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Verbs - Action and Linking

Introduction to Verbs

These are the words which describe an action, event or state of being in a sentence. You can form a sentence without any of the other parts of speech, but you cannot make a sentence without a verb.

For example:

Run! Jump! Fight! Eat! Drink! Sing!

All these can be treated as sentences as they contain the most important part of a sentence—verb. However, the following don’t:

This not a sentence.

Why this not a sentence?

Action Verbs

An action verb describes some action on the part of its subject, (i.e., the doer of the action). In other words, what the subject of a sentence ‘does’ is described by an action verb. For example, words such as ‘take’, ‘bring’, ‘cry’, ‘laugh’, ‘think’, ‘imagine’ and ‘worry’ are all action verbs. Among these words such as ‘take’, ‘bring’, ‘cry’ and ‘laugh’ are verbs that describe physical actions, while words such as ‘think’, ‘imagine’ and ‘worry’ describe mental actions.

Linking Verbs

A linking verb describes the condition or the state of being of its subject (i.e., the person, place, thing or idea described). It does not describe any action (either physical or mental). It serves as the equal to (‘=’) sign in a sentence. The different forms of the verbs ‘be’ (e.g., ‘am’, ‘is’, ‘are’, ‘was’, ‘were’) and ‘become’ are used as linking verbs.

[I] = [the greatest fool]

I am the greatest fool.

(Here, ‘am’ links the subject ‘I’ with the condition ‘the greatest fool’.)

[Yuvika] = [a brave girl]

Yuvika is a brave girl.


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