Verbs Definition

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Verbs are one of the major grammatical groups, and all sentences must contain one. Verbs refer to an action (do, break, walk, etc.) or a state (be, like, own).

The verb tense shows the time of the action or state. Aspect shows whether the action or state is completed or not. Voice is used to show relationships between the action and the people affected by it. Mood shows the attitude of the speaker about the verb, whether it is a declaration or an order. Verbs can be affected by person and number to show agreement with the subject.

See Also:

Modal VerbParts of Speech


Verbs and Tenses

Related to 'Verbs'

Related English Articles

Continue to learn about verbs and tenses by browsing our articles on the topic.

Learner Articles

How to teach link verbs/copula verbs

How to teach verbs that take adjectives instead of adverbs, with linking verb games and other copula verb practice activities

How to teach verbs of senses

How to teach sense verbs/ verbs of sensation/ sensory verbs/ verbs of perception, including look like, smell like, etc and verbs of senses games

English Tenses and Aspects 7 - The Habitual Aspect

A look at the difficulties of classifying "used to"

English Tenses and Aspect 6 - The Prospective Aspect

A look at the use of the 'going to' form in English

English Tenses and Aspects 5 - The Retrospective Aspect

A look the the forms traditionally known as the perfect aspect

English Tenses and Aspects 4 - The Durative Aspect

A look at the form traditionally known as the continuous or progressive

English Tenses and Aspect 3 - The Marked Tense

This tense, the traditional 'past simple', sometimes referred to as the preterite, like the unmarked tense, can refer to past, present, future and general time.

English Tenses and Aspect 2 - The Unmarked Tense

It is true that the uses of the unmarked tense can present three major problems for the learner

English Tenses and Aspects 1 - Introduction

I believe the tense/aspect system of English verbs is far less complex than many suppose. There is an underlying logic to the system that, when understood, clears away most of the problems that have caused misery to many learners and their teachers.

Problems with the Past Perfect & Past Simple

Notes on why native speakers do not always use the past perfect when learners have been told they must, using questions and answers from our forum.

The Past Perfect

A look at how the Past Perfect is formed and used in English

Using 'Wish' in English

A look at how to use the verb 'wish'.

The Use of BY + Agent in the Passive Voice

A look at when to use BY with the passive.

Articles for Teachers

Related Language Quizzes

Test your understanding by taking our language quizzes related to verbs and tenses.

Level Quiz
Beginner Am, Are & Is (15)
Beginner Auxiliary Verbs (15)
Beginner Don't & Doesn't (10)
Beginner Have or Has (18)
Beginner Imperatives (10)
Beginner Need & Needn't (10)
Beginner She's = is or has? (11)
Beginner Simple or Progressive? (10)
Beginner There is or There are (15)
Beginner There Is or There Are ? (18)
Beginner Was or Were (16)
Beginner Will or Would (10)
Intermediate Active or Passive (9)
Intermediate Causative (21)
Intermediate Needn't & Don't Need (8)
Intermediate Passive (15)
Intermediate Passive (2) (14)
Advanced Reflexive Verbs (10)
Advanced Tenses (10)
Advanced Transitive & Intransitive Verbs (10)
Advanced Verb Types (11)
Advanced Verbs of seeing (10)
All Levels Irregular Verbs- Past Participle (50)
All Levels Passive (1) (59)