Learning to write – Verbs


Would you believe that this is the second time I am writing this post? I accidentally deleted it the first time: just as I finished.

Before writing this post all I knew about verbs was that they are ‘doing’ words, and now I know that, ummmm, ill get back to you.

Without verbs not much happens

I school

I home

You me

With the verb

I love school

I walked home

you love me

Verbs like other elements of speech have been classified into, nice, easily-forgettable categories, for our learning pleasure. First I need to take a quick detour to talk about infinitives.

An infinitive form a verb is no specific such as the preposition – more on these in another post – ‘to’ and the verb be. To be or not to be. This is the infinitive form of the verb as it is not specific. The infinitive form of the verb has meaning but it is not specific.

To make an infintive into a finitive form of the verb – because this is what we do sometimes – we need an auxiliary verb or we need to conjugate the verb.

To confidently conjugate (*wink*) a verb you change the ending of it which changes the meaning.

Conjugate verbs have been changed to communicate person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, or voice. More on this here

I write: he wrote

auxiliary verbs help to specify time and number.

I am writing: He was writing: he has written.

Now we have the finitive form of the verb and it is specific

Why should you care if it is finitive or infinitive? Well, generally infinitive verbs do not show tense, number or person, whereas, the fintive form of the verb does not. Okay, I’m moving on.

Action verbs

Even I can guess this one, action verbs indicate an action!

I wrote

You read

non-action verbs

Non-action verbs canindicate a state of being, sense, emotion, desire, possession, or opinion.

To be – shows a state of being

I am a good writer? – opinion?

My Audience loves me? – emotion

verb tenses

verbs change to indicate past present and future.

I am writing – present

I have written – past participle

I will write – future

If you’re wondering what a past participle is, it is the past form of the verb; and these usually end in -ed,-d,-t,-en, or-n

I am not going to go into participles here, because I haven’t learnt about them yet!

Verb moods

Once again, as you should be used to by now, there are sub-categories! We have Indicative, imperative and subjunctive

indicative verb mood is the most common. It is used for statements of fact or opinion or for a question.

I student is likely to be stressed?

The earth is flat.

The imperative mood is used to command. Subjects are often implied in imperative moods

go over there! – you

the subjunctive verb mood is used to express a verb with an action or state that is doubtful, imagined, conditional, desired, or hypothetical.

I wish I were better at writing.