Verb Notes

Verb Notes
Verb Notes—Have your spiral open to the
Notes section!
• Three types:
1. Action
2. Linking (also called Dead verbs)
3. Helping (also called Auxiliary
Action Verbs
• Action—Ask: Does this word express something I
can do?
• Action verbs can stand alone!
The truck driver honks his horn.
She runs a mile each day.
• There may be another action verb in the
sentence, but it will not be beside the other action
verb. (Note: An action verb CAN be beside a
helping verb)
The child watched the dogs run around the
Practice—Action Verbs
Identify the action verb(s) in the following sentences. Write
the action verb(s) on your paper for each statement.
1. The clock in the living room chimed every hour.
2. You need a paperclip to secure the papers.
3. Open your book to page 15.
4. Uncle Drew cast his fishing line off the edge of the pier.
5. Lexi considered Morgan to be her best friend.
6. Marcia watched the squirrel hop from limb to limb.
7. Heather understood why.
Linking Verbs (Dead Verbs)
Linking Verbs (Dead Verbs)
• Linking verbs convey a state of being or condition. In a
sentence, they link, or connect, a noun with an adjective,
a word that describes the noun.
• is, am, are, was, were, be, been, being, seems,
appears, becomes, feels, smells
• Linking verbs are also called dead verbs because they
can’t DO anything—they’re “dead.”
Linking Verbs, Ctd.
• Linking verbs can stand alone—they do not have to have
another verb with them. This is how you can distinguish a
linking verb from a helping verb.
James is a nice person.
She appears happy despite the situation.
• Some verbs can be either action verbs or linking verbs
depending on their role in the sentence:
Action: Lucas tasted the stew.
Lucas actually tastes the stew; therefore, tasted is an action
Linking: The stew tasted salty.
The stew is NOT tasting anything. The adjective salty is
describing the noun stew, so the verb is a linking verb.
Helpful Tip
• If you need help identifying if a verb is a linking verb or
action verb, replace the verb with the word, “is.” If it
makes sense, the verb is a linking verb.
Example 1:
Kevin felt the
Kevin is the
This does not make sense, so “felt” must be an action verb.
Example 2:
Kevin felt sick this
Kevin is sick this
This substitution makes sense, so “felt” is a linking verb.
Dead Verbs
“Is, am, are, was, were
Be, being, been,
seems, appears, becomes
We are all dead verbs”
For each sentence, determine the verb and whether it is an
Action or Linking verb. Write “A” or “L”
1. Mom's chicken and dumplings taste too salty for some
2. Charlotte grew green and yellow peppers in her container
3. We turned at the light.
4. Pop grew angry when we misbehaved.
5. The air smelled stale.
6. Christian and Louise tasted Aunt Betty's delicious peach
7. Katie acts immature around certain people.
1. linking
2. action
3. action
4. linking
5. linking
6. action
7. linking
Helping Verbs
Helping Verbs (Auxiliary Verbs)
• Helping (Auxiliary Verb)—Can only appear in front of action
verbs and linking verbs. A helping verb CANNOT be the only
verb in the sentence.
• Hint: Often helping verbs will appear before action verbs + ing.
• There may be more than one helping verb, i.e. “have” and
“been” below. Together, they are considered the helping verb.
• Together, the helping verb(s) and verb with it are called the
COMPLETE VERB or VERB PHRASE. If you were to identify
the part of speech, you would consider them all as the
complete verb/verb phrase.
We have been waiting for 20 minutes.
Girl Scouts are meeting after school today.
Helping Verbs, Ctd.
In a sentence, a main verb can have as many as three
helping verbs in front of it. For example:
Nate served the ball to his opponent.
Nate will serve the ball to his opponent.
Nate should have served the ball to his opponent.
When a main verb has one or more helping verbs, this is
called a verb phrase. You should remember that a helping
verb does not always have to be right next to the main
verb in the sentence. This is because an adverb (not, only,
and -ly words) usually separates the helping verbs. For
Eddie will surely choose the largest slice of pie.
Caroline could not have eaten all those cookies.
Chad B. Swim is a 23 year old lifeguard. He
really, really likes to help save people,
especially those who make the mistake of
jumping in—without looking first. When Chad
gets excited, he talks fast, often blurting out
his methods of saving people:
“I could save you…I might save you…I
could have saved you….I might have
saved you…I will save you…I have been
saving people for a long time…I did save
several people…I still do save people…I
can save sharks, too!”
You need to know Chad’s phone number in
case you ever need him:
can, could
has, had, have
are, am
do, does, did
be, being, been
S should, shall
W was, were,
would, will
I is
M may, must, might
Identify the verb phrases in the following
Then, identify which are helping verbs and which is
the main verb.
There will only be one main verb!
Steven and Craig must have had permission to leave
Mitsy should vacuum the carpet before she dusts the
The remote control must have fallen behind the sofa
It was understood that the group would be meeting in
the commons after school.
Jesse will be going to soccer practice this afternoon.
Meghan might not have practiced enough for her recital.
It might snow tomorrow afternoon.
Answer Key
Verb phrase: must have had; helping verb(s): must have;
main verb: had
Verb phrase: should vacuum; helping verb(s): should;
main verb: vacuum
Verb phrase: must have fallen; helping verb(s): must
have; main verb: fallen
Verb phrase: was understood; helping verb(s): was; main
verb: understood
Verb phrase: would be meeting; helping verb(s): would
be; main verb: meeting
Verb phrase: might have practiced; helping verb(s): might
have; main verb: practiced
Verb phrase: might snow; helping verb(s): might; main
verb: snow
Verb Practice
1. We ate lunch around 2 p.m. yesterday.
2. I may apply for a job at Best Buy in Victoria Mall.
3. I am anxious to finish the research project.
4. The ducks were swimming in the pond during our picnic.
5. We should have gone to the pool yesterday.
6. I went to the beach on Tuesday afternoon and played volleyball.
7. I can finish that essay exam before I go to the movies.
8. I should bake the cake for Mom’s birthday.
9. We have eaten all of the pizza from the fridge.
10. The dogs tore open the trash bags and messed up the house.

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