Verbs and their sub-classes


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

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

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.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

19 thoughts on “Verbs and their sub-classes

  1. In all of my years of school – and learning Spanish, no less – I never actually knew what conjugation was. Thanks for the new information and the grammar refresher!

    And I’m no polished writer, so take my words with a grain of salt, but from what I’ve read so far – you’re pretty good! Far better than most people, I’d say – and your progress is substantial from your first post linked to on your about page. Congrats on your writing journey and fare thee well!


  2. Speaking as an English teacher (which was my role for nearly twenty years), I’m not sure what makes you think you can’t write. This post shows a fairly complete treatment of English verbs: finite, infinitive, auxiliary, participles and even a mention of progressive tense, which an editor recently told me I should never use. (She was wrong, by the way). Writing may be a struggle for you, but it is a struggle that you are winning. I suspect it’s an essential element of presenting your research.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! I feel as if I have neglected writing as a skill, relative to my other skills in the sciences, and now I am playing catch-up. Your suspicions are correct, I do need to be able to present my ideas more effectively, mostly I need to ‘publish or perish’ as they say in the science world.


  3. I wish I was better at writing as well, but I think it comes naturally depending on the environment you are in. I have noticed that being surrounded by well spoken people improves your grammar, diction and expands your vocabulary as well.


    1. Surrounding yourself with more articulate people definitely helps. To borrow a quote from the business world ‘You’re the average of the 5 people you associate with most’.

      Liked by 1 person

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