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What is a verb?
A verb is a word or more than one word that is used to express an action or a state of being. Every sentence must have a verb. This makes the verb the most important word as far as the construction of a sentence is concern. In a sentence, a verb connects the subject to the object. There are two different objects: Direct Object and Indirect Object.
A verb can be just a word.
- She sent a letter.
- They left early.
A verb can be more than one word.
- He is washing his car.
- You have broken my window.
A verb connects the subject to the object.
- Lee drives a car.
- (Subject: Lee / Obcjet: car)
- Someone has eaten my pizza.
- (Subject: someone / Object: pizza)
A verb may not have an object.
- The sun shines.
- It is raining.
Transitive and Intransitive verbs.
A verb that has a direct object to complete the sentence is a transitive verb. A verb that does not need an object to make its meaning clear is an intransitive verb.
The Transitive verb.
A transitive verb must have an object. Without an object, it does not convey a clear meaning.
Example: He bought.
- There is no direct object to tell us what he bought. The meaning becomes clear when an object is added: He bought a cake.
- The subject (he) performs the action: bought. The object of the action verb bought is cake.
A transitive verb may take an indirect object.
An indirect object
is something or someone to whom or for whom the action is carried out.
- He bought her a cake. (He bought a cake for her).
- She is reading grandma the news.
- (She is reading the news to grandma).
In the first sentence, the indirect object
as it is for her that the cake was bought.
In the second sentence, the indirect object
as it is to her that the news was read.
The indirect object usually comes before the direct object as shown in above two sentences.
The intransitive verb.
A intransitive verb does not have an object. Without an object, the meaning is not affected.
Example: She smiles. / The dog is barking. / Their plain has already taken off.
All the verbs (smiles, is barking, has taken off) are intransitive as they do not need an object to make the meaning clear.
- The villagers caught a boar yesterday, but it escaped this morning.
The verb caught
as it has the direct object boar. The other verb escaped
since it not followed by an object.
All verbs are either auxiliary verbs or main verbs. Auxilliary verbs also called helping verbs consist of primary verbs (be, have, do) and modal verbs (can could, will might, must, etc). The most common auxiliary verbs are be, be, have, and do. Each has different forms; for example, the eight different forms of be include am, is, was, were.
Auxiliary verbs commomly combine with others verbs to form tenses.
- Jillis is riding an elefant.
- Jack has gone with Jill to the zoo.
- Inthe two sentences, there are two verbs in each sentences -is riding and has gone. The first verbs in each pair (is, has) are the auxiliary verbs, while riding and gone are
- the main verbs.
The two verbs combine to form the tenses.
The first sentence (Jill is riding
an elephant) is in the present continuous tense
telling us that the action is still going on, that is Jill is still riding the elephant.
The second sentence (Jack has gone with Jill to the zoo) has the present perfect tense
. It tells us the action has been has gone
with Jill to the zoo) has the present perfect tense. It tells us the action has been complete.
Auxiliary verbs do not always combine with the main verbs to form tenses. When they are on their own, they are no longer auxiliary verbs but acting like the main verb.
I am sleepy. / She is pretty. / We are lost. / They were tired.
It has a long tail. / You good looks.
Does she know you? Yes, she does.
We can use auxiliary verb for enfasis.
- I do like you.
- She does mind what you said.
Modals or modal verbs are also auxiliary verbs. Modal verbs are used to express ability, ect.
- She can drive a tractor. (ability).
- If we don't leave now, we could be late (Possibility)
I will call you this evening(Willing)
like a ride in the roller coaster. (Suggestion)
get up early tomorrow. (Neccessity)