Easy Learning

Verbs - Easy Learning Grammar

Verbs are words that allow us to talk about activities, processes, states of being, and states of mind.
  • This basket holds quite a lot.
  • John was reading Katherine’s essay.
  • Fiona is preparing a talk for next week’s class.
  • Helen feels much happier now.
  • I forgot that it was your birthday.
  • Paul owned several old motorbikes.
Verbs can be divided into two major groups, according to the way they are used. Those in the larger group are called main verbs. The rest are called auxiliary verbs.

Verb phrase

A verb phrase can be a single word or a group of associated words.
  • he walks
  • he is walking
  • he had walked
  • he can walk
  • he has been walking
  • he might have been walking
When a verb phrase consists of a single word it is called a simple verb. Many verbs in English are made by combining an auxiliary verb and a main verb; this is called a compound verb.
  • When we want to talk about everything to do with a verb, we use the term verb phrase.

Main verbs

These are the verbs that we use to indicate actions and states. Most of the verbs in English are main verbs. They are also called lexical verbs. Main verbs are divided or classified in several ways:
  • according to whether they refer to states
  • I can really taste the herbs in this omelette.
  • This scarf belongs to me.
  • He hates losing.
  • She always liked boats and sailing.
  • I already feel that I have known you for ages.
   or actions.
  • Three boys were kicking a ball around in the field.
  • We were running across the football field.
  • For six hours, Stuart drove across open desert.
  • into regular and irregular verbs according to the spelling of their forms.
  • regular: talk, talks, talking, talked.
  • irregular: swim, swims, swimming, swam, swum.
  • irregular: go, goes, going, went, gone.
  • according to whether or not they are followed by an object. That is, whether they are transitive or intransitive. See Phrasal verbs.
  • I can read.
  • We both read the same newspaper.
  • Don’t tell me.
  • We both ran away.
  • Sue found a bracelet.
  • I saw my best friend on Friday.

Auxiliary verbs

These verbs are used in combination with main verbs in order to allow us to talk about different times or periods of time, different degrees of completion, and different amounts of certainty or doubt. There are several types of auxiliary verb. The primary auxiliaries help express time, and the modal auxiliaries help to express certainty and doubt. See Auxiliary verbs, Be, Have, Do, Modal verbs, Can and could, May and might, Must, Shall and will, Should, Would and Ought to.


The Paul Noble Method
The Paul Noble Method
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