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Verbs

Verbs can be referred to as any action or a state of being.

Verbs | Learn with English Medium

Classification

Auxiliary verbs

Also known as helping verbs, Auxiliary verbs do not imply any specific action per se but bring meaning to another verb.

There are four kinds of auxiliary verbs-

  1. Verb- To be 

Usage- is, am, are, was, were

  1. Verb- To do

Usage- do, does, did

  1. Verb- To have

Usage- has, have, had

  1. Modals-can, could, may, might, etc.

Main or Ordinary verbs

Main or ordinary verbs are ones that tell about the main action that the subject is doing or may tell the condition of the subject. There are two types of main verbs-

  1. Transitive verb

Transitive verbs require an object to complete their meaning.

For example: 

She likes chocolate.

I am looking for my passport.

In the above examples, the verbs are supported with objects.

While identifying the object in these sentences, one may try to answer the question ‘What?’ from the sentence. The answer will be the object.

For example:

In the first example, What does she like? The answer is chocolates (which is the object in the sentence).

In the second example, What was I looking for? The answer is passport  (which is the object in the sentence).

  1. Intransitive verb

Intransitive verbs  are the ones that do not have a direct object after them.

For example: 

The baby smiled.

 She sneezed loudly.

In the above examples the verbs are not supported with any object; hence, the sentence will not have any answer to the question of ‘what’.                                         

Subject Verb Agreement

While framing sentences in the English language, the subject of the sentence and its verb must agree with each other in number. Let’s have a look at some of the rules that must be followed-

  • Rule 1 

When a subject in the sentence is singular, its verb will end with the letter ‘S’. On the other hand, when the subject in the sentence is plural, its verb will remain as is i.e. the letter ‘s’ will not be added at the end of the verb.

For example: 

Radha (the singular subject) cleans (verb with an ‘s’ at the end) the room.

Radha and Ram (plural subject) clean (verb without the letter ‘s’ at the end) the room.

  • Rule 2

Collective nouns are words that imply more than one person but are considered singular and take the form of a singular verb. 

Some examples are group, team, committee, family, class

For Example: 

The group (collective noun) meets (treated as a singular verb; ‘s’ added at the end) every week.

The family (collective noun) sits (treated as a singular verb; ‘s’ added at the end) together for dinner.

  • Rule 3

Some words in the English language end with the letter ‘S’ and appear to be plural, but these words are actually singular and are treated as singular verbs.

For Example: 

The news from the front is bad.

Measles is a dangerous disease for pregnant women.

  • Rule 4

The pronouns ‘neither’ and ’either’ are singular and require the usage of singular verbs, even though they seem to be referring, in a sense, to two things.

For Example: 

Neither of the two traffic lights is working.

Either is fine with me.

It must be noted that the nouns with the terms should be plural as they talk about one of the many things/people. However, since only one thing/person is being talked about, the verb will be treated as singular.

  • Rule 5

The indefinite pronouns including anyone, everyone, someone, no one, nobody are always singular and, therefore, require the usage of singular verbs.

For Example: 

Everyone has done his/ her homework.

Somebody has left her purse.

Verbs can get as easy as you think but in some cases, they might also get very difficult to understand. We hope the above information helped clear all your doubts.
If you still have any confusion about the usage of verbs or about any other rules in English grammar, feel free to write to us mehak@englishmedium.in.

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