In this post we will talk about the basic types of verbs. The English language has three basic types of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs and auxiliary verbs or helping verbs.
An action verb is an action that can be done by a person, place or thing. This can be physical or mental actions.
Alan says he is going to New York.
The dog barks when vehicles drive by.
To be sure if a word is an action very ask yourself if it is something you could do? For example: Todd jogs every weekday. Ask yourself if you can do each word. Can you Todd? No. Can you jog? Yes.
Linking verbs tie the subject to the rest of the sentence. These are often different forms of “to be”.
Kathy is a sweet lady.
The new car could be a Dodge.
More often than not a linking verb describes the subject of the sentence. In our two examples the linking verb connects the subject to the definition of the subject. For example the first sentence defines Kathy as a “sweet lady”.
Here are a few of the various forms of “to be” that can work as linking verbs. Am, are, be, is, can be, were, shall be, has been, have been, would be, being, was, could be, has been, should be, would have been, should have been, could have been, will have been, shall have been, have been and will be.
Auxiliary verbs are often referred to as “helping verbs”. These words appear in front of action or linking verbs.
The shy girls are sitting at the table together.
You could have been working tonight.
There are many types of auxiliary verbs in our language. Here are just a few of the words that often act as helping verbs. They can also act as action or linking verbs in different sentence structures. Can, could, may, might, must, would, shall, should, will, had, has, and have.
If you want to be sure if a word is a auxiliary very or a linking verb you would just look to see if the action verb immediately follows the “to be” verb. If it does then it is an auxiliary verb, if not it is a linking verb.
Students learn about verbs early on in their school curriculum. However, in the early elementary school grades verbs are simply introduced as “action” words. For more educational tools on verbs you can visit the following: