Free English tutorial - what are verbs and different types of verbs

This article explains verbs and their forms. A verb does not always refer to an action, but it also means a condition of an object. You can read how verbs are used in various forms in a sentence.

A verb is often described as an action word that portrays the actions of a verb. Sometimes it also refers to a combination of words. To determine a verb in a sentence, one should ask, What is the person doing?' For example, Sita is cooking food. In this sentence, you should frame a question in mind: ' What is Sita doing? The answer is ' She is cooking food'. So, cooking is a form of the verb to portray the action of Sita. In primary school, students are often taught verbs as 'doing' words. But if we study verbs in depth, we learn that a verb is not only a doing word, but it is also a linking word. e.g., the book is on the table. In this sentence, the word 'is' is a verb as it expresses the state of being or existence.

Types of verbs

Different types of verbs are regular, irregular, transitive, intransitive, dynamic, static, auxiliary, linking, etc. Let us discuss some of the verbs commonly used in sentences.

Regular verbs or action verbs

These verbs are known as action verbs as they reveal the action of a person, animal, or thing. Words such as jump, sit, stand, eat, drive, etc. are known as action verbs. They also refer to mental functions such as thinking, shouting, talking, etc. E.g., Jim is throwing the banana peel into the dustbin. So, in this sentence, throwing is an active verb, portraying the action of Jim. Another example of an active verb is mentioned as follows: Timmy is shouting in the playground. In this sentence, Timmy is performing a mental function called "shouting." Shouting is an action verb in the following sentence.

Stative verbs

These words refer to the condition of a person, animal, or object. They sometimes even refer to the beliefs or opinions of a person. Some of the common passive verbs are love, desire, have, possess, need, etc. e.g., I love my pet dog. In this sentence, although a person is not actively performing any action, he is doing a mental act, and hence 'love' is a verb in the sentence. Another example of a passive verb is ' I have a big garden in front of my house'. In this sentence, have is a stative verb, as you are not performing any action. But the state of possession is only a verb.

Auxiliary verbs

These verbs are known as helping verbs and are used along with a verb. Words such as will, would, could, may, can, might, etc. are used as auxiliary verbs. For example, She will go to London tomorrow. In this sentence, will go is considered a verb. The word 'go' reveals the action of a girl, but the word 'will' specifically states that she is yet to go. It is a word used to show the action that is yet to be done. The word 'go' does not specifically make any sense without the word will'. Another example of an auxiliary verb is as follows: I can draw three pictures in a day. In this sentence, 'can draw' is a verb, and the action 'draw' is accompanied by the word 'can' to indicate that a person is capable of drawing three pictures a day. Although an action is not performed, the sentence portrays an action that could be done.

Transitive verbs

It is a word or a verb used along with an object. For example, I ate a cheese pizza yesterday in a restaurant. In this sentence, the verb 'ate' is directly linked to the object ' cheese pizza'. It is usually linked to a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase. e.g., I give her a ring. In this sentence, give is a transitive verb as it refers to a pronoun. Another example of a transitive verb is 'My friend gave a ring to me on my birthday'. In this sentence, 'gave' is a verb directly relating to the noun 'ring' given by the friend.

Intransitive verbs

It is a verb that does not directly link to any object, person, animal, etc. For example, Tom plays in the evening. In this sentence, the word 'play' is not linked with any person, animal, or object. We cannot find an answer to the question, ' What does Tom play? Another fine example of a transitive verb is 'The birds chirp sweetly in the morning'. In this sentence, 'chirp' is a verb that does not directly speak about any person, object, or animal.


People commonly think of verbs as a form of action only, such as playing, skipping, flying, driving, etc. As explained in this article, verbs also specify the condition of an object or being or it can even accompany an action such as 'can, will, could', etc. Get some more free English lessons


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