V. Parts of Speech Explained in English Grammar and Linguistics
D. Verb in English Grammar and Linguistics
by Shahid Saleem Butt
A verb shows an action, occurrence or a state of being; even a noun may also be verbed in many cases.
Types of Verb
Here are different types of verbs along with their definitions and examples.
1. Finite Verbs (Tensed Verb or Main Verb)
Finite verb agrees with subject and shows which of the tense you are using.
Sarah plays tennis.
(The verb, “Plays”, has a subject (Sarah) and it also shows the tense to be “Present Indefinite Tense”).
She is cooking rice.
(The verb, “cooking”, has a subject (She) and it also shows the tense to be “Present Continuous Tense”).
2. Non-finite Verbs
Non-finite verb is a verb that does not show tense and is not the main verb of a sentence.
Non-finite verbs have three types:
(i) Infinitives: Although infinitive is a verb but it functions as adverb, noun or adjective and is made up of two words ‘to + verb’.
Examples are ‘to cook’, ‘to rot’, ‘to print’, ‘to dance’.
Usage of an infinitive in sentences:
– As a Noun: She wants to cook food. (‘to cook food’ is used as direct object or noun)
– As a noun: To cook food in continental is her ambition. (‘to cook’ is subject or noun)
– As adjective: The only way to cook delicious food is to watch cooking shows. (‘to cook delicious food’ is used as an adjective as it modifies the noun ‘way’)
– As Adverb: Aleeza intends to cook food for guests on the coming Sunday. (‘to cook food’ is used as an adverb as it modifies the verb ‘intends’)
(ii) Gerunds: Gerund is a verb but it works as a noun and ends in -ing.
Examples are ‘cooking’, ‘rotting’, ‘printing’, ‘dancing’.
Usage of gerund in sentences:
– Emma likes reading in her spare time. (Here ‘reading’ is used as an object (noun))
– Reading is what Aila likes the most. (Here ‘reading’ is used as a subject (noun))
(iii) Participles: It may take an active (-ing) or passive form (third form of verb).
Participles are employed to modify nouns, noun phrases, verbs and verb phrases by functioning as adverb or adjective.
Examples are cooking/cooked, rotting/rotted, printing/printed, dancing/danced.
Usage of an ing-participle in sentence:
Sania sat crying at the couch (-ing verb modifies the verb, ‘sat’).
He saw the bullet-train moving away with wonder. (-ing verb ‘moving’ modifies the noun, ‘bullet-train’)
Usage of a Third-form-of-verb-participle in sentence:
– Having sung a song, he went home.
– The food cooked by her was tasty. (‘cooked’ is used as adjective)
[Note: 1. Both gerunds and participles in non-finite verb are also termed as a verbals.
2. Although Present Participle and Gerund take the same form, they are different from each other. Gerund acts like a noun whereas Present Participle acts like an adverb or adjective.]
3. Action Verbs
Action or dynamic verbs express some type of mental or physical action that is either in progress or has been completed.
Nathan is playing football.
He has run a race.
She will be singing in the concert.
4. Helping or Auxiliary Verbs
Helping or Auxiliary verbs help the main verb to determine the tense being used along with showing the sentence form to be a question or a negative.
Some of the helping or auxiliary verbs include: has, have, had, is, are, am, was, were, do, did, to be, etc.
Is he going to Lahore?
She has not brought garments from Delhi Shopping Mall.
I have taught at Brookfield School.
There are two main groups of auxiliary or helping verbs; primary helping verbs (be, do, have) and modal helping verbs.
Primary helping (auxiliary) verbs include:
be — am, is, are, was, were, being, been
do — does, do, doing, did, done
have — has, have, had, having
Modal auxiliary verbs (or modal verbs) include:
must, ought to, shall, will, can, may, should, would and might.
Some more auxiliary verbs are:
need, dare, have to, be able to, had better and going to.
5. Linking or Predicating or Copular Verbs
Linking verb is employed to connect a verb’s subject to some more information about it (subject). An adjective or noun usually comes after a linking verb and it does not relate to an action.
There are two types of linking verbs:
– True linking verbs include different forms of ‘to be’ like is, are, am, etc.
Aliza is sad at being away from concert. (The linking verb “is” connects Aliza with her mood.)
Kami was enthusiastic at getting admission in medical university.
– Mixed tricky linking verbs that relate to five senses like feel, smell, look, sound, stay, remain, grow, taste, etc, may also be used as action verbs if the need be there.
He looks excited at the coming events.
The pizza tasted delicious.
6. Regular Verbs
Regular verbs appear in the forms of past (2nd form of verb) and past participle (3rd form of verb) tenses and are formed by adding a ‘d’ or ‘ed’ to a verb.
Examples of Verb Forms:
Excite (1st form) – Excited (2nd form) – Excited (3rd form)
Call (3rd form) – Called (3rd form)- Called (3rd form)
He called his friends from office.
She cooked food at home.
7. Irregular Verbs
Irregular verbs also appear in the forms of past (2nd form of verb) and past participle (3rd form of verb) tenses but they do not require ‘d’ or ‘ed’ at the end of verb.
Begin (3rd form) – Began (3rd form) – Begun (3rd form)
Bear (3rd form)- Bore (3rd form) – Born (3rd form)
She began her work at 8 o’clock.
Aleeza was born in Gujranwala.
8. Perception or Sensation Verbs
Sensation or Perception Verbs are the verbs that express the use of five senses.
This scent smells good.
I am watching TV.
She is hearing the audio.
9. Stative Verbs
The Stative verbs express a state instead of action. These verbs express state of a person, sense, measurement, relationship, feelings, emotions, and place.
[Note: Dynamic or Action verbs relate to an action whereas the stative verbs relate to an unchanging state or condition.]
He believes in God.
I feel happy at the moment.
He hates coffee. (stative verb)
He hits the ball forcefully. (dynamic verb)
Transitive verb, an action verb, is followed by one or more objects that receive the action.
He cooks food.
He is driving car.
She drinks milk.
11. Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verb, an action verb, does not have an object that may receive the action.
Baby is crying.
She is singing.
He is listening.
She is relaxing.
12. Dynamic or Event Verbs
Event verbs relate to different events, movement, happenings, activities or actions that may or may not have certain starting and ending time.
Shami built a condo near the park.
Aliza is knitting sweater.
Musa is playing hockey.
13. Phrasal or Prepositional Verbs
Phrasal or Prepositional verb can be formed by combining preposition or adverbial particle and has an object.
I believe in whatever you say.
He takes after his mother.
She made up her mind to stay there.
(i) Phrasal Verbs
Phrasal verb, with an action in it, has an object that may come before or after the particle. Anyhow, if the object is a pronoun, it comes after the particle.
Format of Phrasal Verb:
“Verb + Adverb + Preposition” as in ‘look forward to’ or ‘put up with’
“Verb + Adverb” as in ‘Give up’ or ‘Come across’ or ‘get up’.
Note: The preposition or adverb comes after the object if it happens to be pronoun.
Consider the following examples:
She made up her mind. (The object is ‘her mind’)
She made it up.
He took off the hat.
He took it off.
(ii) Prepositional Verbs
A prepositional verb, an idiomatic expression, combines verb with preposition in order to make another verb having a different meaning.
He applied for job.
You have to resort to World Atlas for more information.
She got over her issues.
He is looking after his brother.
14. Modal Auxiliary Verbs
Modal Auxiliary verbs express concepts like prediction, possibility, necessity, speculation, deduction, etc.
They include the words can, may, shall, will, could, might, would, ought, must, dare, need, and had better.
You should pray to God for blessings.
It may rain tonight.
You ought to stay here for two more weeks.
15. Causative Verbs
Causative verbs are used when the action is not performed directly; it is rather done by second person.
Main causative verbs include have, let and make. Anyhow, some other verbs like keep, force, require, allow, etc, may also be employed for the purpose.
She makes Zain to polish her car.
I will let him go to bank.
I was forced to study daily by my mother.
16. Hypothesis Verbs
Hypothesis verb has a subjunctive in it. The subjunctive verb relates to a wish for something.
Hypothesis verb is just a wish and does not relate to current facts.
She wish that Peter helped her.
Principal wishes that she were a good teacher.
He wishes that I had bought an air ticket.
Difference between Adverbial Particles and Prepositions
The adverb particles or adverbial particles include in, up, out, down, by, besides, about, above, behind, etc. These words may also be used as prepositions.
(i) Prepositions show a relationship with a noun or pronoun and they are followed by nouns or objects. Look at the phrases like ‘down the road’ or ‘on the table’.
(ii) Some prepositions act as adverbs and, in such a case, they are called Adverbial Particles.
You should move on. (The word ‘on’ is working as adverb, so, it is an adverbial particle).
Teacher told him to sit down. (The word ‘down’ is working as adverb, so, it is an adverbial particle).
Yes, come in. (The word ‘in’ is working as adverb, so, it is an adverbial particle).
He drove the bus down the road. (The word ‘down’ is working as preposition).
He put the toy on the table. (The word ‘on’ is working as preposition).
Also visit the following:
I. Parts of Speech in English Grammar and Linguistics