Parts of Speech: Verbs and More Verbs

Last week we started on the Parts of Speech: Nouns and Pronouns.  Today we’re going to continue the parts of speech with Verbs.

A verb tells what the subject does, has or is, making them an essential part of the sentence.  But there are several kinds of verbs.

 Action verb:  An action verb does just what it says, it tells the action the subject is performing.  Action verbs can show several types of action as well.

 They can show physical action with words like: drive, soar, sing, paint.
They can show action that’s mental with words like: think, dream, imagine, wish.
They can even show ownership with words like: have, keep, control, possess.

 An action verb can be either transitive or intransitive.  If the action verb has an object, it’s transitive.  If the action verb has no object, it’s intransitive.

 Transitive:  I found a puppy yesterday.  (Found what?)
Intransitive:  We met years ago. (Met who or what?)

 Transitive:  She writes articles for a website. (Indicates what she writes)
Intransitive:  She writes to me often. (Does not indicate what she writes)

 Linking verbs:  Linking verbs kind of form a bridge between the subject and another word in the sentence.  The word being linked to will either rename or describe the subject.

 Swimming is my favorite sport. (Sport renames swimming)
This summer has been exceptionally cool. (Cool describes summer, the subject of the sentence)

 Linking verbs are generally the forms of be.  Some common forms of the ‘be’ verbs are: be, is, am, are, can be, could be, has been, had been, could have been, was, where, shall be, etc.

The forms of be are not always linking verbs.  Remember a linking verb must rename or describe the subject.

 Joyce may be my new sister-in-law.  (Sister-in-law renames Joyce)
These cupcakes will be delicious. (Delicious renames cupcakes)

 Here is my coat. (Nothing is renamed but ‘is‘, is a form of be.)
She was in New York yesterday. (Again, nothing is renamed but a form of be is used as the verb)

 Additional linking verbs can include: sound, smell, seem, taste, feel, become.  But not all action verbs are linking verbs.

 Linking verb:  The song sounded fabulous. (Fabulous describes the subject song)
Action verb:  The security guard sounded the alarm. (The security guard is the subject, but nothing describes him)

 If an action verb or a link verb has one or more helping verbs its considered a verb phrase.

 The pitcher has been throwing the ball too hard. (Has been throwing is a verb phrase)
We should have been called out sooner.  (Should have been called is a verb phrase)

 But a verb phrase can be broken up by a word that interrupts the verb phrase.

James will soon apply for his student loan.
Have you always taken this route to school?

 Verbs can be one of the most difficult parts of speech, at least for me it is.  It’s important for writers and bloggers to keep these in mind, especially if English isn’t your first language.


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One Response

  1. BloggerDaily June 2, 2009