Grammar Scholar : Understand everything about VERB

By Gaurav Singh Bhadouria|Updated : May 18th, 2020
Hello Readers,
The knowledge of English Grammar lays the foundation of the English Language. If you want to read, write and understand the English Language properly, then English Grammar is inescapable; it is the backbone of the language. We have started our series 'Grammar Scholar'.The purpose of this series is to make you all well acquainted with the conceptual knowledge of Grammar. In this module of Grammar Scholar, we will discuss ''VERB''.
The verb is defined as a word that shows action or state of being. Every sentence must have a verb, so we can say that the verb is the heart of a sentence. The verb is the most important step in understanding the meaning of a sentence. So let's understand the Verb and its important rules in this module of the series.

Grammar Scholar: Verb

The verb is defined as a word that is used to describe an action, state, or occurrence and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence. Verbs always express activity, whether a mental activity or physical activity. Verbs are a necessary component of all sentences. Verbs have two important functions: Some verbs put stalled subjects into motion while other verbs help to clarify the subjects in meaningful ways.

Some examples of Verb are: Hear, Listen, Laugh, Speak, Cry, Eat, etc.

Examples :

  • The lady ate the cake. Here 'ate' is the verb and the word which shows the action of the sentence.  
  • The woman is lying on the bed .even though the action doesn't show much activity, lying is the verb of the sentence. 
  •  She is an intelligent girl, there is no action but a state of being expressed by the helping verb 'is'.
Verbs change their form :

Most of the other parts of speech do not change their time with respect to the tenses, but verbs change their form.  Some verbs are ended by adding 'ed' (Talk - talked) and some verbs end in a completely different way (teach-taught).  The different forms of verbs show different meanings related to such things as tense (past, present, future), person (first person, second person, third person), number (singular, plural) and voice (active, passive). Verbs are also often accompanied by verb-like words called modals (may, could, should, etc.) and auxiliaries(do, have, will, etc.)  to give them different meanings.

Verbs have a relationship with time :

One of the most important things about verbs is their relationship to time.  With the form of a verb, we can know if something has already happened, if it will happen later, or if it is happening now.  For things happening now, we use the present tense of a verb; for something that has already happened, we use the past tense and for something that will happen later, we use the future tense. For example :

  • She is dancing (This form of a verb is telling that action is currently in progress)
  • She danced  (This form of a verb is telling that action was in past)
  • She will dance ( (This form of a verb is telling that action will happen in future)

Different types of Verb : 

Regular Verb and Irregular Verb :

The verbs like 'Dance' used in the sentence, in which we make past tense by adding -d or -ed are known as regular verbs. For example :













 The verbs , in which we do not add -d or -ed to make Past Tense are known as Irregular Verbs, For Example :













 Progressive and Perfect Verb :

Apart from regular and irregular verbs, there are also progressive or continuous forms which show that the action takes place over a period of time, and perfect forms which show completion of the action.  which are as following :

Present Continuous
Present Perfect
is laughing
has laughed
is eating
has eaten
is sleeping
has slept

 Usually, a subject comes before a verb and an object may come after it.  The subject is what does the action of the verb and the object is what receives the action. 

For example, Riya ate a pizza. 

Here Riya is the subject or the one who did the eating and the pizza is the object or what got eaten. 

Transitive and Intransitive Verb :

A verb which has an object is called a transitive verb Means the verbs which cannot be used without an object. For example: throw, buy, hit, love. 

He throws a stone (Using a stone is a must to define the activity)

verb which does not require an object is called Intransitive Verbs. For example: go, come, walk, listen.

He walks (We don't need an object to define activity)

 Modal Verb :

Modal verbs are those verbs which do not change their form (spelling) and they have no infinitive or participle (past/present). Modal verbs are those verbs which express necessity, possibility, request etc. 

The modal verbs are: 'can', 'could', 'must', 'may', 'might', 'will', 'would', 'should', ought to . They are used with other verbs to express ability, obligation, possibility, and so on. Below is a list showing the most useful modals and their most common meanings:

Modal VerbMeaningExample
canto express abilitycan speak a little Russian.
canto request permission/to give permissionCan I open the window? /You can use my car.
couldPossibility for something which has already been doneIf I had money, I could buy it.
mayto express the possibilitymay be home late.
mayto request permissionMay I sit down, please?
mustto express obligationmust go now.
mustto express a strong beliefShe must be over 90 years old.
shouldto give adviceYou should stop smoking.
wouldto request or offerWould you like a cup of tea?
wouldin if-sentencesIf I were you, I would say sorry.
Ought toto denote moral dutyWe ought o respect our elders.
Used to To denote something that is done in past. but is no longer doneI used to play ludo in my childhood.
DareTo denote ChallangeDon't dare to ask for a favour.

Some common rules and mistakes of Verbs :

1) Write 

The verb write can take two objects. Sometimes this causes problems.
  • Incorrect: He wrote me. (The sense of this sentence is completely incorrect.)
  • Correct: He wrote to me. (This sentence is conveying the right sense.)

Look at the below examples to be acquainted with the correct usage of the verb 'Write' :

We write something. (He wrote a letter.)

We write something to someone. (He wrote a letter to his mother.) (NOT He wrote a letter his mother.)

We write someone about something. (He wrote his mother a letter.) (NOT He wrote to his mother a letter.)

We write to someone. (He wrote to me.) (NOT He wrote me.)

2) Explain

The verb 'explain' can be followed by two objects – a direct object and an indirect object.

Note that we explain something to someone. (NOT We explain someone something.)

  • Incorrect: I shall explain them this.
  • Correct: I shall explain this to them.

3) Suggest

We suggest something to somebody.

  • Incorrect: He suggested me this.
  • Correct: He suggested this to me.

4) Oblige

The verb oblige takes the preposition to. When you are obliged to do something, you are forced to do it because it is a law, a rule or a duty.

  • I felt obliged to help him.
  • am obliged to you for this good turn. (NOT I am obliged of you for this good turn.)

5) Invite

The verb invite can be followed by to or for.

We invite someone to/for something:

  • I have invited my uncle and aunt to dinner.
  • He invited me for a drink but I politely refused.

6) Tell 

The verb tell does not take a preposition.

  • Incorrect: He told to me to go.
  • Correct: He told me to go.

7) Ask

When ask is followed by two objects, the indirect object (the person) normally comes first, without a preposition.

  • Incorrect: She did not ask any question to him.
  • Correct: She did not ask him any question.
  • Incorrect: I will ask the time to that man.
  • Correct: I will ask that man the time.

Now it's time for some questions. Try to solve the following questions and leave your answers in the comment section. Options for the question are given in brackets. We will review your answers :

  1. You _______ leave the home early to catch your train (Could, Should, May, Must)
  2.  I ____ be happy to meet your sister.( Will, shall, can )
  3. _______ I get a prize if I stand first in the examination? (Will, would, should, can)
  4. Till last year, I ______ read without glasses. (can, could, must, might)
  5. I was using my pen a minute ago, it _____ be somewhere (Must, can, could, would)

We hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to share your doubts and queries related to 'Verb' in the Comment section.

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