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Function of a Verb in a Sentence

Verbs are a necessary component of all sentences. Verbs have two important functions: Some verbs put subjects into motion while other verbs help to clarify the subjects in meaningful ways.
The important thing to remember is that every subject in a sentence must have a verb. Otherwise, you will have a written fragment, a major writing error. Here we are going to look at the function of a verb in a sentence. 

  • My English teacher smiled at the plate of cold meatloaf.
    My English teacher= subject
    Smiled = verb

Also Read:

Function of a Verb in a Sentence

What is a verb?
Definition: Verb is a word that shows an action, but it also shows state/ possession, presence or absence of a person or thing.

  • I teach English at this Academy. (Action)
  • They seem happy today. (State)
  • The players are on the ground. (Presence)
  • The students are not in the classroom. (Absence)

The function of a verb
In fact, a verb signals an action, an occurrence or a state of being. Whether mental, physical, or mechanical, verbs always express activity.

The following examples describe physical action.

  • Let’s run to the corner and back.
  • I write a  letter to my friend.

The following verbs in the sentences are mental verbs related to concepts such as discovering, understanding, thinking, or planning. In general, a mental verb refers to a cognitive state.

  • know the answer.
  • She recognized me from across the room.

The state of being verbs in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.

  • am a student.
  • We are circus performers.

Kinds of a verb by form

Literally English verbs have five basic forms:
1. The base form
2. The -S form
3. The -Ing form (the present participle)
4. The -Past form (Past simple)
5. The -Past Participle form
These Forms are used according to the tense of the sentences:

Base form  -S form -Ing form  Past tense Past Participle
write Writes Writing Wrote written
Play Plays Playing Played Played
Read Reads Reading Read Read

Most verbs have past tense and participle in -ed (worked, played). But many of the most frequent verbs are irregular. These verbs are discussed in the intermediate part.

How to spell -Ing form of the verb?

Kinds of verbs by function

There are different types and classification of verb, some of the most important ones are listed below:
1.Transitive Verbs
2. Intransitive Verbs
3. Dynamic/ Event verbs 
4. Stative Verbs
5. Linking/Predicating Verbs
6. Helping Verbs (Auxiliary Verbs)
7. To be Verbs
8. Regular and Irregular Verbs
9. Perception/ Sensation Verbs
10. Modal Verbs
11. Phrasal/ Prepositional Verbs
12. Hypothesis Verbs


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Abida Batool


alobu innocent obinna November 2, 2018 at 9:39 pm

very nice

BISMO November 2, 2018 at 10:24 pm

Thank you Alobu Innocent Obina.

Matshwene Hilda March 1, 2019 at 2:13 am

Hey my name is Hilda i want to learn English


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