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Verb-Definiton, Types, Examples, and Usage in Sentences

March 29, 2024

What is Verb?

A word which shows an action, state, condition, possession or presence of a thing/person called verb.

image showing What is Verb?

The Word “Verb” comes from Latin word “Verbum”. A verb is a part of speech that expresses existence, action or occurrence of a Subject or an object. In other words, it is used to tell what a subject or an object does or is. The verb is the heart of a sentence and is a vital part of the predicate of a sentence.

Example:

1. He is writing a letter. (Action)

2. Karachi is a beautiful city. (State)

3. She has a car. (Possession)

4. There is milk in the jug. (Presence)

5. There wasn’t milk in the jug. (Absence)

Types of Verb

Here are the main types of Verb:

1.  Action Verbs

Action verbs express physical or mental actions. They describe what the subject is doing or what is happening.

image showing what is action verb, and a few examples of mental and physical verbs

Usage in Sentences

  • John ran to the park.
  • She studied for the exam.
  • The dog barked at the squirrel.
  • love reading books.
  • They decided to go on a trip.

2. Compound Verbs

Compound verbs are formed by combining a verb with one or more auxiliary verbs (helping verbs) to create a single verb phrase.

Usage in Sentences

  • have been working on this project for two weeks. (present perfect continuous)
  • They will be leaving for vacation tomorrow. (future continuous)
  • She had already finished her homework. (past perfect)
  • We should have studied harder for the exam. (modal + perfect)
  • He might have been waiting for us there. (modal + perfect continuous)

3. Linking Verbs

Linking verbs connect the subject to a word or phrase that identifies or describes the subject. They do not express action but relate to the subject’s state of being.

image showing what is linking Verb and its usage in sentnece
A word which shows an action, state, condition, possession or presence of a thing/person called verb.

Usage in Sentences

  1. She is a teacher.
  2. The cake looks delicious.
  3. The weather became sunny.
  4. His answer seemed correct.
  5. The room felt warm.

4. Helping Verbs

Helping verbs (also called auxiliary verbs) are used with main verbs to express tense, mood, or voice. They have no meaning on their own but help form the complete verb.

Usage in Sentences

  1. have finished my homework.
  2. She will visit her grandparents.
  3. They should clean their room.
  4. We were playing outside.
  5. He can speak three languages.

5. Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are combinations of a verb and a preposition or adverb that have a meaning different from the individual words. They are idiomatic expressions.

Usage in Sentences

  1. She turned off the light.
  2. ran into my old friend.
  3. They looked up the word in the dictionary.
  4. He put on his coat.
  5. We came across an interesting book.

6. Regular Verbs

Regular verbs form their past tense and past participle by adding “-ed” to the present tense form.

Usage in Sentences

  • walked to the store yesterday.
  • She listened to the music carefully.
  • They planned a surprise party.
  • He watched a movie last night.
  • We cleaned the house on the weekend.

7. Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs don’t follow a set rule for forming the past tense and past participle. They have their own unique forms that need to be memorized.

Usage in Sentences

  • She sang a beautiful song.
  • They ate the entire cake.
  • The glass broke when it fell.
  • He forgot to bring his keys.
  • saw a shooting star last night.

8. Stative Verbs

Stative verbs describe a state or condition rather than an action. They express emotions, senses, possession, or mental states.

Usage in Sentences

  • like chocolate.
  • She knows the answer.
  • The room smells nice.
  • They own a house.
  • He appears tired.

9. Modal Verbs

Modal verbs express ideas such as ability, permission, possibility, obligation, or necessity. They are used with other verbs to modify their meaning.

image showing what is Modal Verbs and a few examples
A word which shows an action, state, condition, possession or presence of a thing/person called verb.

Usage in Sentences

  • You can use my pen.
  • We must follow the rules.
  • They might visit us next week.
  • should study harder.
  • He would like to travel abroad.

10. Infinitive Verbs

Infinitive verbs are the base form of verbs, usually preceded by “to.” They can function as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs in a sentence.

Usage in Sentences

  • I want to learn a new language.
  • His desire to succeed motivated him.
  • They have the ability to adapt quickly.
  • The best way to solve the problem is to work together.
  • She promised to help us.

11. Gerund Verbs

Gerunds are the -ing form of verbs that function as nouns in a sentence.

Usage in Sentences

  • Reading is one of her hobbies.
  • He enjoys hiking in the mountains.
  • Cooking requires patience.
  • Swimming is a great exercise.
  • They discussed starting a new business.

12. Participle Verbs

Participles are verb forms that function as adjectives. They can be present participles (-ing) or past participles (-ed, -en, -d, -t, -n).

Usage in Sentences

  • The barking dog woke me up. (present participle)
  • The broken vase was on the floor. (past participle)
  • The running stream was refreshing. (present participle)
  • She ate the baked cookies. (past participle)
  • The falling leaves covered the ground. (present participle)

Verb Usage Rules

Here are some rules to follow use verb:

  1. Subject-Verb Agreement – The verb must agree with its subject in number (singular or plural). For example, “She runs” but “They run.”
  2. Consistency in Tense – Keep verb tenses consistent within the same time frame. Don’t shift randomly between past, present, and future tenses.
  3. Use Correct Form – Use the correct form of the verb for its context. For example, “I have gone” not “I have went.”
  4. Avoid Double Negatives – Two negatives make a positive, so avoid using two negatives in the same clause. For example, say “I don’t have any” instead of “I don’t have none.”
  5. Watch for Irregular Verbs – Some verbs have irregular past tense or past participle forms that don’t follow the regular -ed pattern. For example, “went” not “goed” for the past tense of “go.”
  6. Mindful of Verb Phrases – Verb phrases use helping verbs like “is,” “have,” “will” along with the main verb. Make sure these agree in number.
  7. Use Modal Verbs Wisely – Modal auxiliary verbs like “can,” “should,” “must” change the meaning, so use them precisely based on intended meaning.
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