Verb | A Quick Guide to Mastering English Verbs with Examples – Milyin | It’s The Passion That Matters

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What Is A Verb?

What is a verb? In the most simple terms, a verb is a word which describes an action, often known as a ‘doing’ word. In the English language, the verb is the only kind of word which will change to show whether the past or present is being spoken about. The verb is considered to be the most vital part of any sentence, without it you would be left literally speechless.

A verb is a word or group of words describing an action, experience, or state of being.

Verbs are the main part of a sentence and one of the nine parts of speech in English.

Verb examples: Walkisseemrunseeswim, stand, go, have, get, promise, invite, listen, sing, sit, …

  • He speaks English
  • I don’t know how to spell the word
  • She studies hard

There are many different types of verbs in English grammar: irregular verb, modal verb, dynamic verb, stative verb, auxiliary verb, causative verb,…


Verb Rules

Important Verb Rules

There are many rules surrounding the use of verbs in the English language, let’s take a look at the most important ones.

  • When talking in the third person, the verb requires an -es or -s form, for example, he uses the bathroom.
  • If the verb and the subject have a long phrase between them, the verb has to agree with the original subject and not that of the phrase. For example, The sweets which he gave to his wife were very tasty.
  • If the subject is preceded by the phrase ‘one of’, the following verb should be singular. For example, One of the children is crying.
  • If two nouns are within a sentence and refer to the same thing or person, the following verb should be singular. For example, The doctor and the nurse are working in the hospital.
  • If there are two nouns which are synonymous within a sentence, they should be followed with a singular verb. For example, His power and might is huge.
  • Plural nouns on their own will use a plural verb, for example His shoes are too big. However, if the plural noun is preceded by the words ‘a pair of’ then a singular verb is required. For example pairs of shoes is quite expensive.
  • If the noun is uncountable then a singular verb should always follow it, for example The poetry that he writes is very romantic.
  • When a collective noun is referring to a single entity, it should use a singular verb, for example The military is very strict. However, if it is being used to refer to an individual then a plural verb should be used, for example The military are requesting new members.

Subject Verb Agreement Rules

10 subject-verb agreement rules in English grammar:

  • The subject and verb must agree in number. A singular subject takes a singular verb, whereas a plural subject takes a plural verb.
  • The subject is separated from the verb by “with”, “as well as”, “together with”, “along with”. These words and phrases are not part of the subject. The verb agrees with the subject.
  • Two subjects joined by “and” are plural.
  • Two subjects joined by “or/not”, “either…or/neither…nor”, “not only…but also” take the verb that agrees with the subject closest to it.
  • With collective nouns, the verb might be singular or plural (UK), depending on meaning.
  • In sentences beginning with “here” or “there“, the true subject follows the verb.
  • The verb is singular if the subject is a singular indefinite pronoun. The verb is plural if the subject is a plural indefinite pronoun. And, some indefinite pronouns (some, any, all, most) may be either singular or plural, depending upon their use in a sentence.
  • Use a singular verb for expressions of measurement, time. money and weight when the amount is considered one unit.
  • Plural form subjects with a singular meaning take a singular verb.
  • Titles of single entities are always singular.
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