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Parts of Speech: Verbs

Most verbs are action words. Some are linking.

A verb is the most important word in a sentence. Without the verb, the sentence wouldn’t make much sense. The verb tells us what the subject (person or thing) is doing or being.

Verbs, Subjects, and Objects

All sentences require both a subject and a verb. The subject is the person or thing (noun or pronoun) that is doing the action (the verb). Some sentences also have one or more objects. THere are two kinds of objects: direct and indirect. A direct object is the person or thing receiving or suffering the action. An indirect object is a person or thing that is affected by the action.

Objects: Direct or Indirect?

The boy climbed the tree.

In this sentence, the boy is the subject – he is the person doing the action. The action is climbed (past tense of the verb climb). And the direct object is the tree.

The boy gave the dog a bone.

In this sentence, the boy is the subject – he is the person doing the action.  The action is gave (past tense of give). There are two objects: the dog, and the bone. To identify which is direct, we need to ask which of them was the action performed upon. The answer is the bone – the bone is the object that was given to the dog. Therefore the bone is the direct object. The object that was affected by the action. The answer is the dog – the dog received the bone. Therefore the dog is the indirect object in this sentence.

Verbs: Transitive, Intransitive, or Linking?

Action verbs can be divided into two types: transitive and intransitive.

Transitive Verbs
A transitive verb requires one or more objects in a sentence. A transitive verb transfers the action from the subject to the direct object. In other words, the object suffers or recieves the action.

Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verbs do not require an object. They don’t transfer the action at all.

NOTE: Some verbs can be both transitive and intransitive. Look:

The choir sang. (intrasitive)
The choir sang a song. (transitive)

Linking Verbs

A linking verb is a verb that links the subject with an adjective or noun that describes the subject.

They feel cold.
John is a teacher.


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Gerunds and Infinitives

A gerund is a noun made from a verb by adding “-ing.” The gerund form of the verb “read” is “reading.” You can use a gerund as the subject, the complement, or the object of a sentence. Examples: Reading helps you learn English. subject of sentence Her favorite hobby is reading. complement of sentence I enjoy reading. object of sentence Smoking …

Irregular Verbs

Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle arise awake be bear beat become begin bend bet bite bleed blow break bring build burn burst buy catch choose cling come cost creep cut deal dig dive do draw dream drink drive eat fall feed feel fight find fit flee fling fly forbid forget forgive forgo freeze get …


MODAL VERBS Modals (also called modal verbs, modal auxiliary verbs, modal auxiliaries) are special verbs which behave irregularly in English. They are different from normal verbs like “work, play, visit…” They give additional information about the function of the main verb that follows it. They have a great variety of communicative functions. They don’t use …

Stative Verbs

How to use stative (state) and dynamic verbs Some English verbs, which we call state, non-continuous or stative verbs, aren’t used in continuous tenses (like the present continuous, or the past continuous). These verbs often describe states that last for some time. Here is a list of some common ones: Stative (or State) Verb List …

Verb Tenses

Verb Tense Rules – Explanations In grammar, verb tenses indicate when something happens, in the past, present, or future. These three main forms can be divided further to add more detail about when. For example, the continuous tenses talk about actions that have continuity – that talk place over time. The simple present tense concerns …