English Verbs

English Verbs for Skype Lessons

English Grammar – Verbs

The term verb is from the Latin verbum meaning word: hence it is the word of a sentence. A thought cannot be expressed without a verb. When the child cries, “Apple!” it means, “See the apple!” or “I have an apple!” In the mariner’s shout, “A sail!” the meaning is, “Yonder is a sail!”

Sentences are in the form of declarations, questions, or commands; and none of these can be put before the mind without the use of a verb.

The verb may not always be a single word. On account of the lack of inflections, verb phrases are very frequent. Hence the verb may consist of:

One word; as, “The young man obeyed.”

Several words of verbal nature, making one expression; as, (a) “Some day it may be considered reasonable,” (b) “Fearing lest he might have been anticipated.”

One or more verbal words united with other words to compose one verb phrase: as in the sentences, (a) “They knew well that this woman ruled over thirty millions of subjects;” (b) “If all the flummery and extravagance of an army were done away with, the money could be made to go much further;” (c) “It is idle cant to pretend anxiety for the better distribution of wealth until we can devise means by which this preying upon people of small incomes can be put a stop to.”

In (a), a verb and a preposition are used as one verb; in (b), a verb, an adverb, and a preposition unite as a verb; in (c), an article, a noun, a preposition, are united with verbs as one verb phrase.

A verb is a word used as a predicate, to say something to or about some person or thing. In giving a definition, we consider a verb as one word.

Now, it is indispensable to the nature of a verb that it is “a word used as a predicate.” Examine these sentences¬†(1), obeyed is a predicate; in (2, a), may be considered is a unit in doing the work of one predicate; in (2, b), might have been anticipated is also one predicate, but fearing is not a predicate, hence is not a verb; in (3, b), to go is no predicate, and not a verb; in (3, c), to pretend and preying have something of verbal nature in expressing action in a faint and general way, but cannot be predicates.

In the sentence, “Put money in thy purse,” put is the predicate, with some word understood; as, “Put thou money in thy purse.”


Further reading: http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/verbs.htm