What is a Verb in English Grammar?

What is a Verb in English Grammar? We’ll explain the meaning of a verb, how to use verb, types of verbs, and provide a variety of examples of verb in English. When you’re learning English grammar, you’ve to deal with the verb. But what exactly is it? And what does verb do in a sentence? In this article, we will look deeper into the definition of a verb, how it can be used, and the rules that govern its use. Additionally, we will look at some examples to better understand the purpose of verbs.

As a guide, the below definitions and tables provide the fundamental use of the verb. Read on to get a more in-depth explanation of the rules and examples of when and how to use a verb.

Learn to use verb with example sentences and ESLBLOCK worksheets for printing.

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What is a Verb?

A verb is a word that characteristically is the grammatical base of a predicate and defines an act, event, or mode of being, that in different languages is inflected for agreement with the subject, for tense, for mood, for voice, or for aspect, and that typically has complete descriptive sense and representing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid of these primarily when used as linking or an auxiliary verb. Verbs are one of the nine parts of speech.

Some common Verb examples: Talk, walk, seem, run, watch, see, swim, wash, stand, go, have, get, promise, invite, listen, sing, sit, knit, put, cut, forgive, forget, hide, hit, hold, hurt, swell, sweap, stand, spit, shrink, show, learn, know.

Some example sentences of verbs;

  • Olivia speaks English.
  • We don’t know how to spell the long words.
  • Charlotte studies hard.
  • She swims badly.
  • The football match ended quickly.
  • We only shopped locally.
  • They are happily marriaged.
  • Oliver stopped by briefly to say hello.
  • Isabella calls him regularly.
  • You don’t know.
  • I doubt if it’ll rain.
  • Olivia had to drag him out of room.
  • She drives a car.
  • I dropped my books.
  • William earns three times more than me.
  • They can’t eat their cake.
  • Oliver encouraged Olivia to learn how to speak English.
  • He entered the building.

The verb is a radically different part of speech from a preposition, conjunction, interjunction, noun, pronoun, adjective, and the rest.

Important Verb Rules

There are many rules covering the use of verbs in the English language. Let’s take a glance at the most significant verb rules.

  • When there is a third person, the verb needs an -s or -es in addition to verbs; for example, Olivia drives the bike.
  • If the subject and the verb have a long phrase between them, the verb has to coordinate with the actual subject and not that of the phrase. For example, The noodles which she gave to her daughter were delicious.
  • If two nouns are in a sentence and refer to the same thing or person, the following verb should be singular. For example, The director and the supervisor are working in the company.
  • If the subject is preceded by the phrase ‘one of,’ the following verb should be singular. For example, one of the children is sleeping.
  • A singular verb is required if the plural noun is preceded by the words ‘a pair of’. For example, A pair of shoes is quite cheap.
  • Plural nouns on their own will use a plural verb; for example, Her shoes are oversize.
  • If two nouns are synonymous within a sentence, they should be followed by a singular verb. For example, Her power and might is enormous.
  • If the noun is uncountable, then a singular verb is used; for example, The poetry that he writes is very patriotic.
  • When a collective noun refers to a single entity, it should use a singular verb; for example, The military is courageous. However, if it is being used to refer to an individual, then a plural verb is used; for example, The military are requiring new weapons.

Types of verbs

There are many types of verbs in English language. Some of the types of verbs are regular verbs, irregular verb, modal verb, dynamic verb, causative verb, auxiliary verb, stative verb.

Regular Verbs

Rregular Verbs Definition: Verbs differ from most other parts of speech because they can change their form. Sometimes, endings can be included -ed or -ing, and at other times, the verb is a different word (such as put and put).

Regular verbs are words which form past-tense simply by putting the letter “d” or “ed” at the end.

Following are the common regular verbs.

First Form (Base)Second Form (Simple Past)Third Form (Past Participle)
AcceptAcceptedAccepted
ActActedActed
Askaskedasked
Backbackedbacked
BakeBakedBaked
BehaveBehavedBehaved
Chasechasedchased
Chewchewedchewed
CloseClosedClosed
CompareComparedCompared
CompeteCompetedCompeted
Decidedecideddecided
Dependdependeddepended
DieDiedDied
DisagreeDisagreedDisagreed
DisturbDisturbedDisturbed
DressDressedDressed
DryDriedDried
EliminateEliminatedEliminated
Employeeemployedemployed
EndEndedEnded
EnjoyEnjoyedEnjoyed
Excuseexcusedexcused
Fadefadedfaded
FixFixedFixed
Foldfoldedfolded
FollowFollowedFollowed
FreezeFreezedFreezed
FryFriedFried
Gazegazedgazed
GreetGreetedGreeted
GuessGuessedGuessed
Handhandedhanded
HuntHuntedHunted
IdentifyIdentifiedIdentified
ImagineImaginedImagined
InviteInvitedInvited
JoinJoinedJoined
Jokejokedjoked
JumpJumpedJumped
Kickkickedkicked
KnockKnockedKnocked
Laughlaughedlaughed
Learnlearnedlearned
LoveLovedLoved
ManageManagedManaged
MarkMarkedMarked
MatchMatchedMatched
NameNamedNamed
NeedNeededNeeded
OpenOpenedOpened
OrderOrderedOrdered
OrganizeOrganizedOrganized
PackPackedPacked
PaintPaintedPainted
PassPassedPassed
PerformPerformedPerformed
PersuadePersuadedPersuaded
ProgramProgrammedProgrammed
ProtectProtectedProtected
ReviewReviewedReviewed
ShopShoppedShopped
SlowSlowedSlowed
TurnTurnedTurned
UnderlineUnderlinedUnderlined
WantWantedWanted

Irregular Verbs

Irregular Verbs Definition: Irregular verbs are one of the simple and common types of verbs. A verb in which the past tense is not formed by adding the usual -ed or -d at the end. Following are the common irregular verbs.

First Form (Base)Second Form (Simple Past)Third Form (Past Participle)
arisearosearisen
awakeawokeawoken
bewas/werebeen
bearboreborne
beatbeatbeaten
becomebecamebecome
beginbeganbegun
bendbentbent
betbetbet
bidbidbid
bindboundbound
bitebitbitten
bleedbledbled
blowblewblown
breakbrokebroken
breedbredbred
bringbroughtbrought
broadcastbroadcastbroadcast
buildbuiltbuilt
burstburstburst
buyboughtbought
castcastcast
catchcaughtcaught
choosechosechosen
clingclungclung
comecamecome
costcostcost
creepcreptcrept
cutcutcut
dealdealtdealt
digdugdug
divedovedived
dodiddone
drawdrewdrawn
dreamdreamtdreamt
drinkdrankdrunk
drivedrovedriven
eatateeaten
fallfellfallen
feedfedfed
feelfeltfelt
fightfoughtfought
findfoundfound
fleefledfled
flingflungflung
fltflewflown
forbidforbadeforbidden
forgetforgotforgotten
forgiveforgaveforgiven
freezefrozefrozen
getgotgot
givegavegiven
gowentgone
grindgroundground
growgrewgrown
hanghunghung
havehadhad
hearheardheard
hidehidhidden
hithithit
holdheldheld
hurthurthurt
keepkeptkept
kneelkneltknelt
knowknewknown
laylaidlaid
leadledled
leaveleftleft
lendlentlent
letletlet
lielaylain
lightlitlit
loselostlost
makemademade
meanmeantmeant
meetmetmet
mistakemistookmistaken
mowmowedmown
overtakeovertookovertaken
paypaidpaid
proofreadproofreadproofread
putputput
quitquitquit
readreadread
resetresetreset
rideroderidden
ringrangrung
riseroserisen
runranrun
saysaidsaid
seesawseen
seeksoughtsought
sellsoldsold
sendsentsent
setsetset
sewsewedsewn
shakeshookshaken
shaveshavedshaven
shedshedshed
shineshoneshone
shootshotshot
showshowedshown
shrinkshrankshrunk
shutshutshut
singsangsung
sinksanksunk
sitsatsat
slayslewslain
sleepsleptslept
slideslidslid
slingslungslung
sneaksnucksnuck
sowsowedsown
speakspokespoken
speedspedsped
spendspentspent
spillspiltspilt
spinspunspun
spitspatspat
splitsplitsplit
spreadspreadspread
springsprangsprung
standstoodstood
stealstolestolen
stickstuckstuck
stingstungstung
stinkstankstunk
strikestruckstruck
stringstrungstrung
strivestrovestriven
swearsworesworn
sweepsweptswept
swellswelledswollen
swimswamswum
swingswungswung
taketooktaken
teachtaughttaught
teartoretorn
thinkthoughtthought
throwthrewthrown
thrustthrustthrust
treadtrodtrodden
understandunderstoodunderstood
upsetupsetupset
wakewokewoken
wearworeworn
weavewoveworn
weavewovewoven
weepweptwept
wetwetwet
winwonwon
windwoundwound
wringwrungwrung
writewrotewritten

Modal Verbs

Model Verb Definition: Modal verbs express certain hypothetical situations, such as advice, capability, possibility, advice, obligation, ability, permission, or requests. They’re used alongside the main verb to modify its meaning slightly. Following are the common model verbs.

  • Can
  • Could
  • Doesn’t have to
  • Don’t
  • had better
  • Has to
  • Have to
  • May
  • Might
  • Must
  • must not
  • Mustn’t
  • need not
  • Ought to
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Will
  • Would

Dynamic Verbs

Dynamic Verb Definition: A dynamic verb (such as go, ride, go, read, write) primarily indicates an action, process, or sensation. A dynamic verb is a verb that shows continued or progressive action on the part of the subject. This is contrary to a stative verb. Following are the common dynamic verbs.

  • Eat
  • Go
  • Grow
  • Learn
  • Read
  • Run
  • Sleep
  • Talk
  • Walk
  • Write

Stative Verbs

Stative Verb Definition: Some English verbs not used in continuous tenses are called stative verbs or non-continuous verbs. Stative verbs are verbs that describe a state rather than an action. Stative verbs usually bond to emotions, thoughts, relationships, senses, states of being and measurements. Following are the common examples stative verbs.

  • Adore
  • Agree
  • Appear
  • Astonish
  • Care for
  • Consist
  • Deny
  • Depend
  • Desire
  • Disagree
  • Dislike
  • Fit
  • Forget
  • Hate
  • Have
  • Imagine
  • Involve
  • Lack
  • Like
  • Matter
  • Mean
  • Measure
  • Mind
  • Need
  • Owe
  • Own
  • Possess
  • Prefer
  • Promise
  • Realise
  • Recognise
  • Remember
  • Satisfy
  • Seem
  • Suppose
  • Want
  • Weigh

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary Verb Definition: A verb is used in forming the tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. The auxiliary verbs help the main verb to describe actions. The primary auxiliary verbs in English are bedo, and have. Following are the common examples of Auxiliary verbs.

  • Am
  • Are
  • Be
  • Been
  • Being
  • Can
  • Could
  • Did
  • Do
  • Does
  • Had
  • Has
  • Have
  • Is
  • May
  • Might
  • Must
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Was
  • Were
  • Will
  • Would

Verb InfoGraphics

Here are some printable infographics about verb. Printable infographics are a fantastic way to share a significant amount of details in a short time in a stunning way. The verb infographic can help teachers and students to share their thoughts easily.

A Super Simple Guide to Verb, Auxiliary Verbs, Causative Verbs, Different Forms of Main Verbs, Dynamic Verbs, English Grammar, How to Use Verbs, Important Verb Rules, Intransitive Verbs, Irregular Verb Definition, Irregular Verb Examples, Irregular Verbs, Linking Verbs, List of Verbs, Mastering English Verbs, Modal Verbs, Parts of Speech, Parts of Speech in English Grammar, Stative Verbs, Subject Verb Agreement Rules, The Importance of Verbs, Transitive Verbs, Types of Verbs, Verb Definition, Verb Examples, Verb Rules, Verbs Used in Sentences, Verbs with Examples, What is an VerbPin

My Considerations

With this set of activities and explanations, you will quickly determine whether you are making the most effective use of the verb and how they could be used to enhance English writings.

Since the verbs are the main part of English Grammar, the importance of developing English learning skills cannot be undervalued without verb.

You can read the above sample sentences about verb to improve your understanding of English grammar.

Encourage your children to learn these basic but commonly used verb, by following the simple example sentences given above. Then, save this list of verb sentences, handy for your kids in future.

If you enjoyed a printable infographic about What is an verb?, I’d be very thankful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to your friends or sharing it on Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Thank you!

Also read: Adjectives That Start With Y

Recap of what we just learned

  • What is a Verb?
  • Important Verb Rules
  • Types of verbs
    • Regular Verbs
    • Irregular Verbs
    • Modal Verbs
    • Dynamic Verbs
    • Stative Verbs
    • Auxiliary Verbs
  • Verb InfoGraphics

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Also read: Adjectives That Start With Z

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