Back to Basics: Verbs.

Hello everyone. Welcome back to another #theorythursdy. Last week I talked about punctuation. I concentrated on what an ellipsis mark means. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Today I have decided to start a #backtobasics series. In this series, I am going to be talking about basic components of English and I am starting with verbs. The reason I have decided to do a back to basics series is because some people have told me that they still get mixed up when thinking about what some things mean, or they feel certain things could be explained in an easier way so I am going to talk about nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc, so if you need a refresher on what certain things mean then Theory Thursdays will be really useful.

If you follow me on Instagram (@katelovesliterature), then you will have seen that on Tuesday evening I attended a performance of Brian Friel’s Faith Healer in the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and it was incredible. There will be a #theatretrip discussion coming up about it soon.

Let’s dive into Theory Thursday.

What is a verb?

I think the easiest way to explain what a verb is, is to say that a verb is an action word.

An example of the use of a verb in a sentence can be found in a sentence such as “The girl ran across the road.” In this sentence, the girl is running, the action is to run, so the verb in this sentence is the word “ran”.

A verb can also be used to describe a state of being and it can also be used to describe an occurrence.

This can sound slightly more complicated so I think it is easier to explain with an example.

If I were to say something like “Through the years, the child became an adult.” The word “became” is the verb that is describing an occurrence because a child growing from childhood to adulthood is an occurrence.

A verb used to describe a state of being, will describe the way something is in the present moment. “The girl is happy.” The word “is” is the state of being verb in this sentence because it is telling readers the girl’s state of being. In the moment that we are reading that sentence, we are learning that the girl is in a happy state.

If I were to say something like “The girl smiled in delight because she was happy to learn that she was going to her grandmother’s house for the weekend.” The verbs in this sentence are the words “smiled”, “was”, and “going”. Two of the verbs are doing words that describe an action, “smiled” and “going” and “was” is a state of being verb because the girl was in a happy state upon learning that she was going to her grandmother’s house.

Most sentences contain a verb of some sort.

Why is this important?

I think having an understanding of verbs and how they function simply broadens one’s understanding of language all together. Obviously if you are a student then this type of information will be more useful because you will have to be able to identify verbs when you are writing as when you are a student you have to be aware of grammar in general. I also think it can be useful to get a little refresher sometimes about what certain things mean because over time we can forget or get mixed up. I am always learning and studying and refreshing my memory on what things mean because when I choose a Theory Thursday topic, I always explain it in my own words because I think the key to knowing that you understand something is when you can clearly explain the topic to someone else. All of the examples I give are sentences that I have made up myself. If I do quote something or someone I will always reference them, but I like to try to stick to my own words as much as possible because my aim behind Theory Thursdays is to explain aspects of grammar and literary theory in the most straightforward way possible so that anyone who is interested in it can read about it and hopefully enjoy my discussions.

This has been Theory Thursday. Happy Friday Eve.

Kate xo.

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