Verbs in English: Usage and Examples


Hey all!

Do you want to speak English fluently?

I am sure you do. So, I decided to share the secret with you: English grammar is the key to good speaking English. No, I am not saying that you need to mug up grammar rules, you just need to know the basics.

Hence, I am going to explain verbs today. Let’s begin!!

The verb which shows the action or state of being of the object is called the main verb . It can also be called the lexical verb or principal verb. The main verbs can be used alone or with a helping verb, which is also called an auxiliary verb.

Helping verbs support the main verb in several ways: by depicting the tense, possibility, intention or ability.

The most important helping verbs are:

  1. To be
  2. To do
  3. To have

Here are some examples:

  • I am cooking the dinner.

In this example, am is a form of helping verb to be. It denotes that the main verb i.e. cooking is happening continuously in the present. Other forms can be used to describe when the cooking is taking place: was cooking, will cook and so on.

  • I did make a note of it.

In this example, did is a form of helping verb to do. It puts emphasis on the main verb make. Suppose, your sister accuses of forgetting something, you will say “I did make a note of it!” and not “I made a note of it” as the former sentence puts emphasis on the fact that you did what you were asked to do.

  • I had heard the song before.

Here, the helping verb had (past perfect tense) indicates that the action happened at an earlier time in the past. If you say “I heard the song before”, the listener may think you had just finished hearing it.

Also Read : 3 Grammar Rules You Need NOT Follow

Main Verbs can also be Linking Verbs

Verbs also express the state of being of an object. In such cases, main verbs act as linking verbs because the link the verb with the information about its state of being.

For example: Mr. Johnson was a kind man.

Here, the main verb was describes Mr. Johnson’s  state of being i.e. kind.

Transitive and Intransitive Main Verbs

Principal verbs can either be Transitive or Intransitive. Transitive verbs have a direct object whereas Intransitive verbs do not have a direct object. Hence, transitive verbs need a direct object to receive the action but intransitive verbs can do without it. Intransitive verbs can express the action even if there is no direct object.

Examples of Transitive Verbs:

  • Tina fed the dog.
  • Priya loves
  • They attended the seminar.

Examples of Intransitive Verbs:

  • Seema cried.
  • The breeze blew.
  • The cat

Also Read : Usage: Sometime, Some time and Sometimes

Mostly sentences end with transitive and intransitive verbs. But they can also be followed by other parts of speech such as prepositional phrases or adverbs at times.

Here are some examples:

  • Seema cried for a long time.

(“For a long time”is a  prepositional phrase)

  • The breeze blew fiercely.

(Fiercely is an adverb)

  • The cat disappeared yesterday.

(Yesterday is an adverb)

Make sure you know the concept of verbs clearly. Do not pay attention to learning the rules, but be aware of the usage. I hope this article helped you  know more about verbs in English and their types. Keep reading !

Also Read : Spoken English Skills for Workplace

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