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.

2. A verb can be preceded by an auxiliary verb.

3. A verb can form a gerund.

4. A verb can form a participle.

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.

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.

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.