1. Intransitive verb

 Verbs that are always intransitive

abound laugh
ache lie
arrive linger
bloom occur
come pause
cough pray
cry rain
dance remain
die rise
exist sit
faint sleep
fall sneeze
gallop talk
go thrive
hesitate yawn
Intransitive verbs do not take an object. The verbs are typically followed by a phrase.
  • His back garden abounds with weeds. (Weeds is not an object; with weeds is a prepositional phrase.)
  • They arrive at the airport as the sun rises.  (At the airport is a prepositional phrase. The two verbs do not need to have an object.)
  • While the parents are praying, the baby is crying.
  • I yawned and then he yawned.


2. Transitive and Intransitive verbs

 Verbs that are both transitive and intransitive

adapt fail obey
answer fill open
ask fly pull
begin grow read
borrow hang ring
break help run
burn hold see
choose hurry sell
climb hurt sing
continue jump touch
dance know turn
drop leave wash
eat marry watch
end meet win
enter move write
  • She left the house early. (Transitive)
  • She left early. (Intransitive)
  • He borrowed some money from the bank. (Transitive)
  • He borrowed heavily from the bank. (Intransitive)
  • They sold their house to a friend. (Transitive)
  • Their house was sold cheap to a friend. (Intransitive)


3. Auxiliary verb

The two types of auxiliary verb are primary verbs and modal verbs. The primary verbs are be, have, and do which come in three forms: ending in –s form, past form, and the past participle form as shown in the following table.

 Verbs shown in this table make up the auxiliary verbs

Primary verbs be have do
-s form is has does
Past form was/were had did
Past participle been had done
Modal verbs  
will can may shall
would could might should
must ought to used to  


4. Linking Verbs

Linking verbs are not used to show actions. They act as a link between the subject and the complement, which describes the subject. The complement is mostly an adjective or an adjective phrase although it can be a noun phrase or an adverbial. The linking verbs are underlined in the following examples.
  • This morning our boss was (very) sleepy. (Complement = adjective)
  • This morning our boss was very tired and sleepy. (Complement = adjective phrase)
  • Sitting on a garden bench and watching people jogging past is my new hobby. (Complement = noun phrase)
  • This cemetery is where the late king was buried. (Complement = adverbial)

List of linking verbs



5.State Verbs

State verbs refer to states (experiences, conditions, etc), and not actions. They do not usually have a continuous form. They can however be in the continuous form when we use them to describe actions.
  • She loves him madly and will do anything for him.
    Not: She is loving him madly and will do anything for him.
  • see from your look that you do not like me a bit (see = understand, realize).
    I am seeing your mother about your breaking my windows (see = meet).


Table shows some common state verbs

appear love smell
be matter suppose
believe mean thin
concern notice trust
consist owe understand
dislike  own want
expect possess wish
feel prefer taste
forget realize weigh
forgive recognize hear
hate refuse belong
have (possess) remember need
know see hope
like seem think