” This is a word that shows an action, an event or a state of being.”

Verb is derived from the Latin word “verbum” which means action.

In primary section, verb is often taught to us as ‘action word’, so that we can understand it easily. But as we reach higher classes, we understand that verb is not just an action word but it also shows an event or a state of being.

Verb is considered as an important part of speech as each and every sentence consists of at least one verb.

It is very easy to locate verb as it is often positioned after noun or pronoun.

For eg: Sara ran after her dog. ( Here, verb ‘ran’ is given after the noun ‘Sara’ )

The main function of verb is to describe what the subject is doing. And it also provides us with additional information like tense or voice of the sentence.

And because of its importance, verb is considered as the heart of English language.

Without verb it is impossible to make a sentence, but sometimes verb itself can be a sentence.

For eg: Sing. ( Here, even though sing is the only word, it is implied that ‘you’ is the subject. Thus, ‘Sing’ is a sentence in itself )

Verbs are mainly of three types :

  1. Main Verbs
  2. Helping Verbs
  3. Linking Verbs

Now, let us study about them in detail.

Main Verbs

It is also known as ‘Action verbs’, as it is used to express action, something that an animal, thing or a person does.

The action can be either physical or mental action.

For eg: Ram raises his hand. ( Here, raises is a physical action )

For eg: She thinks about poetry all day long. ( Here, thinks is a mental action )

The main verbs are of two types : Transitive and Intransitive

Transitive Verb

The transitive verb transfers its action to someone or something.

The receiver of this action is known as ‘Direct Object’.

It expresses doable activities that relate or affect someone or something.

Eg: Rani eats cookies. ( Here, ‘eats’ is a transitive verb as it affects the direct object ‘cookies’ )

Intransitive Verb

Intransitive Verb also refers to doable activities but there is no direct object.

It does not transfer its action to anyone or anything.

They make sense without transferring their action.

For eg: Rani eats to stay healthy. ( Here, ‘eats’ is the intransitive verb as it doesn’t transfer its action )

Transitive OR Intransitive ?

To identify whether a given verb is transitive or intransitive, you have to follow certain steps.

  1. Spot the verb in the sentence.
  2. Ask the question, ” What is receiving the action of the verb?”
  3. If direct object is present-> Transitive verb
  4. If direct object is absent-> Intransitive verb

Helping Verb

It is also known as ‘auxiliary verb’.

As the name suggests, it helps the main verb.

It gives some context to the main verb.

It shows the tense or helps to form a question or negative sentence.

For eg: Hari is going to Surat tomorrow. ( Here, helping verb ‘is’ with main verb ‘going’ tells that the sentence is in present continuous tense )

We can convert this sentence into a question ( Is Hari going to Surat tomorrow? ) or a negative ( Hari is not going to Surat tomorrow )

Helping Verb has two categories: Modal Verbs and Phrasal Verbs

Modal Verb

It is used to express possibilities, abilities, permissions, obligations, etc.

For eg: He can shoot a three point shot easily. ( Here, ‘can’ is used to show the ability of the person )

The most important thing about Modal Verbs is that unlike other verbs, they never change their forms. You can use Modals in any tense, but it will remain in its original form only.

Phrasal Verb

It is a combination of two words that are used together to take on a different meaning to that of the original verb.

Main Verb + Adverb/Preposition = Phrasal Verb

Each time the verb takes up different word, the meaning changes.

For eg: Naina looks after her grandmother. ( ‘looks after’ means to take care of )

For eg: Don’t look down on poor people. ( ‘look down’ means to show contempt )

Linking Verb

It expresses a state or sensory experience.

It is also known as ‘stative verb’.

It typically relates to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, etc.

It links subject to a noun or an adjective.

For eg: I believe that everything happens for a reason. ( Here, ‘believe’ is the linking verb )

People often consider linking verb and main verb as one and the same. But the difference is main verbs refer to physical or mental action while linking verbs refer to mental action only.

Published by Priya Prakash

In the midst of winter, i found there was within me an invincible summer ~ Albert Camus

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