The Verbs!!

By definition, a verb is a word that describes an occurrence of an action. It also explains the current situation of the person, thing, or object. This word “verb” is from the Latin word verbum and it means “word”. Without verbs, your sentence seems useless and cannot elaborate true meaning to the reader or listener.

Verbs are also known as the doing, being, having words. Their basic forms are the forms you find in the dictionary, and you can put to in front. E.g to write, to sing, to eat. The “to” form is called the infinitive. It’s the one they used to tell us not to split.


He finished the work yesterday.

I have the tools you want.

This tea is awful!

If you see the examples, every finite verb has what is called a subject. That’s the person or thing that does the action. It will be a noun or a pronoun, and in an English statement, it comes before the verb. To find the subject of a verb, therefore, you simply need to ask yourself Who? Or What? before the verb. As well as subjects, verbs often have objects (but not always). The object is the person or thing having the action done to it, so again it will be a noun or a pronoun.

Other types of verbs

Some verbs are said to be active. With active verbs, the subject actually performs the action.

• When will they be coming?

• They live in Oodnadatta.

• We were watching the news when Helen came.

Some verbs are said to be passive. With passive verbs the subject has the action done to it. Isn’t this a direct contradiction of what we said before? The sentences that follow should help.

• Has the parcel been sent yet?

• These shoes were made in Brazil.

• All the documents will be shredded.

In different ways of indicating when an action is done, we use different verb-endings called tenses.

E.g indicating something happening in the present:

• I live there.

• I’m living there at present.

• I do live there.

• I have lived there.

E.g indicating something happening in the future:

• One day I will live there.

• I’ll be living there then.

• I’m going to live there next year.

• By December I will have lived there two years.

E.g indicating something happening in the past

• I lived there ten years ago.

• I was living there at the time.

• I used to live there.

• I had lived there before I met him.

• I did live there.

Follow the link for more grammar rules.

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