Verbal Ability - Verbs
A verb is that word in a sentence that talks about an action.
- He talks.
- I sit.
- We do.
In these sentences, the words “talks, sit, do, eat” mention what actions are done by the people. These are called “main verbs” as they take all or most of the responsibility of telling us about the actions.
A main verb uses “s” at the end when written after nouns of the pronouns — “he, she, it”.
- I love to play.
- He loves to play.
- I like football.
- Rahul likes football.
- I hate cherries.
- The boy hates cherries.
Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs
Similarly, main verbs also change from the present form to the past form, mostly by using “ed” after the verb. These verbs are called “regular verbs”.
- Use - Used
- Call - called
- Soil - Soiled
When regular verbs ending with ‘y’ change to the past form, they replace the y with ‘ied’.
- Cry - cried
- Try - tried
- Dry - dried
Many verbs don’t follow the ‘-ed’ or ‘-ied’ rule when changing to past form. These are called irregular verbs. The following is a list of some of the most commonly used irregular verbs −
|Irregular Verb (Present Form)||Irregular Verb (Past Form)||Irregular Verb (when used with “have, has, had)|
|burn||burned or burnt||burned or burnt|
|dream||dreamed or dreamt||dreamed or dreamt|
|get||got||got (sometimes gotten)|
|learn||learned or learnt||learned or learnt|
|show||showed||showed or shown|
Auxiliary Verbs (Be-form)
Verbs are also those actions that include a state of being, mood, existence and status. Let us discuss these cases in the following examples −
- I am in a train.
- He is busy.
- They are late.
In these sentences, the action of being in a train, being busy and being late are explained using words like “is, am, and are” respectively. These verbs are called supporting verbs.
“Am, is, are, was, were” are collectively called the “Be-form” auxiliary verbs. When an action happens on a regular basis, we use the be-forms — “am, is, are”. When an action happened in the past, we use the be-forms — “was, were”.
List of auxiliary verbs and usage
Am − used with ‘I’ (when talking of a regular action)
Is − used with ‘he, she, it’ (when talking of a regular action)
Are − used with ‘you, we, they’ (when talking of a regular action)
Was − used with ‘he, she, it’ (when talking of past action)
Were − used with ‘we, you, they’ (when talking of past action)
Subject vs. Object
There are two ways in which nouns are used in sentences. The ones who are doing the action are the most important and powerful ones, according to grammatical structure, and they are called “subjects”.
- I run.
- He sits.
- They talk.
Here, ‘I, he, they’ are responsible for the actions happening, hence we call them subjects.
The nouns that are not responsible for the action but simply participate in that are “objects”. They are normally used by the subjects to carry out an action.
- I talk to Sriya.
- He knows Richa.
- She doesn’t want to see Raghav.
In these sentences, “Sriya, Richa, Raghav” are not responsible for the action of talking, knowing or not wanting to see, but they are being used by the subjects to do these actions.
Every subject can also be used as objects in other sentences. So let’s discuss the object form of these subjects −
Subject FormObject Form
Sentence1 − I told her to go
Sentence2 − She told me to keep quiet.
If we add these two sentences using the word ‘but’, we can find out that in the first sentence, ‘I’ was the subject, but it became an object in the second case. The opposite happened with ‘her’ which was an object but became a subject in the second sentence ‘she’. For example, I told her to go but she told me to keep quiet.
The Two Kinds of Verbs
Transitive verbs − These verbs need an object to carry on an action.
- She talked to me.
- I met him.
- She taught them.
In these three sentences, “me, him, them” were used to carry out the action as the actions “talked, met, taught” are impossible to do alone, without involving someone else.
Intransitive verbs − These verbs don’t need an object to carry an action.
- Vina wept.
- Zina cried.
- The cat ran.
In these sentences, the actions “wept, cried, ran” don’t need the presence of any other person to be carried out, hence they are intransitive verbs.
Many people are often confused with the usage of the following pair of words −
Lay vs. Lie:
Lay − This means to place something and is most often used in the context of spreading something on a surface. ‘Lay’ becomes ‘laid’ in the past and remains ‘laid’ when used with “had, has, have”.
- I lay this carpet on the floor before I sleep.
- I laid this carpet before some time.
- I have laid this carpet in this place for many months.
Lie − This means to recline and is usually used in the context of sleeping or resting. This also means giving a false statement. The word ‘lie’, when used as resting/sleeping, becomes ‘lay’ in past and becomes ‘lain’ when used with “had, has, have”.
- I lie on this bed after work.
- I lay on this bed yesterday.
- I have lain on this bed for many months now.
The word ‘lie’, when used as a false statement, becomes ‘lied’ in the past. It remains ‘lied’ when used with “has, have, had”.
- He lies a lot.
- He lied a lot earlier.
- He has lied to me a lot.
Raise vs. Rise:
Rise − Rise means to get up on your own. Its past tense is “rose” and becomes “risen” when used with “have, has, had”.
- I rise at 4 every morning.
- He rose early today.
- He has risen already.
Raise − Raise means to lift something up using someone else’s strength. It is used as “raised” in past and also with “has, have, had”.
- I raised the ball from the floor.
- He raised the bar very high.
- They have raised this question many times already.