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20 Apr 2021

What is Verb?

DefinitionVerb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence, and it forms the main part of the predicate of a sentence.

Verb is a word used to show the action and state.


Primary Verb

·       Finite

  • Transitive
  • Intransitive
  • Linking
  • Auxiliary or Helping

·       Non-Finite

  • Participle
  • Present
  • Past
  • Perfect
  • Gerund
  • Infinitive

Secondary Verb


  • Can
  • Could
  • May
  • Might
  • Would
  • Should
  • Must
  • Ought to
  • Used to
  • Need
  • Dare


Finite Verb and Its Type

Finite Verb

  • It depends on time and subject of a sentence.
  • Its position in a sentence is fixed.

Note: A sentence can have any number of non-finite verbs but only one finite verb.

Example: Walking around the shopping mall I saw a few children talking, laughing and buying goods.

The above sentence has only one finite verb = Saw

Other non-finite verbs are = Walking, Talking, Laughing, Buying.

Types of Finite verbs:

  • Transitive
  • Intransitive
  • Linking
  • Auxiliary or Helping Verb

Transitive Verbs

Transitive Verbs - are action verbs in which action is passed/transfer from subject to the object.

I.e. These verbs have Objects.

Example: Ram kicks the ball.

In the above sentence action is transfers from Ram to Ball. Here Kicks is the transitive verb.

Intransitive Verb

Intransitive Verb is an Action verb.

In this type there is no object.

Example: Sneha dances on the floor.

Note: 'on the floor' in the above sentence is a Phrase. Do not confuse it with the Object.

A single verb can be both Transitive and Intransitive - depending upon its uses.

Example: Rohan plays cricket. (Transitive)

Rohan has been playing all afternoon. (Intransitive)

Linking Verb

It is a verb that links a subject with its predicate.

Be verb (is, am, are, was, were), has, have, had, etc are some examples of linking verbs.


There is no food in the kitchen.

I have a car.

Helping Verbs and Rules of their usage

These are used for making tenses and interrogative sentences.

Do/does/did/will/shall + V1

Is/am/are/was/were/will be/shall be + V+ing

Has/have/had/will have/shall have + V3

Has been/have been/had been/ will have been/shall have been + V+ing

Note: V1 = First form of verb; V2 = Second form of verb; V3 = Third form of verb; V+ ing = Verb’s ing form (doing, having, dreaming, etc)


  • If two helping verbs are connected by a conjunction and both demand different main verb then we provide it twice.

Example: Indian army has and will show its mettle to the enemies if need be. (x)

The above sentence is wrong as it has two helping verbs - ‘has’ and ‘will’, both require different main verbs – ‘shown’ and ‘show’ respectively. Therefore, to correct the sentence we have to provide both the main verbs.

Correct: Indian army has shown and will show its mettle to the enemies if need be.

  • If both helping verbs demands the same main verb we provide once.

Example: Virat Kohli may win and will win a test match for India in Australia. (x)

The above sentence has two helping verbs – may and will, both require the same main verb – win, but it is provided twice and therefore the above sentence is wrong. To correct it we need to provide the main verb only one.

Correct: Virat Kohli may and will win a test match for India in Australia.

Non-Finite Verbs and Their Types

Non-finite verbs

A non-finite verb is a verb form that does not show the time and tense.

One cannot tell if a sentence is in the past tense, present tense or future tense by looking at a non-finite verb.

Therefore, a non-finite verb is never the main verb in a sentence.

Types of Non-finite verbs

  • Participle
    • Present Participle
    • Past Participle
    • Perfect Participle
  • Gerund
  • Infinitive


Participle is a non-finite verb that works as an adjective in a sentence and modifies noun or noun phrase.

Note: we can use participle clauses when the participle and the verb in the main clause have the same subject.


Present Participle (V + ing)

For parallel actions (that are happening concurrently without any visible gap), we use present participle.


Listening to the music, I was taking my lunch.

Errors are formed by not specifying the subject.

Example: Working on the field, a snake bit me. (x)

The above sentence is wrong as the subject is missing (snake is not the subject of the sentence which seems is the case in the sentence).

Correct: While I was working on the field, a snake bit me.

Wrong: Being a rainy day, I planned to watch a movie. (x)

Correct: It being a rainy day, I planned to watch a movie.


Past Participle (V3)

If the action occurred in deep past, we use past participle.

I bought a used car.

Note: When past participle works as an adjective, we always use - ed/en after it.


Example: I will show you a bloomed flower.

Error: I saw a drunk man.

Correction: I saw a drunken man.

Error: My friend got a well paid job.

Correction: My friend got a well paying job.


Perfect Participle (Having + V3)

If there is a visible gap between the actions, we use perfect participle.

Example: Having finished graduation, I took a job in an MNC.

Having watched TV, I slept.

Errors are formed by replacing the subject of the sentence.

Error: Having done my homework mother allowed me to play outside.

Correct: I having done my homework mother allowed me to play outside.


Note: Present Participle and Past Participle do the work of Adjectives and Verbs in a sentence.

Infinitives and Gerunds

In part of speech both are equivalent to Noun.

Function: they can be the Subject, Object and Prepositional Object in a sentence.

As a subject


  • Playing is a good exercise.


  • To play is a good exercise.


As an object


  • Ram likes playing.


  • Ram likes to play.


As a prepositional object


  • My mother does not like my playing outside.


  • Train is about to come.


We always use Infinitives after the following verbs:

Attempt, allow, ask, advise, beg, begin, care, choose, dare, fail, forget, go, hesitate, happen, intend, manage, love, learn, need, prefer, try, want, wish.


  • I prefer veg to non-veg.
  • I prefer running to walking.

Exception: I prefer to talk rather than sing.

Note: ‘rather than’ is never followed by ‘to’

Note: No rather than after prefer. The above sentence is an exception.


We always use ‘bare-infinitives’ (without ‘to’) after the following verbs:

Let, bid, make, watch, notice, see, hear, help, etc

Need not, dare not, would better, had better, etc

Why/why not, do nothing but, do everything but, do something but.



We always use Gerund after the following verbs:

Avoid, enjoy, dislike, mind, boast of, suggest, consider, appreciate.


Note: Worth is an adjective but it also takes Gerund.

Example: This book worth buying.


We always use Gerund after the following phrases:

Habituated to, accustomed to, addicted to, objected to, with a view to, look forward to, averse to, Verb + used to, etc.


List of Modals:

Can, could, may, might, should, would.

Ought to, must, used to.

Need, dare – these are semi-modals.

Can – Physical ability

May – Mental thinking (or ability)

Could – Past ability

Note: Can is informal; May is formal


Error: I cannot be able to attend the school tomorrow.

Explanation: can – shows possibility; able to – shows possibility, therefore the sentence is wrong.

Correct: 1. I cannot attend the school tomorrow.

2. I will not be able to attend the school tomorrow.


When to use must, may and might, in terms of possibilities?

Must – High possibility (80%)

May – Moderate possibility (60%)

Might – Low possibility (40%)


Should – it represents Duty

  • You should go to college regularly.
  • You should not sleep late at night.

Ought to – it represents Obligation or moral duty.

  • You ought to respect the nation.
  • You ought to help the senior citizens.

Causative Verbs

The Causatives are the verbs that are used to indicate that one person causes another person to do something for the first person.

One can cause somebody to do something for him/her by asking, paying, requesting, or forcing the person.

List of Causative verbs:

Make, Get and Have.



 Make + V1

  • Used for 2 persons.
  • Equivalent to Cause + To + V1



 Get + V3

  • Used for 3 or more persons.
  • Equivalent to Have + V3


Make + V1

Error: The teacher made the student to laugh

Explanation: Made + V1 (causative verb)

Correct: The teacher made the student laugh

Equivalent form: The teacher caused him to laugh. (correct)


Get + V3


Teacher gets the students run in the field

Teacher has the students run in the field.


Q) She went to the doctor to pluck her tooth. (x)


1. She went to the doctor to make her tooth pluck

2. She went to the doctor to get her tooth plucked