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Types of Verb

Types of Verb

There are two main types of verbs: lexical verbs, which is the main verb and also called action verbs, and auxiliary verbs, which is also called helping verbs. Further lexical verbs are divided into two categories: action verb and linking verb, and again action verbs are divided into two parts: transitive verbs and intransitive verbs. Auxiliary verbs are divided into two categories modal auxiliary verbs and non-modal auxiliary verbs. Look at the diagram given below:

Types of Verb

Details of all division and sub-division of verbs

1. Lexical Verb

The lexical verbs are the main verb, and they can be action verbs and linking verbs.

i) Action verbs: What a person, thing, or animal does that is the action. E.g., come, go, run, dance, jump, laugh, read, Wright, speak, sing, etc.


  • Rahul walks into the garden. (here walks is the action verb)
  • The sun shines in the sky. (here shines is the action verb)
  • The monkey jumps on the tree. (here jump is the action verb)
  • The policeman blew his whistle. (Here blew is the action verb)
  • We eat our food slowly and chew it well. (here eat and chew is the action verb)

Further, the action verb is sub-divided into transitive and intransitive verbs.

a. Transitive verbs: An action verb can be a transitive or intransitive verb. Transitive verbs are verbs that have an object which affects by the action of the subject. The transitive verb can be passivized.


  • My dog ate my homework. (here ate is a transitive verb, and my homework is an object)
  • Mehak sang a beautiful song. (here sang is a transitive verb and a beautiful song is an object)
  • The pilot landed the plane safely. (Here landed is a transitive verb, and the plane is an object)
  • I enjoy my science lessons. (here enjoy is the transitive verb and my science lesson is the object)
  • The shot sank the ship. (here sank is the transitive verb, and the ship is the object)
  • Do you see the pole star? ( here see is the transitive verb, and the pole star is the object)

b. Intransitive verb: Intransitive verbs are verb that does not have an object. So here, nothing is affected by the action. The intransitive verb cannot be passivized.


  • The ship sank
  • Some ants fight very fiercely.
  • The bus stopped
  • Some TV programs are very
  • Are you coming or not?

ii) Linking verbs: Verbs that link the subject with a complement is called linking verb. Here complement is an adjective, noun, or sometimes adverb and phrase. The Linking verb expresses the fact about a person or thing.


  • I feel sorry. (Here feel is the linking verb that links the subject I with the complement sorry.
  • The glass is transparent. (Here is the linking verb that connects the subject, the glass, with the complement
  • The roses look beautiful. ( Here look is the linking verb)
  • My brother is an IAS officer. (Here 'is' is the linking verb)
  • Raj wants to become a computer engineer. (Here wants to become is the linking verb.

2. Auxiliary Verb

It is also called the helping verb. Auxiliary means 'extra', so it is a verb that adds something to the lexical verb. It helps in making the tense and other aspects. Further, it is sub-divided into two parts: modal verbs and non-modal verbs.

i) Non- modal verbs: Non-modal verbs helps in the formation of tense through which the time of action is denoted, whether that is in present time or past time, or in future time. Which non-modal verbs form which tense are listed below:

a) Present tense: The non-modal verbs; is, am, are, have, has, do, and does are used to denote present time.


  • I am going to eat my food now. (present continuous)
  • You have done your work neatly. Keep it up. (present perfect)
  • He is shopping with his parents at the moment. (present continuous)
  • The emu is a flightless bird. (present continuous)
  • The children are playing in the garden. (present continuous)
  • Do we not do good work? (simple present)
  • Does he write properly? (simple present)

b) Past tense: The non-modal verbs; was, were, had, did are used to denote past time.


  • I was eating my food yesterday. (past continuous)
  • You had done your work neatly. (past perfect)
  • He was shopping with his parents last Monday. (past continuous)
  • The children were playing in the garden. (past continuous)
  • Did we not do good work? (simple past)
  • Did he write properly? (Simple past)
  • It was very cold yesterday. (past continuous)

c) Future tense: The non-modal verbs; shall, will, shall be, will be, will have, used to denote future time.


  • I shall be eating my food tomorrow. (future continuous)
  • You will have done your work neatly. (future perfect)
  • He will be shopping with his parents. (future continuous)
  • The children will be playing in the garden. (future continuous)
  • Shall we not do good work? (future simple)
  • Will he write properly? (future simple)
  • It will be very cold tomorrow. (future continuous)

ii) Modal verbs: The modal verbs express the idea of ability, possibility, duty, and many more. They are used before the main verbs, and with it, the form of verbs always remains in its base and original form. Modal verbs also do not change with the number and person of the subject. They are thirteen in number; can, could, may, might, shall, should, will, would, must, ought to, used to, need, and dare.

a) Can: It is used to express capability, ability, permission, and possibility.


  • He can solve this problem. (ability)
  • Sohan can come here any moment. (possibility)
  • Can I take your pen? (permission)
  • Can you lift this box? (capacity)

b) Could: It is used to express permission, request, possibility, and ability.


  • Could you please pass me that notebook? (request)
  • Could I go with you? (permission)
  • Could it be possible to rain?
  • He could do it properly. (ability)

c) May: It is used to express possibility, permission, wish, hope, or prayer.


  • May I come in? (permission)
  • May you live happily and long! (wish)
  • May you win the match! (hope)
  • May God bless you! (pray)
  • He may come tomorrow. (possibility)

d) Might: It is used to express weak possibility and purpose.


  • I thought he might be at the office. (possibility)
  • He might help his friend. (possibility)

e) Shall and will: Basically, shall and will are used to denote future time. In old English, shall is used to express the first person, but in modern English, the use of shall is avoided, and the use of will is dominated at all places. Sometimes these are used as a modal verb, especially 'will'. Will is used to express certainty, determination, promise, willingness, etc.


  • Tomorrow will be Saturday. (future time)
  • We shall meet you again. (future time)
  • I will try to do better. (promise)
  • I will work hard to get success. (determination)
  • I will help you with cooking. (willing)
  • I will complete my project next Monday. (certainty)

f) Should: It is used to express advice, desire, expectations, obligation, probability, supposition as well as it is used as a past equivalent to shall and will.


  • You should help the person in need. (advice)
  • We should be polite to the children. (desire)
  • He should be polite to us. (expectation)
  • They should be in the classroom now. (probability)
  • Children should obey their parents. (obligation)
  • I told him that I should go to Mumbai the next week. ( here expressing future in past tense)

g) Would: It is used to express habit, option, desire, preference, unreal condition, determination, etc. and, it is also used as a past equivalent to shall and will.


  • Would you like to have tea or coffee? (option)
  • My granny would narrate stories to me. (habit)
  • Would that I were a king! (desire/wish)
  • I would prefer death to dishonor. (preference)
  • Had you worked hard, you would have passed. (unreal condition)
  • He would do it whether you like it or not. ( determination)

h) Must: It is used to express advice, obligation, compulsion, necessity, determination, and prohibition.


  • You must pay your fee tomorrow. (obligation)
  • You must learn your lesson regularly. (emphatic advice)
  • We must follow the rules of the road. (compulsion)
  • You must help your friend in the hour of need. ( necessity)
  • I must leave for Bombay today. (determination)
  • You must not leave home without taking breakfast. (prohibition)

i) Ought to: It is used to express obligation and probability also.


  • We ought to love our neighbors. (obligation)
  • We ought to respect our teachers. (obligation)
  • Food prices ought to come down soon. (probability)
  • This book ought to be very useful. (probability)

j) Used to: It is used to express past habits.


  • When I was young, I used to work for twelve hours. (affirmative sentence)
  • He used not to smoke, but now he is a chain smoker. (negative sentence)
  • Used she to work hard when she was a student? (interrogative sentence)
  • We are not used to telling lies. (Passive voice sentence)

k) Need to: It is both a modal auxiliary verb and a normal verb. The main use of need is to express necessity or requirement.


  • He needs to go to the supermarket.
  • One needs to be careful.

l) Dare: It is generally used to express negative and interrogative sentences. The word denotes challenge.


  • How dare you take my pen?
  • She dared not do it.
  • They don't dare speak to me.

Some other types of verb

Causative verb: The causative verb is called so because they cause or allow someone or something else to happen. In English, the causative verb is a verb that expresses that someone or something makes or helps something to happen. Here the subject does not do something for itself rather it got someone or something else to do for them. The words like let, have, make, get and help are the main causative verbs. However, some other words like allow, require, force, enable, cause, persuade, etc., also act as causative verbs. Examples of the causative verbs in sentences are given below.


  • Let him do what he wants.
  • He will not let me use his phone.
  • Will he let me use his phone?
  • They were having their door painted.
  • I will have his parcel received tomorrow.
  • He will get his hair cut tomorrow.
  • They were getting his friend dropped at the railway station.
  • She makes him laugh.
  • My friends made me laugh whenever I felt disappointed.
  • He is not allowed to go inside the classroom.
  • Parents do not allow their kids to watch cartoons during study time.
  • My coach helped me in practicing the match.
  • They will help him to clean the house.
  • Google enables us to find all the answers easily.
  • Our willpower enables us to do anything.
  • You can't force me to do this work.
  • The police will force the witness to tell the truth.
  • Unemployment and poverty is the cause of his crime.
  • He doesn't want to cause me trouble.
  • The principal required all students to come on time.
  • The construction of the building requires more money this month.
  • I persuaded my friend to consult a good doctor.
  • Raj is planning to persuade his friends to go on vacation.

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