Verbs are words that name an action or describe a state of being. Verbs are seriously important, because there's no way to have a sentence without them.
While we're on the topic, every sentence must have two parts: a subject and a predicate.
There are four basic types of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, helping verbs, verb phrases.
Verbs are words that name an action or describe a state of being.
The action of an action verb can be a visible action (such as gamble, walk, kvetch) or a mental action (such as think, learn, cogitate).
To determine if a verb is transitive, ask yourself, “Who?” or “What?” after the verb. If you can find an answer in the sentence, the verb is transitive.
Action verbs tell what the subject does. For example: jump, kiss, laugh.
An action verb can be transitive or intransitive. Transitive verbs need a direct object.
Intransitive verbs do not need a direct object.
Linking verbs join the subject and the predicate. Linking verbs do not show action. Instead, they help the words at the end of the sentence name and describe the subject. Here are the most common linking verbs: be, feel, grow, seem, smell, remain, appear, sound, stay, look, taste, turn, become.
Although small in size as well as number, linking verbs are used a great deal. Here are two typical examples:
To determine whether a verb is being used as a linking verb or an action verb, use am, are, or is for the verb. If the sentence makes sense with the substitution, the original verb is a linking verb.
Many linking verbs can also be used as action verbs. For example:
Helping verbs are added to another verb to make the meaning clearer. Helping verbs include any form of to be. Here are some examples: do, does, did, have, has, had, shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might, must.
Verb phrases are made of one main verb and one or more helping verbs.
Identify each of the verbs in the following sentences. Remember to look for action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs.
One more time, with gusto! Underline the verbs in each of these sentences.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.