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Lesson 10; Verbs

  1. Posted by Bertha in Grammar |
  2. December 19th, 2009 |
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Verb and Subject

Verb is that Parts of Speech by means of which an individual or a thing can be said to do something or to be or become something; or to suffer something. Verbs basically indicate some type of action. In other words, by mans of a Verb we can say something about an individual or a thing.

The word or the group of words indicating the thing or the individual is the Subject of the Verb.

We can find out the Subject of a Verb by asking, What is the thing or Who is the person that is, or suffers, or does?

1) Whale is a fish that does not lay eggs.
2) Sam saw tigers in the zoo.
3) The garden is dug by a gardener.

In the first sentence, what thing is told to be a fish that does not lay eggs? A whale. Therefore, the noun whale is the Subject of the Verb ‘is’.

In the second sentence, what person is told to have seen tigers in the zoo? The person Sam. Therefore, the noun Sam is the Subject of the Verbsaw’.

In the third sentence, what thing is told to be dug by a gardener? The ground. Therefore, the noun ground is the Subject of the Verb ‘is dug’.

Whenever, the Verb is associated with the subject a Sentence or the main part of a Sentence is formed.

Verb and Object

If we say, “A cat sleeps”, the action indicated by the Verb sleeps ends with the cat. However, if we say, “A cat killed the mouse”, the action meant by killed does not end with the cat, but it passes on to the mouse who is killed.

1)      A cat killed the mouse.

In this sentence, mouse is the Object to the Verb killed.

2) A cat sleeps the mouse.

The sentence makes no sense. The Verb sleeps can’t have an Object after it.

Verbs can be divided into three classes:-

  • Transitive
  • Intransitive
  • Auxiliary

Transitive Verb: – In case of a Transitive Verb, the action does not end with the doer; but the action passes from the doer to the Object. In other words, a Verb that requires an object is a Transitive Verb. For example,

1)      Sam wrote a poem.

2)      I don’t know whether you have come.

In the first example, ‘poem’ is the Object to the Verb wrote’.

In the second example, ‘whether you have come’ is the Object to the Verbknow’.

Intransitive Verb: – In case of an Intransitive Verb, the action ends with the doer, instead passes to the Object from the doer. For example,

  • We sleep for being fit and healthy.

Sleep what? Has no answer; this is completely non-sense. Objects can’t come after Verbs like sleep. Therefore, sleep is an Intransitive Verb.

Auxiliary Verb: – An Auxiliary Verb helps to form a tense or a mood of another verb; like,

  • Did you learn?
  • I have slept.
  • Does he know?
  • We shall overcome.
  • You will go.

N.B. – The Verb which is helped by an Auxiliary Verb is called a Principal Verb.

There are few Verbs that without any alteration of form, can be Intransitive or Transitive as per the sense; like

Intransitive Transitive
Let me wait a bit. Don’t wait for me.
The day breaks at five. He breaks the stone with a strike of hammer.
She burnt with anger. The fire burnt up the forest.
Office starts at ten o’clock. They started their trip yesterday.
The rat steals into the hole. The rat steals food.
The shirt is hanging up. Sam is hanging up his shirt.
I doubted about the fact. I doubted the truth of your word.
Let’s bathe in the sea. I bathed my puppy with cold water.
Owls hide in the day. Notorious people hide their faults.

There are some Verbs that have one form for the Intransitive Verb and another form for the Transitive Verb.

Intransitive Transitive
The sun rises in the east. He can’t raise the heavy suitcase.
You should not sit there. I set the things in order.
You did not fare well. I didn’t ferry him across.
The opponents quailed. He quelled his enemy.

Verb that can not be used in all tenses or moods is known as Defective Verb.

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