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Verbs in English Grammar

Simulated dunking in publicWhen we want to talk about what the subject of a sentence‏‎ does, we use a verb.

Verbs tell us about an action; they are sometimes called doing words or action words. Verbs describe what is happening.

Here then are some simple verbs:

drink, eat, rest, dunk

As with many languages, verbs in English are an incredibly important part of speech‏‎ and your TEFL students need to become familiar with not only how they are used, but also how they are formed. This is because they change depending on who is doing the speaking, when the action happened (past, present, future, etc) and also how the speaker feels about the action.

Time in Verbs

Verbs are intricately linked with time and when something happens: past, present or future. To show time, verbs can change their tense and form‏‎. So for example we can change a verb thus:

I worked all day yesterday.

I am working now.

I will work all next week.

Feelings in Verbs

We can also use certain verbs to tell us about how we feel about something happening. We use modal verbs like this:

You should see a doctor.

It must rain soon or the crop will die!

Useful Links

Modal Verbs‏‎ – for more on Modals

Verb Tenses‏‎ and Forms – to read more about how verbs change

photo credit: Simulated dunking in public (license)

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