Action Verbs in General Follow along on Text page 362. A verb either expresses an action (what something or someone, a subject, does) or a state of being (what something or someone is). Action verbs are the category of verbs that express actions, though not all actions can be witnessed by the eyes. Action verbs therefore cover both visible and mental action. Examples: Play, shoot, think, trust We will work together on Exercise 1 in the textbook.
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs Follow along on text page 363. A transitive verb expresses an action that passes from the doer of the action (subject) to the recipient of the action (object) in a sentence. Thus, a transitive verb is followed by a word or words that tell what or who receives the action of the verb. Example: Sam shot the basketball. Sam Subject; Shot Transitive Verb; Basketball Object Sam shot what? Sam shot the basketball. An intransitive verb expresses an action without passing an action from a subject to an object. An intransitive verb is followed by a word or words that do not tell who or what receives the action of the verb. Thus, nobody and nothing receives the action described by an intransitive verb. The words afterwards may answer when, where, how, or anything else, but they do not answer what or who receives the action. Example: Ricky went to the store. Went is intransitive here because Ricky’s action of going is not something that he is doing to the store; the store is just his destination. It tells where, not whom or what. In different sentences and contexts, the same verbs can be either transitive or intransitive. The whole idea depends on the function of the verb in the sentence. We will work through Exercise 2 together.
Linking Verbs (Be) Follow along on Textbook pages 366-367. Linking verbs, appropriately enough, form a link between two words. A linking verb helps one word in the sentence describe another. The most common linking verb is some form of the verb be, and many of these forms are listed on page 366. Linking verbs are followed by nouns, pronouns, or adjectives that link to the subject of the verb. We will work together on Exercise 9.
Linking Verbs (other) Follow along on Textbook page 367. Though most linking verbs are forms of be, there are also many other words that can be used as linking verbs. Examples: The gap appears small. The chair smells awful. The song sounds stupid. There is a list of some of these other linking verbs on textbook page 367. We will work through Exercise 10 together.
Linking or Action? Follow along on Textbook page 368. Once you identify the verb, to decide if it is being used as a linking verb, you must ask yourself what the word(s) following it refer(s) to. If the verb expresses an action on the part of the subject and the words following the verb tell what or whom receives the action of the verb, it is a transitive action verb. If the verb expresses an action on the part of the subject but does not pass that action to an object, the verb is an intransitive action verb. If the words following the verb identified as a possible linking verb do not express an action on the part of the subject, instead identifying some characteristic or descriptive aspect of the subject, you have identified a linking verb. Additionally, if you can substitute am, is, or are for the verb, then you have definitely identified a linking verb. We will work together on Exercise 11.
Verb Phrases Follow along on Textbook pages 370-371. A verb phrase consists of a main verb preceded by at least one helping (auxiliary) verb. Auxiliary verbs include all forms of be and some others, such as might, does, shall, and can. There is a list of some of these on Textbook page 370. Example: Janice must have left her toothbrush. Janice Subject; Main Verb Left; Object Toothbrush; Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs Must, Have The complete verb phrase is formed by the combination of the auxiliary verbs and the main verb. This whole group of words is treated as one verb. Verb phrases express transitive or intransitive action and can also be linking, just as regular verbs can. In the example above, the verb phrase must have left expresses a transitive action because the action of leaving passes from the subject, Janice, to the object, her toothbrush. We will work together through Exercise 17.
Split Verb Phrases Follow along on Textbook page 372. Though the helping verbs can sometimes be separated from the main verb by other words, these other words are not part of the verb phrase. Pay special attention to negative words that split the helping verb(s) from the main verbs and timing words (adverbs) that do the same. These are NOT part of the verb phrase! Example: You must not have been listening very well. You Subject; Main Verb Listening; Auxiliary (Helping) Verbs Must, Have, Been; Word Not in Verb Phrase Not Always find the main verb first and then look before that word to see if there are any possible helping verbs. We will work together on Exercise 18 in the text.
Verb Usage Follow along on textbook pages 376-377. In order to determine what kind of verb best completes a sentence, you must read the entire passage. The kind of verb you are looking for must match in tense and number to the rest of the passage. In other words, if the passage took place in the past, all verbs must be in the past tense. If one person did it, the verb must be singular. Always make sure that the verb you choose works in the context of the rest of the passage. We will work together on Practice Exercise 1 on textbook page 377.
Test! Be prepared for a test on verbs, pronouns, and nouns.