12 Feb 2016

The verb king

The verb is the king in any language, so in English too. The shortest sentence contains a verb. You can make a one-word sentence with a verb, for example: "Go!"
Verbs are sometimes described as "action words". This is partly true because many verbs give the idea of action, of "doing" something. For example, words like run, fight, do and work all convey action.
But some verbs do not give the idea of action; they give the idea of existence, of state, of "being". For example, verbs like be, exist, seem and belong all convey state.
A verb always has a subject. (In the sentence "Peter goes swimming", Peter is the subject and goes is the verb.) In simple terms, therefore, we can say that verbs are words that tell us what a subject does or is; they describe:
  • action (Paul plays basketball.)
  • state (Susan seems cheerful.)
There is something very special about verbs in English. Most other words (adjectives, adverbs, prepositions etc) do not change in form (although nouns can have singular and plural forms). But almost all verbs change in form. For example, the verb to work has six forms:
  • to go, go, goes, went, gone, going
Of course, this is still very few forms compared to some languages which may have thirty or more forms for a single verb. 

Activity to introduce verbs: 
First of all, introduce or review the concept of verbs
Give students a few minutes to share examples of different action verb.
Allow them to work in groups or with partners to complete this activity. 
      Give students time to look through old newspapers and magazines to cut out pictures and words that are examples of action verbs.
      Allow each group to share an example of action verbs they were able to find.

    Material you need:
Felt pens/ markers/ crayons

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