Verbs are a crucial component of English grammar, acting as the main action words in a sentence. They express a state of being, an action, or occurrence. For example, the verbs in the following sentences are 'does', 'play', and 'slept':
- What does he do for a living?
- They often play basketball at the park.
- You slept through the alarm this morning.
Types of Verbs
Verbs are classified into various types. Understanding these classifications can help you use verbs correctly in your sentences.
1. Action Verbs
Action verbs express physical or mental actions. These are further divided into transitive and intransitive actions.
Example of Action Verbs:
- I run every morning. (Physical action)
- She thinks about him all the time. (Mental action)
2. Linking Verbs
Linking verbs express a state of being. They connect the subject of the verb to additional information about the subject. Common linking verbs include: be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being, seem, become, and appear.
Example of Linking Verbs:
- He is a teacher.
- The soup smells delicious.
3. Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs
Auxiliary verbs, also known as 'helping verbs', add functional or grammatical meaning to the clauses in which they appear. They are used to create different tenses or aspects, to form negatives and interrogatives, or to add emphasis. Common auxiliary verbs include: have, has, had, am, is, are, was, were, do, does, and did.
Example of Auxiliary Verbs:
- She has finished her homework.
- I am going to the gym.
Tenses of Verbs
Tenses of verbs express the time when an action or event occurs. In English, there are three basic tenses: past, present, and future.
1. Past Tense
The past tense is used to describe something that happened in the past.
- I played basketball yesterday.
2. Present Tense
The present tense is used to describe something that is happening right now or a truth that is always relevant.
- I play basketball.
3. Future Tense
The future tense is used to describe something that will happen in the future.
- I will play basketball tomorrow.
The verb in a sentence should agree with its subject in number. That means, if the subject is singular, the verb should also be singular, and if the subject is plural, the verb should also be plural.
- The cat chases its tail. (Singular subject, singular verb)
- The cats chase their tails. (Plural subject, plural verb)
Verbs are important building blocks in English sentences. Once you understand the different types of verbs, how they can be used in different tenses, and how they should agree with the subject in a sentence, you can construct well-formed sentences that convey action, state, or occurrence effectively.