Definition of Verbs
Verbs have traditionally been defined as “action” words or “doing” words.
Verbs indicate when the action happened, how many things were acting, and also describe the action. The tense of a verb indicates time. The use of singular and plural forms indicates the quantity of things ‘acting’ in the sentence. So, it is often told that verbs are action words because they frequently indicate an action. For Example.
- Paul rides a bicycle.
- Bread and butter are available in the store.
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Classification of Verbs
Verb can be classified as following:
Main verbs can be divided into two categories – transitive and intransitive.
Take objects; i.e. these verbs carry the action of a subject and apply it to an object. They tell us what the subject (agent) does to something else (object).
Do not take an object; they express actions that do not require the agents’ doing something to something else.
They are the helping verbs. The auxiliary verb can be divided into two categories – Primary and Model.
Primary auxiliary verbs can be further divided as following:
- Verb ‘to be’: is, am, are, was, were.
- Verb ‘to have’: has, have, had.
- Verbs ‘to do’: do, does, did.
Model auxiliary verbs denote the mood/mode of the subject. These are can, could, may, might, should, used, to, need, dare, etc.
Forms of Verbs
There are 5 forms of verbs which are present in the following table:
|Form of Verb||Verb used with||Example|
|V3||Past participle (has/have/had)||Done||Gone|
KINDS OF VERBS
1. Finite Verbs
Finite Verbs are those verbs that have a definite relation with the subject or noun. These verbs are usually the main verb of a clause or sentence and they can be change according to the noun. They should use only in present and past tense.
She walks home. – Here we see that the finite verb is walks and the pronoun is ‘she’. She walked home. – Here we can see how the verb changed/modified to change the tense of the sentence.
2. Non-finite Verbs
These verbs cannot be the main verb of a clause or sentence as they do not talk about the action that is being performed by the subject or noun. They do not indicate any tense, mood, or gender.
These verb are use as nouns, adverbs and adjectives. They are also use for forming non-finite clauses which are simply dependent clauses that use non-finite verbs.
Non-finite verbs are of the following three types:
(a) Infinite verbs: An infinitive is formed by using the word ‘to’ before the verb in its stem word. It functions as a noun, adjective or adverb. Example.
- He was made to clean his room.
- Shalini loves to talk.
Gerund verbs: A gerund is formed by adding – ing to a verb. It functions as a noun. Example.
(1) Swimming is very good for the body.
(2) Smoking is prohibited in the hospital.
Note: With the following verbs/ adjectives/ phrases ‘V1 + ing’ is used after ‘to’. Ex – Verb+ used to, accustomed to, averse to, with a view to, addicted to, devoted to, in addition to, look forward to, object to, owing to, given to, taken to, prone to. Example.
- He is addicted to smoking.
- I am looking forward to meeting you.
In other words, after all the prepositions (including ‘to’), if a verb comes, the verb has to be in’V1+ing’ Example.
- I am looking forward to meeting you.
- He is given to drinking.
- He is prone to making the same mistake again and again.
Participle Verb: A participle is usually formed by adding –ing or – ed to a verb. It functions as an adjective. Example.
- The singing bird was the main attraction at the event.
- The injured man was waiting for the doctor.
3. Transitive Verb
If a verb requires an object after it, it is called a transitive verb. Example.
I saw the dog. (the dog – direct object)
Lee ate the pie. (the pie – direct object)
4. Intransitive Verb
An intransitive verb is one that does not take a direct object. In other words, it is not done to someone or something. It only involves the subject.
He laughed. (Laughed is an intransitive verb. It has no direct object.)
He told a joke. (Told is a transitive verb. The direct object is a joke. You can tell something. You can tell a story, a lie, a joke, etc.)
A modal (like can, must, should, etc.) is a verb which is used with another verb in order to express an idea such as possibility, responsibility, compulsion, etc. For Example.
(a) You must come on Wednesday.
(b) You should bring this book tomorrow.
Note: A modal is always followed by the first form of verb.
For Ex – One must obey one’s elders.
USE OF MODALS:
You can use ‘Can’ to denote ‘ability’. For Ex – I can run as fast as you.
You can use ‘Can’ to denote a request. For Ex – Can I use your pen?
You can also use Can for giving ‘Permission’. For Ex – You can use my pen.
You can use ‘Could’ as past participle of can. For Ex – When she was younger, she could run 10 km and not get without tired.
‘Could’ can also be used to show possibility. For Ex – A lot of money could be saved.
‘May’ is used to denote possibility. For Ex – I may come tomorrow.
May is used to denote ‘permission’.
For Ex – You may come in.
You can use ‘May’ for taking permission.
For Ex – May I come in?
‘Might’ Can be used to denote possibility. For Ex – He might have reached there by now.
‘Might’ also denotes ‘suggestion’. For Ex – You might try a little more salt in the curry next time.
It denotes ‘Necessity’ For Ex – One must sleep for 8 – 10 hours.
You can use ‘Must’ to denote strong possibility. For Ex – He looks quite sad, he must have failed.
You can use Would to refer to future time. For Ex – I would love to see you tomorrow.
‘Would’ is also used to denote choice. For Ex – I would prefer tea to coffee.
You can use Would for making a ‘request’ For Ex – Would you please lend me 10 rupees.
Would can also use it to express a ‘Wish’ For Ex – I wish, I would succeed in my life.
We can use ‘Would’ for expressing an ‘Opinion’ For Ex – I think he would pass the test.
You can use ‘Should’ to denote duty. For Ex – You should respect your teachers.
You can use ‘Should’ to express an advice For Ex – You should work hard to pass the exam.
Note: Conjunction ‘Lest’ is generally followed by ‘Should’.
For Ex – Work hard lest you should fail.
You can use ‘Ought to’ to denote ‘moral duty’ For Example.
You ought to help poor.
We ought not to disrespect our elders.
You can use ‘Used to’ to denote Something that is done or experienced in the past but is no longer done or experienced. For Example.
I used to play cricket but now I don’t like it.
I did not use to eat egg.
You can use Dare to denote challenge or courage: For Example.
Nobody dares to oppose him.
They dare not ask for any further loan.
Need denotes requirements. For Example.
I need to buy a new house.
You need not take off your blazer.
You can use Will to talk about the future. For Ex – Ravi will call you tomorrow.
You can use Will to make a request. For Ex – Will you give me your phone?
You should use Shall instead of ‘will’ when the subject is first person (‘I’ and ‘we’). For Example.
I Shall go to school tomorrow.
Note: In modern English,you should use ‘Will’ with both ‘I’ and ‘Will’ as well.
Exercise of Verb
Fill the following with suitable forms of verbs.
- What ……… the latest news. (is/are)
- Fifty rupees ………. Not a big amount. (is/are)
- Cattle …… grazing in the field. (is/are)
- Neither of us ……… ready to go home. (is/are)
- Billiards ……… my favourite game. (is/are)
- He …………. (live) in Kolkata for five years.
- At the moment, he ……… (play) in the park.
- I ……… (wish) I knew the girl’s name.
- She ………… (take) a bath when the telephone rang.
- I have already …………. (tell) you that you should work hard.
- Ram always …………… (remember) that honesty is the best policy.
- Ramesh ……………. (leave) his house before I called on him.
Answers of the given Exercise
- Has been lining
- Is playing
- Was taking
- Had left.
Want to Learn more about modal helping verb, then watch the video
The auxiliary verb image is taken from https://7esl.com/auxiliary-verbs/