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  1. #1
    kobeobie is offline Newbie
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    Default Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Can I please please please have a clear and concise definition of what a verb actually is.I have been doing some research on the subject but I have been inundated with information and Im still unsure as to what a verb actually is.

    I know that:

    Every sentence must have a subject and a verb.

    Verbs describe (i) an action, (ii) a state or (iii) an occurrence

    I also the verb is a sentence is quite commonly an action word.Action verbs I understand.

    What is a state of being verb is it the same as a linking verbs:

    I know that there are eight state of being verbs:


    Is
    Am
    Are
    Where
    Was
    Be
    Being
    Been

    My IS John.I am 20 years old.I AM caucasian and my girlfriend LOOKS gorgeous

    Looks is not on the list.How is it a state of being verb


    Ice IS cold = I understand
    Bananas ARE yellow = I understand

    Do you KNOW what I MEAN????
    Puppies NEED a lot of care and attention???

    How are these state of being verbs


    I heard that verbs can be broken down into three categories:


    Action verbs:
    Linking verbs(State of being,what does state of being even mean?it has cause me much confusion?????):
    Helping verbs or auxiliary verbs

    Is this true. I just need a simple way to understand and identify a verb.

    P.S. is a state verb the same thing as a state of being verbs



    There is so much information out there.

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Remember that language is not a fixed science. It evolves naturally and our ways of describing it can change as well.

    When I was in school, we didn't have "state of being" verbs. We simply learned that verbs express action or being. The being verbs are also called "linking" verbs because they link together the subject and a predicate adjective. (Ex: "You are frustrated.")

    Helping verbs are the little words that accompany the main verb in a sentence, that modify its meaning. You never find helping verbs alone. (Ex: "I will call you." "Will" is the helping verb.)

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, KobeObie:

    You are right: the word "verb" can be very confusing. I have checked my books, and I suggest that three of the most important verbs to learn are: action verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary (helping) verbs. May I comment on the first two?

    ***

    1. Action verbs.

    a. When the subject does something.

    (i) I eat ice cream. (physical action)

    (ii) I like English. (mental action) You asked about "need." One book says it is an action verb. I guess that "know" and "mean" are also mental action verbs.

    ***

    2. Linking verbs. (The elegant word is the "copula.")

    a. When the subject does not do anything.

    (i) "The ice is cold." The ice is not doing anything. "Cold" describes the ice. It is almost like "cold ice." As you may know, some languages do not need a linking verb. In some languages, you just say "The ice cold." But English usually requires a verb in every sentence.

    (ii) Same explanation for "Bananas are yellow." (Remember: "Yellow bananas.")

    **

    3. Finally, may I remind you that sometimes an action verb is a linking verb, and a linking verb is an action verb:

    Mona tasted the soup. She did something. Action.
    The soup tasted bitter. The soup did not do anything. Linking.

    The cookies smelled good. The cookies did not do anything. Linking.
    The dog smelled the meat. The dog did something. Action.

    *****

    Welcome to UsingEnglish.com, Kobeobie. I think that you will get faster replies if you ask one short question in each thread. HAVE A NICE DAY!

    *****

    Credit for this information goes to:

    Instant English Handbook by Madeline Semmelmeyer and Donald O. Bolander.
    Essential English by Philip Gucker.
    Last edited by TheParser; 08-Jun-2012 at 12:43.

  4. #4
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    For those who may be interested, here are some definitions of verb, Part One:

    (c 335 BCE)Aristotle: A verb is a composite significant sound, marking time. For “man” or “white” does not express the idea of “when”; but “walks” or “has walked” does connote time, present or past. Peri poietikés

    (c 100 BCE) Dionysius Thrax: A Verb is an indeclinable word, indicating time, person and number, and showing activity or passivity. Tékhnē grammatiké

    (c 500 ACE) Priscian: The verb is a part of speech with tenses and moods, without case signifying acting or being acted upon. Institutiones Grammaticae

    (1549) Lily, William and Colet, John: A verbe is a parte of speche, declined with mode and tense, and betokeneth dooyng; as Amo , I loue: or sufferyng: as Amor , I am loued: or beeyng: as Sum , I am. A Shorte Introduction of Grammar

    (1586) Bullokar, William: A Verb is a part of speech declined with mood, tense, number, and person. Bref grammar

    (c. 1620) Hume, Alexander: The verb is a word of al persones declined with mood and tyme; as, I wryte, thou wrytes, he wrytes. Of the Orthographie and Congruitie of the Britan Tongue

    (1640) Jonson, Ben: A verb is a word of number, which hath both timeand person. The English Grammar

    (1660) Lancelot Cand Arnauld A: [A verb] is a word whose main use is to signify affirmation, that is to say, to point out that the discourse in which this word is used is the discourse of a man who does not only conceive things, but also judges and affirms them, [.... a verb also expresses ...] other movements of the soul, like wishes, requests, command, etc. Grammaire générale et raisonné

    (1685) Cooper, Christopher: Of importance in verbs are 1. moods. 2. tenses (times). 3.numbers. 4. persons. Grammatica Linguĉ Anglicanĉ

    (1711) Gildon, Charles and Brightland, John: ... the very Essence of [a verb] is express'd in the term Affirmation, since all Words of this kind do affirm Something of Something […] An Affirmation (as the Word does show) / Something affirms, and does Number know, / And Time and Person; whether it express / Action, Being, Passion; or their Want confess. A Grammar of the English Tongue

    (1761) Priestley, Joseph: A VERB is a word that expresseth what is affirmed of, or attributed to, a thing; as I love, the horse neighs. The Rudiments of English Grammar

    (1762): Lowth, Robert: A VERB is a word which signifies to be, to do, or to suffer. A Short Introduction to English Grammar

    (1763) Ash, John: A Verb is a word that signifies the Acting or Being of a Person, Place or Thing; as, the Man calls, the City stands, the Tree falls, I am. Grammatical Institutes

    (1794) Murray, Lindlay: A VERB is a word which signifies to BE, to DO or to SUFFER; as, "I am, I rule, I am ruled."... . English Grammar

    (1823) Cobbett, William: Verbs are, then, a sort of words, the use of which is to express the actions, the movements, and the state or manner of being, of all creatures and things, whether animate or inanimate. A Grammar of the English Language

    (1828) Webster, Noah: VERB, n. [L. verbum, fero.] 1. In grammar, a part of speech that expresses action, motion, being, suffering, or a request or command to do or forbear any thing. The verb affirms, declares, asks or commands; as, I write; he runs; the river flows; they sleep; we see; they are deceived; depart; go; come; write; does he improve? American Dictionary of the English Language

    (1870) Angus, Joseph: A verb is a word that says or affirms something: 'being, doing, suffering; 'being, act, state.' Handbook of the English Tongue

    (1882) Mason, C P: A verb is a word by means of which we can say something about some person or thing. A Shorter English Grammar



  5. #5
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Part Two:

    (1890) Morris, Dr R: A verb is a word that states or affirms what a thing does or is done to, or in what state it exists; as, "the fire burns," John is beaten," "the child sleeps," "the fun begins." English Grammar

    (1891-8) Sweet, Henry: The primary use of verbs as regards their meaning is to express phenomena (changing attributes), as in come, all, grow, die [compare the permanent attribute-word dead]walk strike, see live, think. In other verbs the idea of phenomenality is less predominant, as in live, shine – compared with flash, twinkle; stand – compared with fall, rise; lie, sleep. In exist, which is the most abstract and general of al verbs that have an independent meaning, we can realise the sense of phenomenality only by the contrast with non-existence. A New English Grammar

    (1904) Daniel, Rev Canon Evan: A verb (Lat: verbum, a word) is the part of speech by means of which we make affirmations. It was so called as being pre-eminent the word in a sentence. Verbs are used to express(1) what a thing does, as 'the tree grows;' (2) what is done to a thing, as 'the tree is felled;' (3) in conjunction with a noun or adjective, to express what a thing is becomes or seems to be. as ' he is a sailor; She became queen; They seemed happy.' The Grammar, History and Derivation of the English Language

    1909 Webster, Noah, (Harris W T and Allen, F S, eds): (Gram.) A word which affirms or predicates something of some person or thing; a part of speech expressing being, action, or the suffering of action. & hand; A verb is a word whereby the chief action of the mind [the assertion or the denial of a proposition] finds expression. Earle. Webster's New International Dictionary, 1913 edn.

    (1954) Wood, Frederick T: A verb is a word which tells what someone or something does or is. The Groundwork of English Grammar

    (1957) Whatmough, Joshua: VERB Part of speech expressive of a state, being, process or action, e.g.. is, kills... Language, A Modern Synthesis

    (1961) Gove, Philip Babcock (editor in chief)::verb\'vərb, 'vēb, 'veib\ n –s oftenattrib [ME verbe fr. MF fr. L. verbum, word, verb; trans. of Gk. rhēma – more at WORD]: a word belonging to that part of speech that characteristically is the grammatical center of a predicate and expresses an act, occurrence , or mode of being and that in various languages is inflected for agreement with the person and number of the subject, for tense, for voice, for mood, or for aspectand that typically has rather full descriptive meaning and characterizing quality but is in some instances nearly devoid of such meaning and quality esp. in use as an auxiliary or copula. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary

    (1969) Christophersen, Paul & Sandved Arthur O: Any word that can occur in the paradigm
    save - saves - saving - saved - saved
    sing - sings - singing - sang - sung
    will be called a verb. p 42
    [...] the following group of words, which are traditionally included among verbs, can hardly be said to be verbs in our analysis:

    can, could, may, might, must, ought, shall, should, will, would.
    They do not occur in the paradigm of save and sing. [...] None of the forms listed above is ever found with the other suffixes used to define verbs. It would perhaps be possible to regard them as a highly specialised type of verbs, but we shall not do that. An Advanced English Grammar

    (1968) Urdang, Laurence (ed):…any member of a class of words that function as the main elements of predicates, typically express action or state, may be inflected for tense, aspect, voice and mood, and show agreement with subject or object. Random House Dictionary of The English Language. New York

    (1970) Schibsbye, Knud: VERBS In practice it is not difficult to distinguish this part of speech; it is generally agreed that it comprises such words as be, have, must, take, live, touch, spend

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Part Three:

    (1970) Schibsbye, Knud: VERBS In practice it is not difficult to distinguish this part of speech; it is generally agreed that it comprises such words as be, have, must, take, live, touch, spend

    But it is difficult to define the class. If we take he form as our basis we might, for instance, fix on the suffix –s in the 3rd pers. sing. present, but this would exclude can, may etc.
    Another form criterion that seems applicable is the difference in the expression of present and past: live/lived. fight/fought. But this definition would not cover put, set, etc.
    If we distinguish according to function, verbs could be defined as the sentence-forming element of a word-group. God in his heaven is not a sentence; God is in his heaven is. But this definition would not include infinitives, gerunds and participle. To be or not to be, that is the question / Erring is human / A sinking ship / Lost horizon.

    A wider definition on this basis could be obtained by regarding the nexus-forming element of a group as a verb. This formulation would cover some more of the verbal forms mentioned above: I found him missing / I expected him to be dead. But this definition is likewise unsatisfactory, since in a sentence such as don't speak with your mouth full the term nexus is applied to your mouth full.

    A definition by content is the most comprehensive, but also the vaguest. One might say that verbs express 'behaving' – partly in the sense of the subject manifesting itself (in the case of verbs used intransitively): he works / lived: partly of the way the subject behaves towards somebody or something else: he loves / loved her(in the case of verbs used intransitively). – In the first case the dividing line between verbs and adverbs will become blurred, as can be seen in he up and struck me; in the second case the dividing line between verbs and prepositions; compare A. versus B. and A. playing B. where versus and playing may be said to express the same relationship. A Modern English Grammar

    (1984) Chalker, Sylvia: Verbs are defined partly by position/function and partly by inflection. To oversimplify greatly, we can say that any word that fulfils the following two conditions is a verb:
    1. Position Any single word that can fit into one or more of the following patterns and make a complete sentence (with no further words):
    (a) clever, [adj]
    the boy . . . (b) carefully. [adv]
    (c) the dog [noun phrase]
    eg (a) is, seems, looks; (b) works, wrote, spoke; (c) has, loved, hits, fed.
    2. Inflection Any word that has a set of inflections similar to the following:
    walk walked walked walks walking
    begin began begun begins beginning
    [...]

    This two-fold definition partly fits BE/DO/HAVE. But it totally excludes a number of other words (eg can, must) because
    (a) they cannot be used alone except when a verb is ellipted [...] and
    (b) they do not have a set of inflections as in 2 above. Yet these words always form groups with verbs, and they share some of the formal characteristics of BE/DO/HAVE. (eg negative and question formation). So, it is reasonable to classify them as a sub-division of verbs.
    On formal ground, therefore, we divide verbs into;

    A. lexical verbs (so-called because they carry full dictionary meanings). This group includes BE/DO/HAVE when used with full meanings –eg BE = exist, have quality of; DO = perform; HAVE = take, experience.

    B. AuxiliariesThese may be subdivided into:
    (a) BE/DO/HAVE when used as auxiliaries to other verbs.
    (b) Modals (can, must, etc) which are always used as auxiliaries to other verbs. So-called because they indicate mood. Current English Grammar

    (1992) Richards, Jack C, Platt, John and Platt, Heidi: verb /vз:b, vз:rb/n (In English) a word which (a) occurs as part of the PREDICATE of a sentence, (b) carries markets of grammatical categories such as TENSE, ASPECT, PERSON, NUMBER and MOOD, and (c) refers to an action or state. For example: He opened the door Jane loves Tom.
    Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics

    (1992) Palmer, F R: VERB …A class of words that serve to indicate the occurrence or performance of an action, or the existence of a state or condition. In The Oxford Companion to the English Language

    (1994) Weiner, E S C and Delahunty, Andrew: verb a part of speech thatpredicates.The Oxford Guide to English Usage, London: BCA/OUP

    (1995) Thompson, Della (editor): verb (vз:b) n. Gram. A word used to indicate an action, state, or occurrence, and forming the main part of the predicate of a sentence. The Concise Oxford Dictionary (9th edn)

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Part Four:

    As Schibsbye noted (post #6): In practice it is not difficult to distinguish this part of speech; it is generally agreed that it comprises such words as be, have, must, take, live, touch, spend

    But it is difficult to define the class.

    I don’t attempt to define the word ‘verb’ but accepting that it’s not difficult to distinguish this part of speech, I find it useful to distinguish between two classes or types:


    1.1. Auxiliary verbs
    The smaller of the two classes of verbs, auxiliary verbs (or simply auxiliaries) comprises only twelve verbs. They have little ‘meaning’, but are used with full verbs to construct complex verb forms. This class is made up of two sub-classes:
    1.1.a. The three primary (or grammatical) auxiliaries:
    BE, which is used to construct progressive (or continuous)and passive forms,
    ...
    HAVE, which is used to construct perfect forms,
    DO, which is used to construct negative, interrogative, emphatic and dummy form.

    (These three verbs also function as full verbs.)


    1.1.b. The nine modals(or modal verbsor modal auxiliaries):
    CAN, COULD, MAY, MIGHT, MUST, SHALL, SHOULD, WILL and WOULD (Some writers include DARE, NEED and OUGHT (TO) in
    .................................................. .................................................. ............
    the list of modals.)

    These express shades of meaning such as ability, certainty, determination, expectation, inference, intention, necessity, obligation, permission, possibility, volition, etc.


    1.2. The full (or lexical) verbs

    The vast majority of verbs are in the class of full or lexical verbs, which have a ‘meaning’ (rather than just a grammatical function). They denote events, actions, states or processes, such as EXPLODE, RUN, SEEM, CHANGE. Full verbs (except BE) have between three and five different forms:

    5 4 3
    a. I (grow place put) flowers on my patio every year.
    b. I (grew placed put) flowers on my patio last year.
    c. I have (grown placed put) flowers on my patio for ten years.
    d. I am (growing placing putting) flowers on my patio this year.
    e. Luke (grows places puts) flowers on his patio every year.

    The (a) form, the first form, often known as the base form, stem or (bare) infinitive, is the main entry form in dictionaries; for regular verbs, it is the form from which the other forms are constructed. The first form is used for: · The (bare) infinitive: I can’t speak Russian.
    · The to- infinitive: I want to speak Russian fluently by the end of the year.
    · The present simpletense: My children speak German at school and English at home.
    · The imperative: Speak more slowly, please.

    The (b) form, the second form, is often known as the past (simple) form of the verb. With regular verbs it is constructed by adding –(e)d to the first form; with irregular verbs the form may be identical to the first form (BEAT), third form (COME), to both first and third forms (CUT), or may be different from both (RIDE). The second form is used for:
    · the past simple tense: I spoke to Henry about the problem yesterday.

    The (c) form, the third form, is often known as the past participle. With regular verbs It is identical in appearance to the second form; with irregular verbs the form may be identical to the first form (COME), the second form (LEAD), to both first and second forms (CUT), or may be different from both (RIDE). The third form is used for:
    · the present and past perfect: Have/had you spoken to Andrea?
    · passive constructions: Basque is spoken only in parts of Spain and France.

    The (d) form, the –s form of the verb, is constructed by adding –(e)s to the base form. It is often known by the name of its only use:
    · third person singular present (simple) tense form: Mila speaks English and Czech.

    The (e) form, the –ing form, is used for:
    · progressive (or continuous) constructions: Those two people are speaking Hungarian, I think.
    · the present participle: Speaking to himself softly, he left the room.
    · the gerund: Speaking with your mouth full is generally considered impolite.

    The verb BE is unique in having eight forms: be, am, is, are, was, were, being, been.
    The modals each have only one form, although some writers consider could, might, should and would to be the past tense forms of can, may, shall and will respectively.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Jun-2012 at 16:53.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    How interesting!
    Thank you, 5jj! I'm going to keep them on file.

    How do you pronounce 'Schibsbye'?
    Is s/he Danish? (I googled the name and found a webpage(Wikipedia), which is written in Danish. It's probably about another Schisbye. S/he might be an athlete.)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Verby verb verbs!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    How do you pronounce 'Schibsbye'?
    I don't know how his name is pronounced I am afraid. All the words beginning with 'sch' here are pronounced with /ʃ/.

    Knud Shibsbye was a student of Otto Jespersen, collaborating with him on parts of Jespersen's monumental grammar. Schibsbye later became Professor of English at the University of Copenhagen.

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