Words That Describe an
Action, an Occurrence, or a
State of Being
Using Verbs Correctly
More than one-half of all mistakes in English are
caused by the misuse of verbs.
It is time for you to put an end to careless mistakes.
Verbs just have a few rules to follow.
Verbs are NOT difficult.
Let’s get started.
• Here’s a new word for many of you: conjugate. For
grammar, the word means listing the verb, its helpers,
and tenses. Right now, you need to know present tense,
past tense, and past participle form. Don’t panic. This
is not as difficult as it sounds. The present tense form of
the verb is just the regular verb. With regular verbs, to
make them past tense, usually just add an –ed. The past
participle form will take a form of have (had or has) and
usually the past tense form of the verb. If you have to
know the future tense, put will or shall in from of the
present tense verb. On the next slide, we will see how
easy this is to do.
Action Verbs Describe an Activity
Physical Actions: eat, walk, run, sleep,
swim, scream, read, write, watch, etc.
love, think, sleep, watch, plan, care, grow, for
give, concentrate, etc.
Linking verbs describe a state of being.
They LINK a noun or adjective to the
subject of a clause or sentence.
Bob was a great baseball coach.
The dinner looks wonderful.
She is smart. (“Smart” is an adjective.
In this sentence, she is not doing
anything except being smart.)
be, am, is, are, was, were,
appear, become, feel, grow,
look, seem, remain, smell,
sound, stay, taste, turn
Linking “Be” Verbs
There aren’t any easy way to learn these
except memorize them, and while you’re at
it, learn if they are singular or plural. I’ll
explain why later.
Other Than The Than the “Be”
Verbs, There Are Other Linking
• Appear, Become, Feel, Grow, Look,
Seem, Remain, Smell, Sound, Stay, Taste,
• Now, these verbs are a little tricky.
You’re going to have to think about them
to know exactly what kind of verb they
Tricky Linking Verbs
• Let me give you two sample sentences.
• Ex. 1: The Pepsi tastes good.
Ex. 2: I tasted the Pepsi, and it was good.
Which sentence is ―taste‖ an action verb
and which one is it a linking verb?
Tricky Linking Verbs
• If you see someone drinking a Pepsi, there is a lot
of action taking place. The can is raised to the
lips; the Pepsi is poured or sipped into the mouth;
the taste buds on the tongue spring into life and
send a message to the brain, which sends a
message to the throat to open and swallow the
liquid because the Pepsi isn’t rotten or something.
Ex. 2 is the action verb.
Ex. 1 is the linking verb. Why? Well, let me
explain on the next slide.
Tricky Linking Verbs
• BUT that is not what the Sample 1 sentence says.
It says that the Pepsi tastes good. Pepsi CANNOT
taste. It doesn’t have taste buds or a tongue. You
get the idea. In English, we are always trying to
make things faster and easier, and that is why we
have a shorten sentence that uses the linking verbs
in this manner. Only the “Be” Verbs and the 12
other verbs in the chart will ever be linking verbs
or action verbs. You must test them to tell. Can
the subject be doing the action? If not, and it is
one of these verbs in the chart, it is a linking verb.
Helping verbs help the main verb
describe action that happened in the past,
is happening in the present, or will
happen in the future. The experts say that these
helping verbs “carry the time.” They tell the
reader or speaker when the action happened.
I can hear some of you screaming (silently) at me because
have noticed that the “Be” Verbs are on this list also. Well,
let me explain again. The “Be” Verbs are linking verbs if
they are the only verb in the sentence, but if one more or is
with another verb, they are helping verbs.
Ex. 1 They are smart. Linking verb because no other verb
Ex. 2 They are going to town with their mother. Helping
verb because “going” is the action verb and “are” is
helping. There may be as many as 3 helping verbs in a
Ex. 3 They may have been going to town tonight.
NOT Is Never a Verb
NOT and no form of it will ever be a verb. Be careful
when you are asked to underline the verbs in a
sentence. If you accidently underline or mark “n’t” in
a contraction, it is wrong.
Ex. 1 She didn’t go with us tonight.
Just So You Will Know
• Using the words do or did as helping verbs is
using the emphatic tense.
• Ex.1: I wrote my paper last night.
• This sentence is just a simple declarative sentence.
• Ex. 2: I did write my paper last night.
• That sentence is called an emphatic sentence
because the did is used to show there is an
emphasis put on the verb. This not something you
have to know now, but you will need it in the
future, and I wanted to prepare you for it.
Tense Means Time When It Comes to Verbs
Happening Now Already Happened Will Happen
Present tense – now
The lions chase the zebra.
Past tense – before now
The lion chased the zebra.
Future tense – has not happened yet
The lion will chase the zebra.
A participle is usually a verb.
There are two kinds of participles – past
Present Participles usually end in -ing.
Past Participles usually end in -ed or -en,
or -d, -t, or –n, and follow the helping
verbs have or had.
Regular verbs are verbs that can be changed
from the present to the past or past participle
by adding –ed or –d.
Making the participle form is easy because you just need to
add have, has, or had in front of the past tense verb.
If you want to make future tense, just add will or shall in
front of the present tense verb.
Irregular verbs are tricky. They are
conjugated in various ways. You just
have to memorize them. Luckily, there
is only about 75 of them to worry about.
More Examples of Irregular Verbs
Really Confusing- So Pay Attention