Technical Tuesdays: Verbs Cheat Sheet

Today we are continuing our exploration of sentences. No matter what kind of writing you are doing, fiction or non fiction, the sentence is your basic unit of expression. We have previously discussed punctuation, simple sentences, and compound subjects, now we are going to move on to verbs with today's verb cheat  sheet. From here we are going to move on to making the most basic of sentences better and giving more information. We will explore how each kind of sentence will give our readers specific kinds of information, and how to understand what you are writing.

Verb Cheat Sheet


From Merriam Webster (retrieved Nov, 12 2018) : a word that characteristically is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being that for various languages is inflected for agreement with the subject, for tense, for voice, for mood, or for aspect, and that typically has rather full descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is sometimes nearly devoid of these especially when used as an auxiliary or linking verb.

(Here I will take the time to ask why dictionaries, which are in the business of explaining words, have so many definitions are complicated, redundant, contradictory? Asking for a friend.)

How I will define it. 

Verb: word that expresses an action or state of being

Types of Verbs

Action Verbs - verbs that show an aciton

Linking Verbs -  a word or phrase that links the subject of a sentence to the predicate

Helping Verbs -  a verb that is used with another verb to show tense or to pose a question

You can take a look at this worksheet


Action Verbs

run, bark,  sleep, fall, blink, fold, laugh

Action verbs are sub-categorized not by meaning or tense, but by use in a sentence. The use can either be classified as Transitive or In-Transitive. 

In-Transitive verbs express an action and only an action. We covered these in the simple sentences post.

Transitive Verbs are verbs that express what a noun does to something, this is called an object. 

For example:
Mary kicked a ball. 
John wants a banana.  
Tommy cleans the wall.
The dog eats leftovers.

Linking Verbs

be (and all of it's forms present and past tense), appear, sound, smell, feel, look, seem

All of these words need at least one more word past them to express a complete idea.

For example:

I am hungry. (to be)
She appears frazzled.
You sound tired.
The bread smells yummy.
I feel great.
He looks away.
They seem nice.

Helping Verb

be, have, do

All of these verbs help out the main verb in the sentence usually an action verb.

I am running.
I have been outside.
You can run.
You do have a book.

We will expand on verb phrases later, these are just basic examples.

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