A verb is a word that expresses an action or a state of being. There are three kind of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary verbs.
An action verb describes the behaviour or action of someone or something. Some action verbs express physical action. Other action verbs express mental activities.
PHYSICAL: He speaks fluently in Enlish but he always hurries.
MENTAL: They hoped for a better future.
A linking verb is a verb that connects a noun or a pronoun with words that identify or describe the noun or the pronoun.
The sky was cloudy. [The verb was links the descriptive word clear to the noun sky.]
Our teachers are professionals making miracles. [The verb were links the identifying word professionals to the noun teachers.]
The most frequently used linking verbs are the different forms of the verb be. Some of these forms can appear in the following list:
am can be shall have been
are could be will have been
be has been may have been
being have been might have been
is shall be could have been
was should be should have been
were will be would have been
The following verbs may also be used as linking verbs:
appear grow smell reamin
become look sound stay
feel seem taste
The new comer appeared friendly. [Appeared links the descriptive word friendly to the noun dog.]
He became my best friend. [Became links the identifying word friend to the pronoun he.]
Some verbs can be either linking verbs or action verbs, depending on how they are used in a sentence.
ACTION VERB: I tasted the soup. [Tasted expresses an action.]
LINKING VERB: It tasted good. [Tasted links the descriptive word good to the pronoun it.]
Sometimes an action verb or a linking verb needs the help of one or more other verbs. This other verb is called an auxiliary verb, it is a kind of a helping verb. The verb that it helps is called the main verb. Together, a main verb and one or more auxiliary verbs form a verb phrase. In the following sentences, the auxiliary verbs are in italic type, and the main verbs are in bold type.
I have seen this movie.
The dod was barking in the garden.
The most common auxiliary verbs are forms of be, have, and do. Common auxiliary verbs are in the following list:
am, are, be, been, is, was, were will, would
have, has, had can, could
do, does, did may, might
shall, should must
Forms of be, have, and do can be either auxiliary verbs or main verbs.
MAIN VERB AUXILIARY VERB
I am happy. I am leaving.
I have an interesting book at home. I have read most of it.
I did my best. I did try really hard.
A verb phrase may contain two or even three auxiliary verbs.
They should have been instructed by now.
Sometimes, a verb phrase is interrupted by another word, such as not or never.
You can never know the truth.
In questions, the verb phrase is usually interrupted by other words.
Do lemons grow indoors?
Can computers replace people?