Verb

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Verb is a word class which, in association with a subject, affirms, negates or questions a situation. The situation may be:

Meaning[edit | edit source]

Prototypical verbs express actions, but in slightly more detail they may express:

  1. state; (stative verbs: be, seem);
  2. process, (process verbs: change, develop);
  3. event (eventive verbs: explode, sneeze);
  4. action (action verbs: run, write).[1]

Form[edit | edit source]

Verb class membership[edit | edit source]

Verb class membership is quite straightforward.

Verb classes[edit | edit source]

There are two main types of verb; auxiliary verbs and lexical verbs. Auxiliary verbs (or helping verbs) can be further classified into primary auxiliary verbs, and modal verbs.

Verb formation[edit | edit source]

Lexical verbs are an open class, and so verbs may be formed through verb formation. This is typically done through suffixation of verb suffixes.

Verb forms[edit | edit source]

There are several verb forms. Verbs may be have finiteness (finite verbs) or lack finiteness (non-finite verbs); finite verbs have a subject, whereas non-finite verbs don't. Non-finite verb forms can be split into participles and infinitives.

Grammatical properties[edit | edit source]

All finite verbs have a tense (either present tense or past tense) and grammatical number.

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]

Verbs are "doing words".

Further reading[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Lyons, John(1977) Semantics, Cambridge: CUP