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Verbs - What They Do

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Shake hands with the most powerful word in the English language: the verb. You learned the basics in our discussion above. Now let’s carefully explore the five functions of verbs, see what they do, and then understand why F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: “All fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentence.”

Five Functions of Verbs

Verbs appear in five basic ways in our language, and in those various ways they can perform a wide variety of functions in the English sentence. Here are the five things verbs do in the English language. You must commit them to memory if you’re ever to become a member of The Writers’ Club:

1. Conjugated Verb 2. Infinitive Phrase 3. Present-Participial Phrase 4. Past-Participial Phrase 5. Participial Adjectives

Let’s look closely at these forms and the many functions they perform.

Hard Copy

You may download our entire discussion of the Parts of Speech. Simply download the Grammar eBook Understanding the Parts of Speech.

 

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