Verb Overview

It’s been said that verbs are king and when it comes to expressing meaning in a sentence that certainly seems to be the case. If the world was ruled by the written word, no one could do any anything at all if there were not a verb specifying to take a particular action. Perhaps now it’s easier to understand why verbs are so important.

While there are numerous types of verbs, here is an overview of some of the most common for quick reference.

Action Verbs: Action verbs identify what action a person, animal, object or force of nature can perform. Humans can run, shout, dance, sit. Animals can gallop, trot, prance, waddle, and charge. The rain can plummet and the wind can howl. A glass can break and a limb can fall. All of these actions are referred to as action verbs.

Linking verbs: On the other hand, linking verbs do not convey action. Instead they connect or link pronouns and nouns to other information contained in the sentence.

Helping verbs: Helping verbs, sometimes called auxiliary verbs, don’t convey action or stand alone. They make up part of a verb phrase that “helps” the main verb in the sentence. Part of their function is to define the tense of the verb – the past, present, or future.

Regular verbs: Regular verbs are different from most parts of speech because they can change their form. This happens by adding an ending like “d” or “ed” and other times the verb itself becomes another word entirely (such sit and sat).

Irregular verbs: Irregular verbs don’t follow the pattern of adding an “ed” or “d” to the end of the word. That means in order to recognize the tenses you have to memorize them.

Transitive verbs: Transitive verbs are action verbs that have a direct object to receive the action.

Intransitive verbs: Intransitive verbs are action verbs but unlike transitive verbs, they do not have a direct object to receive the action.