VERBS DEFINED!

copyright 1996 Cynthia Joyce Clay

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There are three (3) types of verbs. They are: ACTION VERBS, LINKING VERBS, and AUXILIARY VERBS (commonly called helping verbs). Action Verbs

An action verb is the word in the sentence that shows what is being done, what is happening. For instance:

JUMP, THINK, TALK, HAVE, BUY, WANT, and FANTASIZE

are all words that express things that can be done. Action verbs are words that can be done with your body or mind. You can jump with your body, so "jump" is an action verb. You can fantasize with your mind, so "fantasize" is an action verb.

Linking Verbs

A linking verb is the word in the sentence that ties the subject of the sentence to the predicate nomitive or the predicate adjective. The predicate nomitive is a noun or pronoun that renames or identifies the subject. For instance:

My name IS Jorge.

The word "name" is the subject, and the word "Jorge"is a noun that renames or identifies the subject. The verb "is" serves to join "name" to "Jorge." Likewise, the adjective identifies or describes the subject and is tied to the subject by the linking verb. For instance:

This cake smells wonderful!

The word "cake" is the subject, and the word "wonderful" is an adjective which describes the subject. The verb "smells" joins the subject "cake" to its modifier "wonderful." In other words, the linking verb is the word that gives the STATE OF BEING of the subject. For example, in each of these sentences:

Flowers LOOK beautiful.

Silk FEELS soft.

Chocolate TASTES great.

Music SOUNDS good.

The linking verb gives the state of being of the subject. The flowers do not go looking around the field; they are beautiful. The silk does not go feeling people's bodies; the silk itself is soft. The chocolate does not have a tongue to taste chocolate; it itself is great.

Auxilory (Helping) Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are verbs that COME WITH ANOTHER VERB. Any verb that is by itself is not a helping verb! For instance, in the sentence:

He IS GOING to class.

The word "is" is a helping verb because it is with the action verb "going." In the sentence:

He IS studious.

The word "is" is not a helping verb because it is the only verb.

Auxiliary verbs help the main verb by showing time or condition. For instance:

"He WILL GO home"

tells the reader that the going will happen in the future.

"He HAS GONE home"

tells the reader that the going happened in the past . In

"He MIGHT HAVE GONE home,"

The verb "might' tells the reader that had conditions been right the going would have happened. In

"He SHOULD HAVE GONE home,"

The verb "should" also tells the reader that a certain kind of condition was needed for the action to happen. The verb "have" in both sentences tells the reader the possibility happened in the past. The idea of condition is tied to the idea of possibility. If there is possibility but not an actual fact happening, then the helping verb is showing condition.

Would you like to go to the printable worksheet exercies? You might like to go to the GRAMMAR TABLE OF CONTENTS.