Every sentence needs a verb, although it may not be verbally expressed.

TO BE, OR NOT TO BE

IN MY opinion, the fundamental verb in English is "be". There are eight basic forms of this verb depending on person and tense. For example: "I am a girl"; "He is a boy"; "It is a table." To use "be" in a negative sense, add the word "not". For an interactive exercise using this verb, click here.

Verbs must agree with the number of the subject (singular and plural). Thus, we say: "I love you" and "They love ice-cream".

There are two moods of verbs: indicative, and subjunctive. The subjunctive mood is used in conditional sentences.

Remember that an adverb (such as never) or a contraction (such as 'nt) is technically not part of the verb.

MODAL VERBS
MODAL OR auxiliary verbs are "helping" verbs. They can go before other verbs without any modification. Take an example: "Do you want tea?" "Do" is an auxiliary verb in this question, while "want" is a regular verb.

One modal verb can have a lot of subtle differences in meaning: for example, "the bank will do it for" means the bank is able to do this task for you. If you drop something and someone responds, "I will pick it up for you" then this indicates an offer to help.

Modal verbs are often used to make more abstract grammatical constructions, such as describing causative actions (eg, "I will have my hair cut>".) "Have" and "get" are two of the most common verbs in English, although learners often get them confused.

For more example of how modal verbs can be used, click here.

MULTIPLE VERBS IN ONE SENTENCE
A Brazilian student says: "I am get a little nervous."
As the Eurocentres Blog points out: "When you’re starting to learn English, you’ll probably want to keep things fairly simple.
"Using small, easy sentences – with a single subject, object and verb and a good way to build up your skills.
"But as you get more confident, you’ll probably want to learn to say a little more, right? And having to break everything up into basic sentences can be a little boring!
"So let’s look at how you can add a little more variety to your English – by using more than one verb in the same sentence. There are few things that you need to pay attention to:
"What tense are you using?"

Phrasal Verbs
TRANSITIVE VS INTRANSITIVE VERBS
One fundamental feature of English verbs is the division between transitive and intransitive verbs. A transitive verb can take a direct object.
Some verbs need an object (for example, "think": "I think it will rain today.")

PASSIVE VOICE
The passive voice is formed by combining "to be" in the same tense as the active verb and the past participle of the active verb. Often, the agent is not mentioned.
Many expressions use the passive voice, for example: "Children should be seen and not heard."

CAUSATIVE CONSTRUCTION
A CAUSATIVE construction is when somebody makes somebody else do something. Some of the causative verbs are "make", "have" and "get". We use the causative "have" to arrange for someone to do something for us.

SPECULATIVE VERBS
See here for the difference between "can't have" and "couldn't have".

REPORTING VERBS
Most reporting verbs are followed by an object and then a gerund or infinitive clause.

VERBALS
Look like verbs, but actually function like nouns or adjectives.

PHRASAL VERBS
Click here.


RECOMMENDED WEBLOGS & WEBSITES
» VerbMaster