Verb Examples: Definition & Common Types in The English Language

Verb Examples for Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle Schoolers, and ESL

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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.

Common Verbs For Kids

Want some common verbs for kids? Try out one of these.

  1. To sing
  2. To dance
  3. To be (I am, she is, he is)
  4. To begin 
  5. To call
  6. To love 
  7. To go
  8. To leave
  9. To jump
  10. To balance

Different Types Of Verbs

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!

Action Verbs

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.

  1. Zoe sat on the sofa.
  2. I can see the train coming.
  3. The boy ran to catch the bus.
  4. I go to my Grandmas's on Wednesdays.
  5. Can you carry this box?

Even if the action itself doesn’t seem particularly active, for example:

  • I’m going to vote in the coming elections.

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.

States of Being Verbs

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:

  • Am
  • Is
  • Are
  • Was
  • Were
  • To Be
  • Being
  • Been

And here’s how they are used according to each tense phrase.

State Of Being Verb Verb Tense Used for Example
Am Present Tense First Person Singular (I) I am here
Is Present Tense Third Person Singular (He/She/It) He is in Italy right now.
Are Present Tense First Person Plural (We) and Second Person, Singular and Plural (You,) and Third Person Plural (They) You are an intelligent person.
Was Past Tense First Person Singular (I) and Third Person Singular (He/She/It) He/she was working yesterday.
Were Past Tense First Person Plural (We) and Third Person Plural (They) We were on holiday.
To Be Future Tense All pronouns + will / shall We will be going to France next year.
Being Past and Present Tense All Past Tense - Pronoun + is/ am/are: Present Tense - Pronoun + was/were: We were being difficult
Been Past Participle of ‘Be’.Past Tense All They have been to South America.
SOURCE: Word Tips

States of Being Examples

  1. I am a student.
  2. He is a mechanic.
  3. We are in the supermarket. 
  4. She was here yesterday. 
  5. Where were you last night?
  6. They were at the cinema. 
  7. To be afraid is to be scared of something.
  8. We will be going to the concert tonight.
  9. Are you being difficult again? 
  10. Have you been to Europe?

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.

Verb Flashcards

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.

Other Types of Verbs Grades 4-6

There are plenty of verbs to learn; check them out here.

Auxiliary Verbs - Definition and Examples

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.

  1. That was the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten!
  2. He is a great football player.
  3. They might be there on time. 
  4. Could you open the door?
  5. Did you enjoy the concert?

Mental Verbs - Definition and Examples

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.

  • Decide
  • Think
  • Expect
  • Remember

Mental Verb Examples

  1. I am thinking.
  2. We are deciding.
  3. She is expecting a parcel today.
  4. They are reflecting on the decision they made.
  5. He is pausing to think.

Modal Verbs

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.

  • Must (something you have to do)
  • Might (maybe)
  • Could (possibility)

Modal Verb Examples

  1. I must remember to switch off the lights. 
  2. She might go to the party.
  3. I should speak to her more.
  4. I would like to go on an adventure. 
  5. I may be able to come.
  6. Could you cook tonight?
  7. I ought to text her back. 
  8. I will let you know ASAP.
  9. Can you speak Spanish?
  10. I shall help you to the best of my ability.

Stative Verbs - Definition and Examples

Stative verbs are stationary. They are rarely used in the continuous form (ing) and work with unspecified time.

  • I was believing in him. ❌
  • I believed him. ✅

Stative Verb Examples

  1. She explained it to me. 
  2. I want a new school bag. 
  3. I don’t mind!
  4. I like my new job. 
  5. I doubt that’s true.

Verbs for Grades 6+

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.

Transitive Verbs - Definition and Examples

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.

  • Discuss (talk about something in detail)
  • Give (offer, award, present)
  • Bring (take)
  • Squeeze (hold tightly)
  1. The class discussed school uniforms. (school uniforms is the direct object)
  2. She borrowed my black jacket but hasn’t given it back yet. ( a black jacket is the direct object)
  3. Mom gave my auntie a new necklace for her birthday. (my auntie is the direct object)
  4. The charity will raise money online for the upcoming project. (money is the direct object)
  5. Can you bring a potluck dish to the event tomorrow? (potluck is the direct object )
  6. She squeezed me tight. (me is the direct object)

Intransitive Verbs

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.

Intransitive Verb Examples

  1. The bus stopped.
  2. The people waited.
  3. The child smiled.
  4. She listened.
  5. The plane took off.
  6. The joke wasn't funny, and nobody laughed.

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs take a verb and an adverb or a preposition and stick them together. Together these two words create a whole new word with a different meaning.

  • Breakoff

‘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.

Phrasal Verb Examples

  1. Carry on (keep doing something)
  2. Come back (to return)
  3. Fill up (put in liquid or gas until capacity)
  4. Come on (let's go)
  5. Hold on (wait up)

Verb Examples Flashcards Grades 6+

Want some more examples for each type of verb? Flip the flashcards.

Irregular vs. Regular Verbs

There are quite a few rules to learn when it comes to English verb grammar. Here are a few things to get you started.

Regular Verbs

Like any other language, English also has irregular and regular verbs. In the past simple and past participle, regular verbs follow the same pattern.

  • Walk (Infinitive) In its correct form, it becomes walked.

1. With regular verbs ending in -y, we add an -I + ed.

  • Marry becomes married in the past simple.

2. With regular verbs ending in -e, we add a -d.

  • Hate becomes hated.

Regular Verb Examples

  1. I hated my teacher at school. 
  2. She studied a lot. 
  3. I asked him to clean his room.
  4. Have you called your mom yet?
  5. He was worried about his exam.

Irregular Verbs

However, irregular verbs don’t have a specific pattern and so require more memorization.

  • Run (Infinitive) It becomes ran.

Irregular Verb Examples

  1. They bought a car yesterday. (Buy)
  2. We got the house. (Get)
  3. We had pancakes for breakfast. (Have)
  4. We made pizza for dinner. (Make)
  5. She said she didn’t want to come. (Said)

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.

Present Perfect Verb Tense

This tense phrase is normally used for actions that started in the past and are ongoing.

  1. To form the present perfect tense, we use have/has + the past participle.
  2. To make regular verbs, we use the same formula as above, i.e., regular verbs ending in -y become -ied, and regular verbs ending in -e become -d.

Present Perfect Tense Examples

  1. She has cooked dinner. 
  2. We have asked for the bill.
  3. They have waited a long time for this.

Simple Present Verb Tense

The simple present verb tense is normally used to talk about things that are happening now or that happen often.

1. With most verbs, we add an -s at the end; these are known as singular verbs.

  • Live becomes lives
  • Sit becomes sits
  • Dance becomes dances

2. If the verb ends in a consonant + y, we add an -ies.

  • Try becomes tries
  • Marry becomes marries
  • Apply becomes applies

3. If a word ends in either -s, -z, ch, or an x, we add -es.

  • Buzz becomes buzzes 
  • Bus becomes buses 
  • Clutch becomes clutches 
  • Fox becomes foxes

4. Exceptions

  • Go becomes goes 
  • Do becomes does

Active vs. Passive Verbs

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:

  • The dog bit Adam.
  • Adam was bitten by the dog.

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.’

Here are some more examples of active and passive verbs:

  • Active: John changed the light bulb.
    Passive: The light bulb was changed by John.
  • Active: She is going to watch a play tonight.
  • Passive: A play is going to be watched by her tonight.
  • Active: I ran the fastest lap today.
  • Passive: The fastest lap was run by me today.


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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