Parts of Speech: The Verb

All About Verbs

I think that most of us are more than aware that ‘Verbs are ‘doing’ words.’ They show action, a state of being, or express time. We have present, past, and future tense.

For most of us, we covered the basics in our grammar classes.

  • He eats. (Present tense)
  • He ate. (Past tense)
  • He will eat. (Future tense)

Tip: The trend is to use the simple tense in writing. It’s clean, clear, and uncomplicated. It’s also user-friendly.

But then, we had to learn the more intricate verbs

Such as:

Finite Verbs:

  1. Stand on their own.
  2. Have a subject.
  3. Have a number.
  4. Have a tense.

A finite verb makes a complete sentence with a subject. It can be in past, present, or future tense.

Examples:

She works.

In this sentence:  The Subject = She,  and the number = One person, and the Tense = Present

They negotiated.

Subject = They
Number = Many people
Tense = Past 

Infinite Verbs: 

  1. Do not show tense, person or number.
  2. Have a ‘to’ that comes before the verb.
  3. Must have a finite verb before the ‘to’.

It is preferred that you do not split the infinitive. Don’t say: ‘She wants to definitely work.’ You will split the infinitive.

Example:

She tiptoed so as not to wake anyone.

‘To wake’ does not show tense, person, or number.
‘to’ comes before the verb, wake
Tiptoed is a finite verb that comes before the word ‘to’

Strong Verbs

Try to use strong, precise verbs. This helps you to say what you mean, reduce adverbs, and avoid the passive voice versus active voice.

Examples: 

stride, grab, analyse, resolve, tiptoe, instruct, wobble, revise, scan

Avoid Nominalisation Of Verbs

This is also known as ‘nouning’. A nominalisation occurs when a verb (or other part of speech) is used as (or transformed into) a noun. 

Example:

argue becomes argument

‘A nominalisation is a type of abstract noun. An abstract noun denotes an idea, quality, emotion, or state. It is something that is not concrete. It takes the power away from the original verb.

Phrasal Verbs

‘Phrasal verbs’ are a combination of words with a meaning beyond the individual words. They are verbs that are followed by a preposition or an adverb.  

Examples: give up, put off, pass out

Phrasal verbs are mainly used in spoken English and informal texts. We should avoid using them in formal and academic writing, where it is better to use a verb like ‘postpone’ than a phrasal verb like ‘put off’.

There is a lot more we can learn about verbs. In my Creative Writing Classes, I will be discussing verbs, adverbs, and adjectives at length.

Until next week,

~Mustang Patty~

Published by Mustang Patty

I am finally a full-time author, who writes legal thrillers, how-to- books, short stories, flash fiction, a tiny bit of poetry, and Blog posts. My published works include 'Guilty until Proven Innocent,' 'Innocent for the Moment,' and 'Moment by Moment.' This is a trilogy called the Jill Adair Series. Additionally, I've written a collection of short stories about my dogs, Howie and Bernie - with a 2nd Collection coming in late 2021. I'm also coordinating an Anthology of Short Stories called, '2021 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology.' This book will be available on Amazon.com on August 1st of 2021. (The 2020 Indie Authors Short Story Anthology is currently available on Amazon.com - the collection includes 30 stories, written by 18 different Authors from three continents.) I am married to my wonderful hubby of over 37 years, and I have two grown children, named Heather and Gregory. I've been blessed with two beautiful grandbabies, Heather Rose and Logan Ernest.

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