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  1. #1
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    Red face Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Are nonaction and mental verbs different from being verbs or are they the same?

    Nonaction/mental verbs: think, like, believe, smell, want, need, understand

    Being verbs: look, is, are, remain, get, stay, become

    I don't think so but why do they have so many names?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    Re: Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by vm1112 View Post
    Are nonaction and mental verbs different from being verbs or are they the same?

    Nonaction/mental verbs: think, like, believe, smell, want, need, understand

    Being verbs: look, is, are, remain, get, stay, become

    I don't think so but why do they have so many names?

    Thanks.
    There are many names for subgroups of some of the parts of speech, and verbs are no exception.

    Don't worry too much about the labels, but you need to know what they are in order to converse with others.

    Action verbs are the easiest, although you will encounter some disagreement about what "action" really means.

    Non-action verbs can be divided a number of ways.

    Some divide them as state, sense, desire, possession, or opinion. Others use other classifications.

    One of the most important classification systems for non-action verbs is whether or not they are linking verbs.

    Linking verbs are different because they take predicate adjectives or predicate nominatives instead of direct objects.

    In most cases, being verbs are linking verbs, but some sense verbs and other "mental" verbs can also be linking verbs.

  3. #3
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    Re: Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    ...
    Non-action verbs can be divided a number of ways.
    Some divide them as state, sense, desire, possession, or opinion. Others use other classifications.
    One of the most important classification systems for non-action verbs is whether or not they are linking verbs.
    Linking verbs are different because they take predicate adjectives or predicate nominatives instead of direct objects.
    In most cases, being verbs are linking verbs, but some sense verbs and other "mental" verbs can also be linking verbs.
    So which of the five are those non-action verbs that have an effect on the real world, such as promise, swear, vow, agree [in some contexts], bet [in some contexts]. Are these linking verbs?
    b

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    Re: Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    So which of the five are those non-action verbs that have an effect on the real world, such as promise, swear, vow, agree [in some contexts], bet [in some contexts]. Are these linking verbs?
    b
    That's a good question. I would put "agree" and "bet" (as in I bet she won't call) in the opinion group. In "I bet two chips", "bet" is an action verb, IMO.

    I'm not sure where to put the others. Part of me would call them action verbs; part of me would create a new category: intention.

    I can't think of any context in which any of them would be a linking verb.

    A good test for linking verbs is to replace the verb in question with a form of "to be". If it still makes sense, it is probably a linking verb.

    The meat smells bad. The meat is bad. OK
    The dog smells a rat. The dog is a rat. not OK

    The man stayed calm. The man was calm. OK
    The judge stayed the decision. The judge was the decision. not OK

    The women felt the fabric. The woman was the fabric. not OK
    The woman felt sick. The woman was sick. OK

    John became a judge, John was a judge. OK
    That suit becomes her. That suit is her. not OK

  5. #5
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    Re: Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    That's a good question. I would put "agree" and "bet" (as in I bet she won't call) in the opinion group. In "I bet two chips", "bet" is an action verb, IMO.

    I'm not sure where to put the others. Part of me would call them action verbs; part of me would create a new category: intention.

    I can't think of any context in which any of them would be a linking verb.

    A good test for linking verbs is to replace the verb in question with a form of "to be". If it still makes sense, it is probably a linking verb.

    The meat smells bad. The meat is bad. OK
    The dog smells a rat. The dog is a rat. not OK

    The man stayed calm. The man was calm. OK
    The judge stayed the decision. The judge was the decision. not OK

    The women felt the fabric. The woman was the fabric. not OK
    The woman felt sick. The woman was sick. OK

    John became a judge, John was a judge. OK
    That suit becomes her. That suit is her. not OK
    Thanks. I mentioned agree because of phrases such as 'He had agreed a price for the house, and he wasn't going to pay more'. Perhaps in AmE you always add a prepositin - 'agree to/on'?

    Thanks also for the explanation of 'linking words'. I'd never have guessed that smell and feel had that in common.

    b

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    Re: Mental/Being verbs vs. Action Verbs

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Thanks. I mentioned agree because of phrases such as 'He had agreed a price for the house, and he wasn't going to pay more'. Perhaps in AmE you always add a prepositin - 'agree to/on'?

    Thanks also for the explanation of 'linking words'. I'd never have guessed that smell and feel had that in common.

    b
    Yes, we add preposition after "agree" or we follow it with a noun clause.

    Linking verbs show up in the strangest places.

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