Can you sing or dance? Do you exist? Have you ever wondered how the world began? Well, even if none of these questions resonate with you, these are all types of verbs.
Verbs are essential to the English language and important when learning English as a foreign language. They indicate actions, occurrences, and states of being and are used in almost every independent clause or a simple sentence.
Verbs, like almost any grammatical structure, have different uses and aims. In their base form, verbs are called infinitives and start with the word; to.
Want some common verbs for kids? Try out one of these.
Different types of verbs can be used in the past form, present, gerund, future, or in modal form. They can also be regular or irregular, a singular verb or a plural one. But don’t worry, continue reading, and you’ll be a verb pro in no time!
Physical verbs are action verbs. Meaning that they demonstrate a physical action that is taking place. Anything that you can do or see physically is most likely a type of this simple verb.
Even if the action itself doesn’t seem particularly active, for example:
It’s still a physical verb because it’s an action that is being used to demonstrate what someone is going to do physically, in this case, to vote in the coming elections.
Verbs can also be used to express a state of being. These types of verbs are also commonly referred to as linking verbs. They define specific states of existence, where the noun is identified by who, what, why, and or how. They can be used in three different tenses; past, present, and future, but they will change their grammatical form depending on the type of tense.
The states of being verbs are:
And here’s how they are used according to each tense phrase.
|State Of Being Verb
|First Person Singular (I)
|I am here
|Third Person Singular (He/She/It)
|He is in Italy right now.
|First Person Plural (We) and Second Person, Singular and Plural (You,) and Third Person Plural (They)
|You are an intelligent person.
|First Person Singular (I) and Third Person Singular (He/She/It)
|He/she was working yesterday.
|First Person Plural (We) and Third Person Plural (They)
|We were on holiday.
|All pronouns + will / shall
|We will be going to France next year.
|Past and Present Tense
|All Past Tense - Pronoun + is/ am/are: Present Tense - Pronoun + was/were:
|We were being difficult
|Past Participle of ‘Be’.Past Tense
|They have been to South America.
As you can see, these types of verbs can be used in questions, statements, or simply comments, and they can indicate a state of being that can’t change, a future plan, or something that is true for right now. Basically, they express a period of time.
Verbs are great! They help us to describe an action or state of being. See if you can put the correct verb into the flashcards.
There are plenty of verbs to learn; check them out here.
These verbs are often described as helping verbs and do exactly that; they help other verbs to give us an idea of mood, grammar tense, and passive or active voice.
Mental verbs refer to the actions carried out by our minds. These verb phrases refer to things that cannot be seen unless the subject tells us.
You will often see and hear modal verbs without realizing it. They are verb phrases that express the ability to do something or the possibility of it. Modal verbs are a type of auxiliary verb and therefore help the other parts of a clause.
Stative verbs are stationary. They are rarely used in the continuous form (ing) and work with unspecified time.
These verbs are a little trickier to understand, so we've put them into a higher-grade category. However, if you want to learn about them, keep reading.
Unlike mental verbs, a transitive verb needs an object in the form of a noun or pronoun in order to work and receive action. Transitive verbs show who or what receives the action in a sentence.
Intransitive verbs don’t need an indirect or direct object to function; in fact, using one straight after the intransitive verb will make the sentence sound weird. Intransitive verbs aren't done to someone; they only have a subject.
‘Break’ by itself means the destruction of something, and ‘off’ is a prepositional phrase. Together, the word means the end of something, normally a relationship or a piece of something.
Want some more examples for each type of verb? Flip the flashcards.
There are quite a few rules to learn when it comes to English verb grammar. Here are a few things to get you started.
Like any other language, English also has irregular and regular verbs. In the past simple and past participle, regular verbs follow the same pattern.
1. With regular verbs ending in -y, we add an -I + ed.
2. With regular verbs ending in -e, we add a -d.
However, irregular verbs don’t have a specific pattern and so require more memorization.
As you can see, sometimes the verb doesn’t change from its infinitive when expressed in the past simple or past participle, but there isn’t a fast or hard rule to get around it. Irregular verbs, in general, require practice.
This tense phrase is normally used for actions that started in the past and are ongoing.
1. With most verbs, we add an -s at the end; these are known as singular verbs.
2. If the verb ends in a consonant + y, we add an -ies.
3. If a word ends in either -s, -z, ch, or an x, we add -es.
Now, let's have a look at active and passive verbs. When we discuss active and passive verbs, we are really talking about voicings. Who is performing the action? Who is the subject?
Take a look at these two sample sentences:
In the first example, the subject is the dog and is performing the action of biting. This sentence is written using an active voice, therefore uses 'bit,' an active verb.
In the second example, Adam is the subject and is not performing an action. So, we use the passive voice and the passive verb, 'bitten.’
See, verbs aren’t so confusing when it's broken down like this. With practice and a little hard work, you will soon be a verb connoisseur and concoct your own simple sentences in no time!
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