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 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.
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, carry on reading and you’ll soon 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.
Some simple sample sentences:
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 physically do, 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 will change their form depending on the type of tense.
The states of being verbs are:
And here’s how they are used according to the 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.|
Sample sentences with states of being verbs:
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.
Mental verbs are exactly that, they refer to the actions carried out by our minds and are mostly used with unprogressive tenses, meaning they don’t indicate a continuous tense or action. These verb phrases refer to things that cannot be seen unless the subject tells us.
Sample sentences with Mental Verbs:
Unlike mental verbs, a transitive verb needs an object in order to work and receive an action. Transitive verbs can also be used with more than one object, and this can be an indirect object or a direct one.
Sample sentences with Transitive Verbs:
Intransitive verbs however 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. For example:
The simple sentence would be:
Sample sentences with Intransitive Verbs:
These verbs are often described as helping verbs and they do exactly that, they aid other verbs by expressing a verb tense, mood, or voice.
Sample sentences with Auxiliary 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.
Sample sentences with Modal Verbs:
Stative verbs are stationary, they are rarely used in the continuous form (ing) and work with unspecified time. For example, it’s not:
It its correct form it would be:
Sample sentences with Stative 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. For example the verbal phrase:
‘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.
Sample words with Phrasal 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. For example with the regular verb to:
In its correct form, it becomes:
With regular verbs ending in -y we add an -i + ed.
With regular verbs ending in -e we add a -d.
Sample sentences with Regular Verbs:
However, irregular verbs don’t have a specific pattern and so require more memorization. For example, with the irregular verb ‘To:’
Sample sentences with Irregular Verbs:
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. To form the present perfect tense we use have/has + the past participle. 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.
Sample sentences with Present Perfect Tense:
The simple present verb tense is normally used to talk about things that are happening now or that happen often. With most verbs we add an -s at the end, these are known as singular verbs. For example:
If the verb ends in a consonant + y we add an -ies. For example:
If a word ends in either, -s, -z, ch, or an x, we add -es. For example:
However, there are a few exceptions for example:
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.’
Here are some more examples of active and passive verbs:
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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