what are the different kind of verb

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    Verbs are words of action. They are about doing. Used well, they action can be used for your purpose.

    Multi-word verbs

    Verbs need not be single words and there are a number of word groups that can be treated as single verbs, such as 'to put up with', 'to take off', 'to get by' and so on.

    You can identify a verb by the ability to create an infinitive form, which starts with 'to'.

    Main and auxiliary verbs

    A sentence or phrase can have two interlocked verbs. The main verb gives the primary action, whilst the auxiliary verb adds subtle detail. Common auxiliary verbs include the verbs to be, to have, to do.

    I had fun.

    You will be happy.

    Modal verbs

    Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs that add 'mood', most commonly imperative and probability. These can be very useful in persuasive situations, as they cause people to think.

    You should think about this.

    It may rain tomorrow.

    Modal verbs often appear in the subjunctive mood:

    I wouldn't do that if I were you.

    Signals of the subjunctive include 'if' and, particularly, 'were' (as opposed to 'was').

    Transitive verbs

    A transitive verb acts on an object and hence connects the subject of a sentence with its object, and hence requires both to exist.

    I hit the nail. (transitive)

    An intransitive verb does not act on an object and hence acts on its own (you cannot 'sleep' something). It can connect the subject with the object, but needs a preposition to do so.

    I was asleep. (intransitive)

    I live in the house. ('in' is preposition connecting 'live' with 'house')

    Intransitive verbs sometimes have a different meaning to transitive verbs, even though they have the same spelling. This can cause confusion, which may be used within a persuasion strategy.

    She's expecting. So you must go to her.


    Verbs put things into the past, present and future.


    When you put things in the past, you evoke nostalgia. You give evidence to demonstrate truth and reality.


    When you put things in the present, you create a sense of immediacy, making things real and difficult to avoid.


    When you put things in the future, you create a sense of possibility. You create a pull towards what might be.

    Perfection and continuity

    Verbs can be perfect or imperfect, simple or continuous. Perfection indicates completion and uses the verb 'to have' to indicate this. Continuous forms of the verb typically use the -ing ending to show continuity, with the tense being shown with the verb to be.


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