The vernacular of verbs is decadent and depraved

“The verb is the business end of a sentence, the sentence’s reason for being. That’s where the action is. Without a verb, even if it’s only suggested, there’s nothing going on, just a lot of nouns standing around with their hands in their pockets. A verb is easy to spot. Just look for the moving target, the center of activity that tells what’s going on. No wonder the verb is the most interesting word in a sentence.” Patricia O’Conner. Woe Is I (2009)

From that clear and exciting introduction, Conner goes on to immediately caution us that the verb is the most complicated word in a sentence. Indeed, I am finding that even the lexicon of the verb is inherently difficult and confused. Every web page and book disagrees on the number and names of verb types. Rather than first embracing what a verb does, the beginning student is faced before that with what kinds exist and how to reconcile all the many types that populate one’s reading.

These are just some of the names for verb types:

Action

State of being

Transitive

Intransitive

Linking

Transitive active

Transitive passive (indirect object)

Intransitive complete

Helping

Phrasal

Modal

Normal

Non-Continuous

Mixed

‎Regular

Irregular

Auxiliary

‎Finite

Non-Finite

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About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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