Schoolchildren are usually taught that verbs are “doing” transition words, which means that they are part of the sentence (whether simple, compound-complex, or balanced sentences) that explains what is happening: He ran away, she eats chocolate cake on Sundays, and the horses gallop across the fields. The words ran, eats, and gallop show “action” in these sentences, so they are verbs. But it can be hard to tell because not all verbs are clearly action words, especially when they are metaphors: I know your name, Jack thought about it, and we looked at a few applications for you. These are verbs that don’t describe actions. They describe a state of being, an emotion, a thing, a sense, an annotation, or an opinion.
Verbs are the “doing words” of a sentence, indicating the activity of the subject. Verbs, with nouns, are the workhorses of any given sentence or phrase, conveying action and meaning. Even the simplest statements, like “Maria sings,” need a linking verb in order to communicate the entire meaning of what is being said through an example of a subject verb agreement. Sing! and Drive! are examples of verbs that function as whole sentences; in both cases, the subject is assumed to be you.
The proximity of a verb to the subject may be used as an indicator of the verb’s meaning. After a proper noun or pronoun (check out our examples of pronouns in this link), a verb often comes in the second position in a sentence. The term “topic” is used to describe these individual pieces of language. As the word thought follows the noun Jack, thinking is the subject’s activity (verb).
All physical verbs are action verbs. If an action requires physical movement or the use of an implement, then the term you use to describe it is a physical verb. Examples: Joe sat down in his chair; the dog panted heavily after playing with her ball; and, should we cast a ballot in this election?
Discovering, comprehending, reasoning, and planning are all examples of mental verbs’ associated noun meanings. In common use, a “mental verb” describes some kind of mental activity or condition.
State of being verbs, often called connecting verbs, are used to express ongoing states of affairs. Given that no work is really being done, verbs describing states of being are inert. Adjectives often accompany these forms of to be verbs like am, is, and are.
It is common knowledge that a complete sentence has at least three parts, or SVO: subject, verb, and object. Nevertheless, because a simple predicate is a verb or verb phrase alone, a sentence may also consist of only a subject and a verb (SV).
Example: She posed as his friend, but she was often making fun of him behind his back. Use the GERUND form of the second verb in a verb phrase when you start your sentence with any of these verbs. As an example, many individuals have the intention of quitting smoking but put off doing so for numerous reasons.
Depending on the sentence’s complexity, more than one major verb may appear. Although only one main verb is used in any given phrase, a sentence with numerous clauses and subjects may contain several different main verbs.
There is a wide variety of verbs. Several verbs fall outside of the broad categories of action, thought, and being, although they are far from exhaustive. In reality, more than 10 distinct classes of verbs may be distinguished according to their intended purposes.