.
1. He is writing fast.
2. Prices of food items are going up.
Some verbs describe a state (non-action, situation). They are called “Stative Verbs”. They cannot normally be used with Continuous Tenses.
Note: Some of the stative verbs can be used with Continuous tenses with a change in meaning.
1. I hear a strange noise.
2. We like black coffee.
3. Every body loves his motherland.
(A) Dynamic Verb: They can be further divided into various groups:
(i) Activity Verbs: ask, beg, call, drink, eat, play, read, write, work, throw.
(ii) Process Verbs: change, grow, mature, widen, deteriorate.
(iii) Verbs of Bodily ache, feel, hurt, itch.
(iv) Momentary Verbs: hit, jump, knock, nod, kick, fall, land.
(B) Stative Verbs: The main division of stative verbs is as under:
(a) Verbs of Perception and Cognitions: desire, detest, doubt, guess, intend, imagine, regard, see, smell, think, understand, want, wish.
(b) Relational Verbs: belong, contain, depend, fit, involve, include, possess, resemble, seem, etc.
The difference between stative and dynamic in terms of “willed” and “nonwilled” qualities. Consider the difference between a so-called dynamic adjective (or subject complement) and a stative adjective (or subject complement):
“I am silly” or “I am being silly”.
Versus “I am tall”. I have chosen to be silly; I have no choice about being tall. Thus ‘tall” is said to be a stative (or an “inert”) quality, and we cannot say “I am being tall”. “silly”, on the other hand, is dynamic so we can use progressive verb forms in conjunction with that quality.
The same applies to verbs. Two plus two equals four. Equals is inert, stative, and cannot take the progressive; there is no choice, no volition in the matter. (We would not say, “Two plus two is equaling four.”)
Kinds of Verbs:
Transitive Verb (Passing Over):
A Transitive Verb is a verb that denotes or describes an action which passes over from the doer or subject to an object or affects something or someone.
The boy reads his book. (reads what? his book)
He ate a banana. (ate what? a banana)
The object is the noun or noun equivalent that receives the action of the verb. To find object in the sentence, put what or whom after the verb. The object is of a transitive verb is called a direct object. Some verb can only be used transitively.
i. He made something (Not he made.)
ii. I like it. ( Not I like.)
iii. The car hit a tree. (Not the car hit.)
iv. He brought the book. (Not he brought.)
Intransitive Verb (Not Passing Over):
(The verb that does not take an object)
An Intransitive Verb is a verb that denotes or describes an action which does not pass over to an object.
i. The baby sleeps. (Sleep what? no answer)
ii. The boy is running. (The action of running doesn’t take place on anything else but the boy himself.
Note: We cannot form a passive sentence from an intransitive verb.
Intransitive verbs are not usually followed by direct objects. They need only the subject to make a sentence.
i. He slept. (Not he slept something.)
ii. She fell out of the tree. (Not she fell the tree.)
Many transitive verbs can be used intransitively without an object, but the object is still understood to be there.
I am drinking (tea, water, etc.)
Some verbs (e.g. walk, run, work, pass) can be used transitively and intransitively to express different meanings: many verbs can be either transitive or intransitive depending on the meaning and context:
i. He is running.
ii. He ran a long race.
Verbs Active in form, but Passive in sense:
Transitive verbs are sometimes used in a Passive sense without being put into the Passive Voice.
1. Verbs with a Complement:
i. The stone feels rough (is rough when it is felt.
ii. Honey tastes sweet (is sweet when it is tasted).
iii. The milk smells sour (is sour when it is smelt).
iv. Your blame counts for nothing (is worth nothing when it is counted).
v. Your composition reads well (sounds well when it is read).
vi. The house does not let (is not taken when it is meant to be let).
vii. The horse does not sell ( is not taken when it is meant to be sold).
viii. That cloth will never thin (will become thin when it is worn).
2. Verbs without a Complement:
i. The house is building (= is in a state of being built)
ii. The trumpets are sounding (= are being sounded).
iii. The cannons are firing (= is being fired).
iv. The drums are beating (= are being beaten).
v. The house is finishing (= is being finished).
vi. The book is printing (= is being printed).
vii. The cows are milking (= are being milked).