WHAT IS A VERB? A verb is a word that expresses action or state of being. Every complete sentence has a verb.
MAIN VERB In many sentences, a single word is all that is needed to express the action or the state of being. The dog barked all night. Brett throws the ball a long way. Mr. Rivera is the new English teacher.
HELPING VERBS In other sentences, the verb consists of a main verb and one or more helping verbs. A helping verb helps the main verb to express action or a state of being. I can speak both Spanish and English. She will learn how to write in kindergarten. The cat should have been fed this morning. Together, the main verb and the helping verb are called a verb phrase.
COMMON HELPING VERBS ambeingdohave mustwerearecan doesisshallwill becouldhadmay shouldwouldbeendid hasmightwasdoing
MAIN VERBS AND HELPING VERBS CONT. Sometimes a verb phrase is interrupted by another part of speech. Suzanne should not call so late at night. The scientists didn’t think the asteroid would hit the earth. Did you watch Justin Bieber’s new video?
IDENTIFYING VERB PHRASES AND HELPING VERBS The Petrified Forest has long attracted many tourists. Its spectacular beauty has captured their imaginations. Visitors can see the Painted Desert at the same time. The colors of the desert do not remain the same for long. Specimens of petrified wood are exhibited at the tourist information center.
IDENTIFYING VERB PHRASES AND HELPING VERBS, CONTINUED Have you ever seen a piece of petrified wood? A guide will gladly explain the process of petrification. Visitors can purchase the fossilized wood as a souvenir. Tours of the Petrified Forest are not recommended for amateur hikers. Hikes must be arranged with park rangers.
IDENTIFYING VERBS Long ago, many people could not read. Instead, they would memorize stories. Then they would tell the stories to their family members and friends. In this way, the people, or folk, passed the tales on from generation to generation. Finally, some people wrote the collected stories.
IDENTIFYING VERBS, CONTINUED Two German brothers, Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm, published a famous collection of German folk tales. The brothers had heard many of the tales from their older relatives. Their collection of stories became extremely popular all over the world. “Sleeping Beauty,” “Cinderella,” and “Rumpelstiltskin” were all preserved by the brothers Grimm. In your library, you can probably find these tales and many others, too.
ACTION VERBS An action verb expresses either physical or mental activity. PHYSICAL: I have used a computer in math class. Please cook dinner, Jerome. MENTAL: Fran understands the science assignments better than anyone else does. The magician is thinking of a number.
IDENTIFYING ACTION VERBS The Maricopa people live in Arizona. The Maricopa make unusual pottery. For this pottery they use two kinds of clay. One kind of clay forms the bowl or platter itself. The other kind of clay color s the pottery. First, the potters mold the clay by hand.
IDENTIFYING ACTION VERBS Then, they shape it into beautiful bowls and vases. With the second type of clay, the potters create designs. They often etch designs on the pottery with a toothpick. Each family of potters has its own special designs. These designs preserve Maricopa traditions from generation to generation.
LINKING VERBS A linking verb connects, or links, the subject to a word or word group that identifies or describes the subject. Sandra Cisneros is a writer. The firefighter had appeared victorious. The new superintendent was she.
IDENTIFYING LINKING VERBS Peanut soup made from fresh roasted peanuts tastes good. Peanuts remain an important crop around the world. Peanuts grow ripe underground. The seeds are the edible part of the plant. The peanut has become an important ingredient in more than three hundred common products, such as wood stains, shampoo, printer’s ink, and soap.
IDENTIFYING LINKING VERBS, CONTINUED Of course, roasting peanuts smell wonderful. Peanut butter was the invention of a St. Louis doctor in 1890. Before then, thanks to George Washington Carver, the peanut had become one of the major crops of the South. Carver, a scientist who experimented with peanuts and other plants, had been a slave. It may seem strange, but carver once prepared an entire dinner out of peanuts.
MAKING THE CHOICE: ACTION OR LINKING? Some verbs can act as an action verb or a linking verb, depending on how they are used in the sentence. I smell the flower. (action verb) The flower smells fragrant. (linking verb)
HINT: THE EQUAL SIGN A good way to test if a verb is action or linking is to replace the verb with an equal sign. If it is a linking verb, it will still make sense. If it is an action verb, it will sound confusing. They sounded the bell for a fire drill. Mom sounded happy about her new job. They = the bell for a fire drill.- ACTION Mom = happy about her new job.- LINKING
IDENTIFYING ACTION AND LINKING VERBS One of the most successful business leaders in the United States is John Johnson. Johnson publishes many popular magazines. Johnson’s life was not easy. The small Arkansas town of his childhood had no high school. Therefore, Johnson’s mother moved to Chicago. In Chicago, Johnson attended high school with Nat “King” Cole.
IDENTIFYING ACTION AND LINKING VERBS During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Johnson’s family grew very poor. However, Johnson studied hard. He became an honor student and the class president. Johnson started his first magazine with a loan. Now he is the owner of a group of companies worth $200 million per year.