Important Study Notes on Verb and its Usage
Verbs are words that show action. Every sentence must have a verb. A verb is not always one word. It may be made up of more than one word.
The words: am, is, are, was, and were are verbs. They are forms of the verb ‘to be’. They are helping verbs called auxiliary verbs.
If the subject of a sentence is singular, the verb must be singular. If the subject of a sentence is plural, the verb must be plural.
The verb must agree with the subject in number.
Examples of ‘subjects’ and ‘verbs’ being singular:
- The man is sleeping.
- She goes to the market.
- The student does his homework every day.
- The train has arrived.
‘Man’, ‘she’, ‘student’ and ‘train’ are known as subjects. The subjects are all singular. The verbs ‘is’, ‘goes’, ‘does’ and ‘has’ are all singular too.
Examples of ‘subjects’ and ‘verbs’ being plural:
- The men are sleeping.
- They go to the market.
- The students do their homework every day.
- The trains have arrived.
‘Men’, ‘they’, ‘students’ and ‘trains’ are known as subjects. The subjects are all plural. The verbs ‘are’, ‘go’, ‘do’ and ‘have’ are all plural too.
Other singular and plural subjects that take on singular and plural verbs:
Subjects with words like ‘each’, ‘every’, ‘any’, ‘no’, ‘none’ and ‘nobody’ takes on the singular verbs.
- Each student is given a pen.
- Every child is happy watching the show.
- Nobody is allowed to walk on the grass.
Uncountable nouns always take singular verbs.
- Rice is eaten in many countries.
- There is oil on the floor.
- Salt is added to make the food taste better.
Subjects with words like ‘both’, ‘all’, ‘many’, ‘some’, ‘several’ and ‘a number of’ take on a plural verb.
- Both of you have to come home early.
- All of us want to be happy.
- Some of my friends are female.
Two or more subjects joined by ‘and’ always take a plural verb.
- My brother and his friends like to play football.
- His father and mother are watching television.
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
The verb which needs an object to make it's meaning clear or complete is called a transitive verb.
- He feeds a cat.
The word ‘cat’ is called the object of the verb ‘feeds’.
The object can be a noun or a pronoun.
The intransitive verb does not need an object but the meaning is clear or complete.
- He ran.
The verb ‘ran’ does not need an object.
- She reads every day. (No object)
- He eats quickly. (No object)
The Finite verb
The finite verb changes with the subject. The subject is the person, thing, animal or place we refer to. When the subject is in the first or second person or is plural, the verb does not change. When the subject is in the third person or is singular, the verb changes from, say, ‘eat’ to ‘eats’. The verb ‘eat’ is a finite verb.
Every sentence must have a finite verb.
Other usages of verbs to remember:
1. When “and” is used to join two nouns or pronouns together, the verb is usually in the plural.
Examples: Beef and mutton are meat.
2. When we use two nouns for the same person or thing, the verb should be in the singular.
Examples: My friend and classmate is very
3. When we use two nouns for the same person, we use the article ‘the’ only once and the verb should be in the singular.
Example: The shopkeeper and owner of the shop
4. When we refer to two different persons, we use the article twice and the verb must be in the plural.
Example: The shopkeeper and the owner of the
5. When we join two nouns and treat them as a whole, the verb is in the singular.
Example: Bread and butter is his usual breakfast.
6. When a noun is a quantity or an amount, it is treated as a whole and the verb is in the singular.
- Ten kilometres is not a long way to travel.
- Nowadays, fifty dollars is not a lot of money.
A verb is used in different forms as follow:
Simple Present Tense - eat
Simple Past Tense - ate
Present Participle - is eating
Past Participle - has eaten
Future Tense - will eat
We hope that the points in the above article would have built a strong base of the Usage of Verbs and would have cleared all the doubts regarding the topic.
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