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Verbs: Definition, Types, Uses and Examples

Grade 3
Jun 12, 2023


Verbs are usually referred to as action words.

Verbs are doing words. They are words that describe actions, both physical and mental. Verbs also describe a state of being.

Verbs describe:

  • Physical action – These verbs describe actions that we do physically.

For example: to run, to jump

She ran to school.

  • Mental action – These verbs are related to concepts like thinking, understanding, etc. which are done mentally.

For example: to consider, to guess, to think

She considers the boy as her son.

  • State of being – These verbs do not express any activity but they express a state of being (how things are.)

For example: to be, to seem, to exist

It seems that the program is over.

Types of Verbs

The different types of verbs are:


1. Action Verbs

Action verbs are used to refer to actions. These refer to physical actions that we perform like running, walking, etc., and mental actions related to discovering or understanding, like thinking, listening, knowing, etc.

For example: Maria writes poems.

2. Stative Verbs

Stative verbs refer to a condition or state of being. These are used to describe qualities, emotions, opinions, etc.

For example: be, like, own

His house has 4 rooms.

3. Transitive Verbs

A verb that does not make sense on its own needs an object. Such verbs which are accompanied by a direct object in a sentence are called transitive verbs.

For example: buy, love, sell, believe

Leo bought vegetables.

Here, the verb bought does not make any sense if we say “Leo bought”. We need an answer to the question Leo bought what?

In this sentence the object is vegetables and bought is the transitive verb.

Nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases can become objects.

4. Intransitive Verbs

An intransitive verb makes sense on its own. It does not need a direct object

For example: I ran.

5. Linking Verbs

A linking verb connects the subject to words describing the subject.

For example: Nick is tall.

6. Helping or Auxiliary Verbs

Helping verbs do not make sense on their own. They help the main verbs to express their full meanings.

For example: be, have, do

            I have eaten my lunch.

Here, have is the helping verb, and eat is the main verb.

7. Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are a special type of verbs. They don’t change their form to match their subject. They are always used in the same form.

Modal verbs change the meaning of the main verb by expressing advice, necessity, possibility, etc.

For example: can, could, may, might, will, would, shall, should, must, ought to

May I come in?

I can’t come with you today.

8. Regular Verbs

Regular verbs form their past and past participle forms by adding –ed.

For example: Visit – visited – visited

Walk – walked – walked

I walked to school

9. Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs form their past and past participle forms in a different way, not by adding –ed.

For example: Run – ran – run

Eat – ate – eaten

10. Phrasal Verbs

A phrasal verb consists of a basic verb + another word or words.

All these words together form a phrase and that is why they are known as phrasal verbs.

The meaning of the basic verb and the phrasal verb it makes won’t be the same.

For example: look after

The meaning of looking after is to take care of. It is different from the meaning of the verb “look”.

11. Infinitives

An infinitive verb is the base form of the verb with “to” in front of it.

For example: to eat, to do, to make

I’m going to sleep.



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