The part of speech which contains words like see, arrive, sleep, discuss, ask, play, can and take off. Verbs are distinguished from other parts of speech by a number of properties.
1. A verb can be marked for tense.
- I write a letter.
- She writes a letter.
- I wrote a letter.
2. A verb can be preceded by an auxiliary verb.
- I am writing a letter.
- I have written a letter.
3. A verb can form a gerund.
- Smoking is injurious to health.
- I like reading.
4. A verb can form a participle.
- I have been working.
- I have worked.
Most verbs refer to actions or states. Verbs are divided into two groups: lexical verbs and auxiliaries. Lexical verbs are further divided into intransitive and transitive verbs.
A label applied to a verb that can have an object.
Examples are: sing, write, read, sink, ring, want, need etc.
Some verbs are always transitive and produce an ungrammatical result if used without an object. Among these are destroy, assassinate, want and trigger.
- Alice wants a new car.
- The Mongols destroyed Kiev.
Many other verbs can be either transitive or intransitive.
Any verb that does not take an object is an intransitive verb. Examples are: sit, sleep etc.