Is Verb An Action:13 Facts You Should Know


Let’s check 13 facts related to the topic ‘Is Verb an Action?’.

Verbs are mainly used to denote either an event or a state. Thus verb is not always an action. Verbs which show only physical or mental action are called action verbs.

How is verb an action?

A verb becomes an action when it shows two aspects as following.

First aspect, when a verb shows any physical action.

Second aspect, when a verb shows any mental action.

Example 01 – Pijush whispered to his mother to have some tasty food.

Explanation – Here, the subject, ‘Pijush’ is playing a physical action. Thus the verb ‘whisper’ becomes an action.

Example 02 – My son always thinks to bother his father.

Explanation – Here, the subject, Speaker’s son is playing a mental action. Thus the verb ‘think’ becomes an action.

When is verb an action?

A verb becomes an action when action has been done by any of the below listed subjects.

First, a person,

Second, an animal,

Third, an object, or

Fourth, a natural object

Example 01 – Sandip is eating mango pudding with a spoon.

Explanation – Here, an action has been done by a human being.

Example 02 – The lion roared loud to alarm all the animals of the forest.

Explanation – Here, an action has been done by an animal.

Example 03 –The tree gives shelter to not only birds but also to various insects.

Explanation – Here, an action has been done by an object.

Example 04 –The earthquake cause immense damage to the mud houses of our society.

Explanation – Here, an action has been done by a natural object.

Where is verb an action?

We can determine a verb as an action when the verb in the sentence shows any activity instead of any state of being. At first, we must look at the sentence to check nature of the verb used in the sentence. If the verb of the sentence is showing that someone is doing something or feeling something the verb is an action.

Example 01 – He is a boy.

Example 02 – He is playing with a little boy.

Explanation – In the first example, the verb ‘is’ is not showing any activity. The second example is using two verbs. First verb ‘is’ is not an activity but the second verb ‘playing’ is showing an action. Thus, the verb ‘playing’ is an action verb.

Action Verb Definition-

An action verb is a verb which is used in a sentence to show activity of any human being, natural object, non living object or an animal. The activity shown by action verb can be either physical or mental.

Example 01 – I will drive my mother to the hospital to do an x-ray.

Example 02 –I will drive to the hospital to do an x-ray.

Explanation – Both the examples are samples of action verbs. The first example of action verb is sample of transitive verb. The second example is a sample of an intransitive verb.

Why to use action verb?

We must use action verb to show activity or action of any living or non living object. Action verbs should also be used to show activity of any natural force. Action verbs can also be named as ‘Dynamic Verbs’. Action verbs or dynamic verbs are all about physical or mental function of the subject in the sentence.

Example – Renu kicked off the football to the goal post.

Explanation – Here, the verb is ‘kick’. This verb is showing action of the subject, Renu. The verb ‘kicked’ is purposefully used to show activity of a human being.

Action Verbs Uses –

Action verbs can be used in two ways.

First, an action verb can be used as transitive action verb. A verb can be called as transitive verb when it is clear in the sentence that to whom the activity has been acted upon.

Example 01 – I met my boss for an interview.

Explanation – Here, the action of the verb and to whom the action has been acted upon are clear. Thus, we can define this verb as transitive action verb.

Second, an action verb can be used as intransitive verb. A verb can be called as intransitive verb when it is not clear in the sentence that to whom the activity has been acted upon.

Example 02 – I met for an interview.

Explanation – Here, the action of the verb is clear but to whom the action has been acted upon is not clear. Thus, we can define this verb as intransitive action verb.

Can action verbs be past tense?

Yes, action verbs can in past tense. An action verb can show any activity which has been already done in the past time.

Example – He walked to the garden to pick the brightest flower among all.

Explanation – Here, the past tense of the action verb ‘walk’ has been used to frame the sentence. Thus, it is clear that past tense of action verb can be used to frame sentence.

Can action verbs have ing?

Yes, an action verb with an ‘ing’ form can be used in sentence to show any action which is in ongoing process. Most of the ‘ing’ form of action verb is an example of either present participle or a gerund to show an action of any living, non-living, natural object etc.

Example 01 – I am fixing some broken glass cups.

Example 02 – Pijush is trying to reach his mother over the phone.

Explanation – Both the examples are sample of action verbs with an ‘ing’ form. 1st example of ‘ing’ form action verb is ‘fixing’. The second example of ‘ing’ form action verb is ‘trying’. Both the action verbs are in present continuous form which shows ongoing process of any action.

Can action verbs end in ing ?

Most of the action verbs end with the ‘ing’ form can be examples of two forms. Those two forms are

First, Present  Participle

Second, Gerund

We must not forget that the present participle never change its form of tense. The helping verb in the sentence helps to indicate the tense of the sentence as the present participle has no role in indicating tense of the sentence.

Example – Sandip is painting a picture of mare to show his drawing teacher.

Explanation – Here the word ‘painting’ is an example of both action verb and present participle.

Example – Knitting is an art which needs to be acquired with professional training.

Explanation – Here the word ‘knitting’ is an example of both action verb and gerund.

Can verbs be both action and stative?

Verbs in English language mainly divided in two groups of verbs.

First group is ‘Action Verb’ or ‘Dynamic Verb’.

Second group is ‘Stative Verb’.

Action verbs are used to show action while stative verbs are use to show any particular status or condition. Both these types are not same but both are examples of verbs.

Example  01 – Seniors torture juniors in college to take revenge of their own ragging.

Explanation – Here, the action verb is ‘torture’.

Example 02 – Seniors dislike juniors in college to take revenge of their own ragging.

Explanation – Here, the verb ‘dislike’ is showing a status of mind. Thus, we can define this verb as stative verb.

Can helping verbs be action verbs?

No, action verbs cannot be defined as helping verbs in a sentence. Action verbs in a sentence are an example of main action of a sentence. Helping verbs help the action verb to serve main action of a sentence. Thus, these two types of verbs serves totally different purpose.

Example – He is doing hard work to crack a puzzle.

Explanation – Here the helping verb is ‘is’ and the action verb is ‘doing’. Both the verbs are serving two different purpose. The helping verb ‘is’ is helping the action verb ‘doing’ to serve its main action of the sentence. Thus, helping verbs cannot be action verbs.

Conclusion –

After going through all the facts, we can come to the conclusion that a verb can be an action but totally based on how it is used in the sentence.

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