Verbs and Different Types of Verbs

Verbs are words which declare something. Every sentence must contain a verb as its predicate. A verb tells us something about the subject. If say ‘birds’, you might immediately ask ‘birds what?’. A sentence needs a subject and a predicate. The predicate answers the question ‘what’. Birds fly. That makes sense. That doesn’t leave you with a question, does it? Let’s delve a bit deeper into this part of speech of English grammar.

What are the different types of verbs?


A verb-phrase is a group word of words that is used as a verb. e.g. The boy is reading. In this sentence ‘is reading’ is a verb-phrase.

Auxiliary Verbs

Some verbs are used to make verb-phrases, These verbs are called auxiliary verbs. The auxiliary verbs help other verbs to express action or state of some particularly kind. In the sentence ‘the boy is reading’, ‘is’ is an auxiliary verb. In this sentence the auxiliary verb helps the main verb to express the state the action of reading. The action of reading is going on in the present moment.

Auxiliary verbs in English

The auxiliary verbs are is (are, was, were, etc.), may, can, must, might, shall, will, could, would, should, have, had, do, did.

More examples of auxiliary verbs in sentences: They are busy. You can read. I have a pen.

Tips: Auxiliary verbs can be separated by other words. They have arrived. They have just arrived.

What are Transitive and Intransitive Verbs?


Transitive verbs are those verbs in which the action of the verb goes over to a receiver. Transitive verbs takes an object to make the sense clear. He killed a bird. Only saying ‘he killed’ leaves with the question ‘killed what?’. Transitive verbs need objects to express their complete meanings.

The Direct Object of a verb is the thing on which the action of the verb is exerted directly.

Tips: Transitive and take start with the letter ‘T’. Transitive verb take objects. This will help your to remember what transitive and intransitive verbs are.

Intransitive verbs do not require objects to express their meanings. The baby smiled. The verb ‘smile’ is an intransitive verb. It can express the meaning on its own.

A verb which is transitive in one of its senses may be intransitive in another.

Transitive (with Object)Intransitive (without Object)
Boys fly kites.Birds fly.
The pirates sank the ship.The stone sank.
I closed my eyes.School closed yesterday.
Tom tore his coat.The cloth tore easily.


Many transitive verbs may be used absolutely,—that is, merely to express action without any indication of the direct object.

Transitive Verb with Object expressedTransitive Verb used absolutely
The horses drank water.The horses drank from the brook.
The farmer plows his fields.The farmer plows in the spring.
Charles is drawing a picture.Charles is drawing.

Linking Verbs

There are some verbs in English e.g. ‘be’ is used as linking verbs to describe or define the subject. The boy is tall. The sky is blue. The ball was red. The king turned pale.


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