A verb is a part of speech which denotes the action of a subject or an agent and used to tell something about a person or a thing.

For example, John plays football.

Here the underlined word is a verb because the person ‘John’ performs an action i.e., ‘play’

So, let me show some examples.

What a thing or person is –

  1. My sister is an engineer
  2. She is the pretty village girl

What a person or thing does-

  1. He often visited his birthplace
  2. She teaches in our school

What is done to a thing or person is –

  1. He was punished
  2. Joyee was taught a lesson

What is a verb and with types in an infographic

It is necessary for everyone to knows the proper form of a verb and their usage in a sentence. So, I bring a compact easy learning lesson for you guys. Definitely, it will help you a lot. Here we go…

So firstly, we learn about what is a verb? Secondly types of a verb and their example with exercise

Show lets discuss on this briefly

Types of verbs

  1. Finite verb
  2. principal verb
  3. Transitive verb
  4. Intransitive verb
  5. Auxiliary verb
  6. Non-Finite verb
  7. Infinite verb

types of verb


These are restricted or limited to the number and person of the subject.

For example,

  1. I am in the blues


It carried the sense of the main action.

For example,

  1. He wrote a poem


They have an object with them. These are alone used in passive voice.

For example,

  1. You killed a bird (Here killed is a Transitive verb and bird is the object)


They do not carry an object with them

For example:

  1. Birds flew away (Intransitive Verb)


It is generally used with principle verbs and help them to form their tense, voice and mood, therefore, these types of a verb are known as helping Verb.

For example,

  1. You have done a good job (Here ‘have’ is used as aux(v) and done is used as a principal verb.)
These are two types:
  1. Primary auxiliary and
  2. Modal auxiliaries
  • Primary auxiliary:

These are ‘To be’, ‘To have’ and ‘To do’

Be: Present- is/ am/ are       Past- was/ were        Future- Shall be / will be

Have: Present- have/has      past- had                    Future- Shall have/will have

Do: Present- do/does            Past- did                     Future- Shall/will

Sometimes it uses with or without the help of principle verb.

For example,

  1.  I have a car.
  2.  I have done an excellent job.

Similarly, they are directly governed by the number and person of the subject

  • Modal auxiliaries:

These are should, shall, will, would, may, might, used to, ought to need etc.

Features of modal auxiliaries are they are always used with principle verbs (except ‘Dare’ and ‘Need’)

And remain unchanged in their form according to the person and the number of the subject (except ‘Have to’ and ‘Has to’)


These are not limited by the person and the number of any subject. They are used without mentioning any subject.

This is three kinds-

  1. Infinite
  2. Gerund
  3.  Participle

For example:

  1. She comes here to study.
  2. we saw them waiting for the bus.


A gerund is called a type or kind of verbal noun which has double force both of a verb and an adjective.

For example,

  1. Walking is good for health.


A participle is called verbal adjective for it has the combined force both of a verb and an adjective.

For example,

  1. I saw the man swimming in the pool.


It is formed with ‘to’ or without ‘to’ with the base form of the verb.

For example,

  1. To err is human
  2. I saw him to go. (without ‘to’)

Rules of Verb

Rule 1

When two or more subjects are joined by ‘as well as, like, unlike, besides, in addition to, with, together with, along with, and rather then, no less then, except, nothing but, more (man) then one‘, the verb is used according to the first subject.

For example,

  1. The director as well as the dancers wear honored by the public. (use ‘was’ in place of ‘were’)
  2. The mother, and not her children have been for arrested for committing theft. (use ‘has’ in place of ‘have’)
  3. More men than one was absent yesterday. (correct)
  4. Nothing but truth is immortal. (correct)
  5. My mother no less than my father is strict (correct)
Rule 2

When two or more subjects are connected by ‘not only-but also, neither – nor, either-or, none -but‘ the verb is according to the nearest subject.

For example,

  1. Neither the students nor their guide were found present in the common room. (use ‘ was’ in place of ‘were’)
  2. None but the leaders of our country is responsible for this state of affairs. (use ‘are’ place of ‘is’)
  3. One or two books are needed. (correct)
  4. I or he is to be rewarded. (correct)
Rule 3

Neither, either, none, anyone, each, every‘ used as pronoun or adjective should be followed by their person singular verbs.

For example,

  1. Neither of the two boys have done it. (use ‘has’ in place of ‘have’)
  2. Each of the students are obedient. (use ‘is’ in place of ‘are’)
  3. Either of us has down his work. (correct)
  4. Every boy and every girl have been invited. (correct)

When the noun is used countable nouns both singular and plural verbs are correct. but with uncountable noun singular verb is correct.

  1. None of the boys has \ have done homework. (correct)
  2. None of the work is completed. (correct)

When ‘each’ is used after subject the verb is plural.

For example,

  1. Which have taken our bags.
  2. They each are honest.
Rule 4

When plural nouns explain specific ‘amount sum, distance, quantity, time, period‘ as a whole the verb should be singular.

For example,

  1. Four miles are not a long distance. (use ‘is’ in place of ‘are’)
  2. Two hundred rupees were a large amount 50 years ago. (use ‘was’ in place of ‘were’)
  3. Two hundred rupees were lost. (correct)
Rule 5

The expression ‘many a\an, more than one‘ should be followed by a singular noun and a singular verb.

For example,

  1. Many accidents have recently taken place. (correct)
  2. Many an accident have recently taken place. (The correct usage is ‘many an accident has’)
  3. More than one man was absent. (correct)
  4. More men than one were burnt. (Correct refer to Rule 1)
Rule 6

In a compound sentence, both auxiliary verbs and principal verbs should be mentioned separately if they differ in number, from or voice. In such cases, one verb cannot act for both the clauses.

For example,

  1. He has not and will not marry in near future. (place ‘married’ after ‘has not’)
  2. She is intelligent but her sister dull. (place ‘are’ after ‘sisters’)
  3. He surrendered before the court and sent to Jail. (use ‘was’ before ‘sent’)
  4. She disappeared last month and found dead near a well last night. (place ‘was’ after ‘and’)
  5. She is intelligent but her sister dull. (correct)
  6. I did not will not go there. (correct)
Rule 7

The inverted form of the verb is used in the following Cases

When the sentence is introduced by adverb.

When the verb is meant to express a wish or prayer.

For example,

  1. So quickly did the finish her work that we were surprised. (correct)
  2. May you succeed in life. (correct)
  3. Hardly\ scarcely had I reached the airport when the plane arrived (correct)
  4. No sooner did she arrive than she started laughing. (correct)
Rule 8

The verb is the following cases is used in singular form.

When two singular nouns after to the same person denoted by one article.

In certain phrases or idiomatic pair of words suggesting the same meaning, though not synonyms.

For example,

  1. The collector and District Magistrate are on a visit to the Jhargram today. (used ‘is’ place of ‘are’)
  2. What is the aim and object of his costly plan? (correct)
  3. The sum and substance of the passage is given below. (correct)
  4. Bread and butter are sold here. (correct)
  5. Bread and butter are difficult to earn. (correct)
Rule 9

When the sentence begins with ‘It’ the verb is according to the subject ‘It’

In the case of a sentence beginning with ‘ there’ and interrogative pronoun, the verb is according to the predicate \ complement.

However, verb should not be used according to compliment in other than these cases.

For example,

  1. It is the stars that guide our destiny. (correct)
  2. It is I who am helping you. (correct)
  3. There was a boy in the classroom (correct)
  4. There were a boy and a teacher in the classroom. (correct)
  5. There leaves a boy who is my best friend. (correct)
  6. What evidence are these acts? (correct)
  7. What have the boys thought about this plan? (correct)
Rule 10

The use of causative verbs. (Make, get, have cause)

  1. I made my friend write a letter.
  2. My friend was made to write a letter.
  3. He got his house painted by expert painters.
  4. He had a house demolished.

In sentence

  1. The causative verb ‘make’ is followed by direct infinitive ‘write’
  2. ‘Make’ is followed by ‘to write’ because it is in passive voice .

But we can say ‘They caused him to leave India’

Rule 11

When negative ideas are introduced in a noun clause with the following verbs in principal clause, it is advisable to make principle clause in negative.

‘imagine, think, believe, suppose’.

 Note: This rule does not apply to ‘I hope’

For example

  1. I don’t think he will pass. (Correct)
  2. I think he will not pass. (Incorrect)
  3. I don’t suppose she will pass. (Correct)
  4. I suppose she will not pass. (Incorrect)   
Rule 12

The position of the verb in the clause beginning with ‘As’ and ‘Than’, when the subject is hidden.

For example:

  1. The guests came on time as were hoped (say ‘it’ was hoped)
  2. The guests came more in number than was expected (say they were expected)
  3. There were more mangoes than were expected (say it was expected)
  4. There were more servants than was required (say they were required)

Verbs and their forms
Verbs and their forms 1
Verbs and their forms 2

Exercise on verbs

Choose the most suitable alternative to make the sentence logical in sense

  • The bridge _ up by the terrorist only last week

a. blowed b. was blowed c. was blown

  • During rainy season this stream was _

a. overflowed b. overflow c. overflown

  • _ our freedom fighter is in danger

a. Arise b. Rise c. Raise

  • One is _ in duty to help the aging parents

a. Bound b. bounded c. binding

  • The mother asked me _ the table for the guests

a. to lie b. to lay c. laid

In the following examples, pick out the verbs, complements and object

  • I saw John go home
  • They found him guilty
  • They laughed at me
  • He is flying a kite
  • I have no time

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