Verb – Parts of Speech – Definition and types of verb

A verb is a word or group of word (phrase) that is used to describe an action, state or occurrence.

Role of Verb in a sentence:

Verb forms the main part of the predicate of a sentence. Every complete sentence must have a verb.

Verbs are:

Action: read, do, walk, bring, run, learn, eat etc.
State: be, exist, stand etc.
Occurrence: happen, become etc.

– He is a good man. (Using the most common to be verb)
– We learn from the Web.
– She speaks in English.
– Arun is thinking about the incident.

Verbs change their form based on time/tense (past, present, and future), person (first person, second person, and third person), number (singular, plural), voice (active and passive) etc.

Kinds of Verb:

Firstly verb is divided into two categories:

i. Principal or Lexical or Main Verb
ii. Auxiliary or Helping Verb

i. Principal or Lexical Verb:

Verbs which are used independently without help of other verbs are called Principal or Main verb.

– He is a singer.
– She does her job.
– They have many problems.

Principal verbs are two types depending on the object they take:

a. Transitive verb.

Transitive verb is an action verb that requires one or more objects which receive the action of the verb in a sentence.

– She reads the book. (verb with the object ‘the book’)
– He gave me a mobile phone. (verb with the object ‘me’ and ‘mobile phone’)
– I saw her in the market.
– Rifat wants a pen form Ryan.

b. Intransitive verb.

Intransitive verb is an action verb that requires no direct object in the sentence.

– She reads. (no object in the sentence)
– Sit down here. ( “ )
– The birds are flying. ( “ )
– She is singing. ( “ )
– The sun set. ( “ )
– I walked to the park today. ( “ )
– I went to the campus for a scheduled class. ( “ )

Way to find transitive and intransitive verb:
If object is available in a sentence then the verb is transitive of that sentence.
And if object is not present in sentence then the verb is intransitive of that sentence.

So, to find an object we ask the verb by “Whom” or “what” and the answer we get is an object of that sentence.

-He gave me a mobile phone.
Gave Whom? Answer is me. And Gave what? Answer is mobile phone.
So the “gave” verb should be a transitive verb.

-She reads.
Reads what? No answer is found.
So the reads verb is intransitive verb.

ii. Auxiliary or Helping Verb:

Verbs which help a Principal verb to form a sentence are called Auxiliary or Helping verb.

– He is singing a song.
– She is doing her job.
– They are facing many problems.
Here, is and are helping the main verb sing, do, face.

Auxiliary verbs are two types:

i. Primary or Tense Auxiliaries such as be, am, is was, are, were, been, being, have, has, had, having, do, does and did.
Different forms of verb are used in different situations.
– I am doing the job. (present Continuous)
– Ryan was sleeping that moment. (past Continuous)
– It is done by her. (passive form)
– Rose reads the book. (present form as principle verb)
– She is here. (principle verb)
– They have completed the mission. (present perfect)
– Does he make it?
– Have you prepared for the situation?

ii. Modal Auxiliaries such as can, could, shall, should, will, would, may, might, must, need, dare, used to, ought to etc.

Modals only take the base form of verbs after them.

– Shall we start the game? (Asking the question)
– You should read the book attentively. (Suggest)
– Would you give a cup of coffee? (request)
– I can do the sum? (ability)
– May I come in? (permission)
– I used to have tea in the evening. (habit)
– We ought to respect our seniors (moral obligation)

Finite and Non-finite Verbs:

Finite verb:

A Verb which changes its form according to the number, person or tense and must has subject is called finite verb

– I saw her crying.
– He makes me proud.
– I will write a book in this month.
– The honey tastes sweet.
– They are doing a good job.

Non-finite verb:

A Non-finite verb is a form of verb that is not limited by person, number or tense in a sentence and cannot act as main verb.

There are three kinds of non-finite verbs.

i. Infinite
ii. Gerund
iii. Participles


Infinite verb is a non-finite verb that is made up of “to + base form of verb”.

– He likes to play football.
– Honey is sweet to taste.
– The man is too late to go.
– People gathered here to hear the news.

Certain verbs such as bid, let, make, need, dare, see, hear is used without ‘to’ and is called bare infinitive.

– Make her stand.
– Let the people go there.
– You need not leave the place.


A gerund is a form of non-finite verb which is made up by adding the ‘ing’ at the end of the base form of a verb.

– I saw her crying.
– Swimming is good for health.
– Being tired I took rest for a while.
– Seeing is believing.


A Participle is verbal and works as an adjective. Participle can be following types.

Present Participle: Present participle is made by adding ‘ing ’ to the base form.

– A swimming snake bit him in the leg.
– Don’t put your hand into boiling water.
– Look at the setting sun.
– Don’t get into a running bus.

N. B.:

Both of Gerund and Present Participles are made by adding ‘ing’ to the base form.
But difference between them is Gerund functions as a noun and present participles functions as an adjective.
– Swimming is good for the people. (Here swimming is noun)
– A swimming snake bit him in the leg. (Here swimming is an adjective)

Past Participle: Past participle is made by adding ‘ed’, ‘-d’ or ‘-t’ to the base form of a regular verb. Such as looked, said, slept, broken etc.

The past participle can be preceded by have, has, had etc. to express the perfect aspect. And it also expresses the passive voice.

– They have invited him to the party.
– The faded flower attracts none.
– It is said by them.
– The floated area is good for cultivation.

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About the Author: GFC Staff

Our staff explores the Internet what’s possible and share knowledge and information with career seekers. They also Like to dig into various leading newspapers, important books, magazines etc. for important questions and MCQs. The team is led by Iqbal Hussain

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