A Quick Guide to Mastering English Verbs | Useful Verb Examples

What is a verb? Learn different types of verbs in English grammar with usefulverbs listand examples. The verb is a very essential type of word in any language and in English, this is no different. You must have a verb in order to create a sentence and so understanding their function is vital to being able to speak the language. In this article, we are going to be looking at what a verb is and how it is used. We will also be looking at some example sentences to further gain an understanding on what the verb is used for.

What Is A Verb?

Verbs, in theory, are pretty straightforward. But, not everybody would be able to provide a definition, even if they know how to use them within a sentence. There’s also a tendency amongst people to stick to certain verbs that they know, and pushing themselves to use new ones becomes a bit of a challenge. In the interest of giving you some variety, we’ll take a look at what exactly a verb is, we’ll use some examples for you to see how they function as part of a sentence, and we’ll provide you with some lists of verbs by different categories so you can find some that might help you mix things up a little in your writing.

A verb is a word that shows action, occurrence, or a state of being. When written with the particle ‘to’ the verb is in its infinitive form. This is where you would write it like this:

  • To bake
  • To clean
  • To cook
  • To sing

There are many more verbs of course, but the above list shows you what a verb looks like in its infinitive form, making it slightly easier for you to identify whether or not a word in a sentence is a verb. Remember, a verb should show that something is happening, because an action is taking place in some way or another. Many people when first learning about verbs simply refer to them as ‘doing words’, because they always show that something has been done, is being done, or will be done in the future (depending on the tense that you are writing in).

Verbs are the main part of a sentence and one of the nineparts of speechin English.

Verb Examples in Different Tenses

Let’s look at the examples of the verbs above in a sentence so you can see how they might work. We’ll show them in different tenses too so you can see how they would need to be changed slightly to make sense.

Verb Examples in the Simple Tenses

  • Ibakeeveryday– here the sentence works as asimple present tensesentence. Let’s change it to past.
  • Ibakedeveryday– changing it topast simple tensemeans we say ‘baked’ not ‘bake’. This shows that ‘I’ used to bake everyday, but don’t any longer.
  • Iwill bakeeveryday– again,changing to the futuremeans you need the word ‘will’ between the subject ‘I’ and the verb ‘bake’. There are other tenses that aren’t simple, but we couldn’t possibly explain each one thoroughly here, but take a look at some more examples below and notice the changes that have been made for yourself. We’ll provide a brief explanation to help you slightly.

Examples of Verbs in the Continuous Tenses

Throughout each of these next three sections, thepast tenseversion will be written on top, the middle will bepresent tense, and thefuture tensewill be at the bottom. So that in this case, the top one is written in thepast continuous tense, the middle in thepresent continuous tense, and the third in thefuture continuous tense.It will follow the same pattern in the following two sections, but continuous will be replaced with ‘perfect’ and ‘perfect continuous’ respectively.

The easiest way to remember continuous tense, is that it’s referring to a verb that was happening over time, is still happening now, or will be happening in the future. Take a look at the examples below and see how the sentences change to show what is happening and how the verb looks different from its infinitive form:

  • Iwascleaningwhen you arrived.
  • Iam cleaningright now.
  • Iwill be cleaningwhen you get here.

Verb Examples in the Perfect Tenses

记得完成时,最好的办法是t it is referring to something that was completed, has just been completed, or will be completed in the future. Again notice how the verb looks different this time compared to its infinitive form, and how the surrounding words are different to accommodate the tense:

  • Ihadcookedeverything when you arrived.
  • Ihavecookedeverything.
  • Iwill havecookedeverything when you arrive.

Verbs Examples in the Perfect Continuous Tenses

The simplest way to remember the perfect continuous tense is that it’s the previous two combined. So, it refers to something that was happening but has recently been completed, something that is happening now but will soon stop, and something that will happen and then be completed. Take a look below:

  • Ihad been singingfor an hour when you arrived.
  • Ihave been singingfor an hour.
  • Iwill have been singingfor an hour when you arrive.

Verb examples:Walk,is,seem,run,see,swim, stand, go, have, get, promise, invite, listen, sing, sit, …

  • HespeaksEnglish
  • I don’t know how tospellthe word
  • Shestudieshard

There are many differenttypes of verbsin English grammar: irregular verb, modal verb, dynamic verb, stative verb, auxiliary verb, causative verb,…

Verb Rules

Important Verb Rules

There are many rules surrounding the use of verbs in the English language, let’s take a look at the most important ones.

  • When talking in the third person, the verb requires an -es or -s form, for example,heusesthe bathroom.
  • If the verb and the subject have a long phrase between them, the verb has to agree with the original subject and not that of the phrase. For example,Thesweetswhich he gave to his wifewerevery tasty.
  • If the subject is preceded by the phrase ‘one of’, the following verb should be singular. For example,One ofthe childreniscrying.
  • If two nouns are within a sentence and refer to the same thing or person, the following verb should be singular. For example,The doctorandthe nurse areworking in the hospital.
  • If there are two nouns which are synonymous within a sentence, they should be followed with a singular verb. For example, Hispower and might ishuge.
  • Plural nouns on their own will use a plural verb, for exampleHisshoes aretoo big. IHowever, if the plural noun is preceded by the words ‘a pair of’ then a singular verb is required. For exampleApairs of shoes isquite expensive.
  • If the noun is uncountable then a singular verb should always follow it, for exampleThepoetrythat he writesis非常浪漫。
  • When a collective noun is referring to a single entity, it should use a singular verb, for exampleThemilitaryis very strict.However, if it is being used to refer to an individual then a plural verb should be used, for exampleThemilitary arerequesting new members.

Subject Verb Agreement Rules

10subject verb agreementrules in English grammar:

  • The subject and verb must agree in number. A singular subject takes a singular verb, whereas a plural subject takes a plural verb.
  • The subject is separated from the verb by “with”,“as well as”,“together with”,“along with”. These words and phrases are not part of the subject. The verb agrees with the subject.
  • Two subjects joined by “and” are plural.
  • Two subjects joined by “or/not”,“either…or/neither…nor”,“not only…but also” take the verb that agrees with the subject closest to it.
  • With collective nouns, the verb might be singular or plural (UK), depending on meaning.
  • In sentences beginning with “here” or “there”,真正的主题之前版本b.
  • The verb is singular if the subject is a singular indefinite pronoun. The verb is plural if the subject is a plural indefinite pronoun. And, some indefinite pronouns (some, any, all, most) may be either singular or plural, depending upon their use in a sentence.
  • Use a singular verb for expressions of measurement, time. money and weight when the amount is considered one unit.
  • Plural form subjects with a singular meaning take a singular verb.
  • Titles of single entities are always singular.

10 Subject Verb Agreement Rules in English

subject verb agreement Pin

Different Types of Verbs with Examples

既然我们已经采取一看动词,有用的动词grammar rules, and all the possible tenses that you can write them in for you to think about, we’re going to provide you with some examples of verbs to help you vary your grammar and vocabulary a little bit.

Learn examples of different types of verbs in English with useful grammar rules.

Irregular VerbsExamples

Irregular verbsare common verbs in English that do not follow the simple system of adding “d” or “ed” to the end of the word to form the past tense (the past simple and/or the past participle).

  • Fall – fell – fallen
  • Feed – fed – fed
  • Feel – felt – felt
  • Fight – fought – fought
  • Find – found – found
  • Fly – flew – flown
  • Forbid – forbade – forbidden
  • Forget – forgot – forgotten
  • Forgive – forgave – forgiven
  • Freeze – froze – frozen
  • Get – got – got
  • Give – gave – given
  • Go – went – gone
  • Grind – ground – ground
  • Grow – grew – grown
  • Hang – hung – hung
  • Have – had – had
  • Hear – heard – heard
  • Hide – hid – hidden
  • Hit – hit – hit
  • Hold – held – held
  • Hurt – hurt – hurt
  • Keep – kept – kept
  • Kneel – knelt – knelt
  • Know – knew – known
  • Lay – laid – laid
  • Lead – led – led
  • Lean – leant/ leaned – leant/ leaned
  • Learn – learnt/ learned – learnt/ learned
  • Leave – left – left
  • Lent – lent – lent
  • Lie (in bed) – lay – lain
  • Lie (not to tell the truth) – lied – lied
  • Light – lit/ lighted – lit/ lighted
  • Lose – lost – lost
  • Make – made – made
  • Mean – meant – meant
  • Meet – met – met
  • Overtake – overtook – overtaken
  • Pay – paid – paid
  • Put – put – put
  • Read – read – read
  • Ride – rode – ridden
  • Ring – rang – rung
  • Rise – rose – risen
  • Run – ran – run
  • Saw – sawed – sawn/ sawed
  • Say – said – said
  • See – sawed – seen
  • Sell – sold – sold
  • Send – sent – sent
  • Set – set – set
  • Sew – sewed – sewn/ sewed
  • Shake – shook – shaken
  • Shed– shed – shed
  • Shine – shone – shone
  • Shoot – shot – shot
  • Show – showed – shown
  • Shrink – shrank – shrunk
  • Shut – shut – shut
  • Sing – sang – sung
  • Sink – sank – sunk
  • Sit – sat – sat
  • Sleep – slept – slept
  • Slide – slid – slid
  • Smell – smelt – smelt
  • Sow – sowed – sown/ sowed
  • Speak – spoke – spoken
  • Spell – spelt/ spelled spelt/ spelled
  • Spend – spent – spent
  • Spill – spilt/ spilled – spilt/ spilled
  • Spit – spat – spat
  • Spread – spread – spread
  • Stand – stood – stood
  • Steal – stole – stolen
  • Stick – stuck – stuck
  • Sting – stung – stung
  • Stink – stank – stunk
  • Strike – struck – struck
  • Swear – swore – sworn
  • Sweep – swept – swept
  • Swell – swelled – swollen/ swelled
  • Swim – swam – swum
  • Swing – swung – swung

Common IrregularVerbs Listin English

irregular verbs Pin

Modal VerbsExamples

Modal verbsare a small class of auxiliary verbs used to express possibility, obligation, advice, permission, and ability,…

  • Can: Icanspeak Spanish fluently.
  • Could:Couldyou pass me the salt, please?
  • May:MayI borrow your pencil?
  • Might: Itmightrain later, so bring an umbrella.
  • Must: Imustfinish this project by tomorrow.
  • Shall:Shallwe go for a walk after dinner?
  • Should: Youshouldeat more vegetables for better health.
  • Will: Iwillhelp you with your homework.

Modal Verb Examples

modal verbs Pin

Modal Verbs To Express Ability

  • Be able to: Shewas able tocomplete the marathon in just under four hours.
  • Managed to: Hemanaged tofix the broken printer just in time for the meeting.
  • Can: Icanplay the guitar.
  • Could: Shecouldswim when she was just five years old.

Modals for Asking Permissions

  • Can:CanI borrow your pen, please?
  • Could:CouldI use your bathroom, please?
  • May:MayI leave the room for a moment?
  • Might:MightI ask you a question?
  • Would:Wouldit be possible for me to leave work early today?
  • Shall:ShallI open the window?

Perfect Infinitive with Modals

The structure “have + past participle” is called a perfect infinitive.

  • Could have: Shecould havefinished the project on time if she had worked harder.
  • Should have: Heshould havearrived at the meeting earlier.
  • Might have: Theymight havemissed the train if they hadn’t run to the station.
  • Must have: Hemust haveforgotten his keys at home.
  • Would have: If she had known it was going to rain, shewould havebrought an umbrella.

Dynamic VerbsExamples

Adynamicverbis a verb that shows continued or progressive action on the part of the subject. This is the opposite of a stative verb.

  • Run: She runs in the park every morning.
  • Dance: They danced all night at the party.
  • Sing: He sings beautifully in the choir.
  • Jump: The children jumped over the puddle.
  • Climb: They climbed to the top of the mountain.
  • Laugh: She laughed at the funny joke.
  • Play: The kids played with their toys in the room.
  • Swim: He swam across the lake to reach the other side.
  • Fly: The birds flew in the sky.
  • Read: She reads novels before going to bed every night.

Stative VerbsExamples

Stative verbsare verbs that express a state rather than an action. They usually relate to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, states of being and measurements.

  • Love: I love chocolate cake.
  • Believe: He believes in hard work and perseverance.
  • Hate: She hates spiders.
  • Know: They know the answer to the question.
  • Like: I like playing tennis.
  • Dislike: She dislikes rainy days.
  • Remember: He remembers his childhood very well.
  • Understand: She understands the instructions clearly.
  • Want: He wants a new car.
  • Need: She needs a cup of coffee in the morning.

Auxiliary VerbsExamples

We briefly mentioned the auxiliary verb when discussing the verb to be, however other verbs can function as auxiliary verbs and this means that they cannot create a sentence alone but requires the use of another verb and can help it to demonstrate various conditions, states or tenses. Let’s look at some examples of this.

  • When I got there, she had finished the lesson.
  • After he arrived home, we had eaten dinner.

Anauxiliary verbis a verb that adds functional or grammatical meaning to the clause in which it appears, such as to express tense, aspect, modality, voice, emphasis, etc. An auxiliary verb is most generally understood as a verb that “helps” another verb by adding grammatical information to it.

  • Do: Idonot feel like going out tonight.
  • Have:Ihavejust received his reply.
  • Be:A model railway mart willbeheld on Friday.
  • Will:Hewillnot play volleyball.

Causative VerbsExamples

Causative verbsare verbs that show the reason that something happened. They do not indicate something the subject did for themselves, but something the subject got someone or something else to do for them.

  • Have:Ihad the mechanic checkthe brakes.
  • Get:I couldn’tget the engine to start
  • Make:I like him because hemakes me laugh
  • Let:If you accept, pleaselet me know

let make have get PinCausative Verb Examples

Transitive VerbExamples

Atransitive verbis one which has the ability to have a noun directly attached to it. Examples of this might be:

  • Eat: She ate the sandwich.
  • Write: He wrote a letter to his friend.
  • Throw: They threw the ball to each other.
  • Buy: She bought a new dress for the party.
  • : He kicked the ball towards the goal.
  • Paint: She painted the picture with watercolors.
  • Cook: He cooked dinner for his family.
  • Clean: She cleaned the room thoroughly.
  • Open: He opened the window to let in fresh air.
  • Fix: She fixed the broken vase with glue

Intransitive VerbExamples

This type of verb cannot have a noun directly attached to it and requires the use of a preposition in order to help it function. Examples ofintransitive verbsmight be:

  • Sleep: She sleeps soundly at night.
  • Laugh: They laughed at the funny joke.
  • Run: He ran to catch the bus.
  • Fall: The leaves fell from the trees in autumn.
  • Dance: She danced gracefully to the music.
  • Sing: He sang beautifully in the choir.
  • Swim: They swam in the pool for hours.
  • Jump: The rabbit jumped over the fence.
  • Shiver: She shivered in the cold wind.
  • Smile: He smiled at the children playing in the park

No Action To Be

A no action to be verb means that the verb is not directly referencing an action. The verb to be can function as both an auxiliary verb as well as a main verb. When it is being used as a main verb it will join a subject to an adjective for exampleShe is small.它还可能加入一个话题转到另一个国家臭氧机构n, for exampleJames is King.

However, when to be functions as an auxiliary verb it will form the progressive tense. An example of this would be;

  • The book is read by the teacher.
  • He is watching the TV.

Linking VerbExamples

This is a type of verbused to link a subject to a noun, a phrase, or an adjective. For example:

  • Seem: He seems tired after a long day at work.
  • Become: She became a successful businesswoman.
  • Look: He looks happy today.
  • Feel: She felt nervous before the presentation.
  • Sound: The music sounds beautiful.
  • Smell: The flowers smell sweet.
  • Taste: The soup tastes delicious.
  • Grow: The plants grow in the garden.
  • Remain: The problem remained unsolved

Examples of Different Verb Forms

When we are dealing with main verbs, there aredifferent formsin which they can come. We are now going to take a look at each of these forms in a little more detail.


The infinitive form of a verb is that state in which it is originally found. In English, this is often with the word ‘to’ in front of the verb, for example to run, to see, to have, to live.

What is a To-Infinitive?

Ato-infinitiveis a verbal consisting ofto + a verb, and it acts like a subject, direct object, subject complement, adjective, or adverb in a sentence.

We use the infinitive:

  • To indicate the purpose of an action
  • As subject of the sentence
  • As direct object of the sentence
  • As subject complement
  • As an adjective
  • As an adverb
  • After adjective
  • After object that is noun or pronoun referring to a person
  • Used with question word

Verbs Followed by Infinitives

List of commonly usedVerbs Followed by Infinitives

  • Attempt
  • Ask
  • Arrange
  • Beg
  • Begin
  • Care
  • Choose
  • Claim
  • Consent
  • Continue
  • Dare
  • Decide
  • Demand
  • Deserve
  • Dislike
  • Expect
  • Fail
  • Forget
  • Get
  • Hesitate
  • Hope
  • Hurry
  • Intend
  • Learn
  • Like
  • Love
  • Manage
  • Mean
  • Neglect
  • Need
  • Offer
  • Plan
  • Prefer
  • Prepare
  • Pretend
  • Proceed
  • Promise
  • Propose
  • Refuse
  • Remember
  • Seem
  • Start
  • Stop
  • Struggle
  • Swear
  • Threaten
  • Try

Zero Infinitive

We use theZero Infinitive when:

  • After modal auxiliary verbs
  • After the object after certain verbs, such ashear, see, make, let
  • After verbal idiomswould ratherandhad better
  • Used withWHY


What is a Gerund?

Gerundsare verbals that function as nouns and have an–ingending.

The gerund form of verbs is used as follows:

  • Used as subject of a sentence
  • Used as direct object of a sentence
  • Used as a subject complement
  • Used as an object of a preposition
  • Used after certain expressions

Verbs Followed by Gerunds

A useful list ofVerbs Followed by Gerundsin English.

  • Admit
  • Advise
  • Anticipate
  • Acknowledge
  • Appreciate
  • Avoid
  • Bear
  • Begin
  • Complete
  • Consider
  • Defer
  • Delay
  • Deny
  • Discuss
  • Dislike
  • Enjoy
  • Entail
  • Finish
  • Forget
  • Hate
  • Intend
  • Involve
  • Justify
  • Keep
  • Like
  • Love
  • Mention
  • Mind
  • Miss
  • Postpone
  • Practice
  • Prefer
  • 辞职
  • Recall
  • Recollect
  • Recommend
  • Regret
  • Resent
  • Resist
  • Risk
  • Sanction
  • Start
  • Stop
  • Suggest
  • Tolerate
  • Try

List of Common VerbsFollowed by Gerunds

verbs followed by gerunds 1 Pinverbs followed by gerunds 2 Pinverbs followed by gerunds 3 Pin

Present and Past Participles

What is a Participle?

A participle is a verbal that is used as an adjective and most often ends in -ing or -ed. They function as adjectives, thus participles modify nouns or pronouns.

Types of Participles

There are two participles in the English language: thepresent and past participle

Present Participle

This is a very simple concept as to create the present participle one must simply add the letters -ing to the verb stem. This shows that something is happening right now. For exampleI am leaving the houseorThe cat is lying on the rug.

Past Participle

Similarly to the present participle, the past participle shows time, in this case that something has already happened-or has happened in the past. In order to create the past participle, one must add the letters -ed to the verb stem. For example the sentenceI decide what happenswould becomeI decided what happens.

尽管添加连接的regular form of past participle, there are some irregular verbs which do not follow this pattern. Some examples of this are as follows:

  • to show – shown
  • to see – seen
  • to built – built
  • to feel – felt

Finite and Non-finite Verbs

Another word for the finite form is the conjugated form. This happens when the verb is being used within a sentence. By conjugating the verb you are allowing it to demonstrate tense, number, mood and person. An example of this might be the sentence ‘he won the tournament.’ The conjugated verb here shows us that this is a past tense sentence in the third person singular. LearnFinite and Non-Finite Verb Formsin English.

Finite Verb Forms

A finite verb is controlled by the number of the subject. If the subject is singular, the verb is singular. If the subject is plural, the verb is plural.


  • Theyare studyingreproduction in shellfish.
  • Isingwith the university chorus.

Non-finite Verb Forms

A non-finite verb is not controlled by the number, person and tense of the subject.


  • I don’ t wantto gohome in the dark.
  • She put a blanket over thesleepingchild.

Common Verb Examples in Sentences

Learn an extensivelist of commonly used verbsin English.

  • Do: I don’t know.
  • Doubt: I doubt if it’ll snow.
  • Drag: I had to drag him out of bed.
  • Drive: He drives a truck.
  • Drop: I dropped my sandwich.
  • Dry: Raisins are dried grapes.
  • Earn: He earns three times more than me.
  • Eat: You can’t eat your cake and have it.
  • Encourage: John encouraged Mary to learn how to speak French.
  • Engage: We used to be engaged.
  • Enter: He entered the room.
  • Establish: The school was established in 1650.
  • Examine: The doctor examined the patients.
  • Experiment: They’re experimenting with a new car.
  • Explore: He explored the Amazon jungle.
  • Extend: We extended a hearty welcome to them.
  • Fly: Tom wishes he could fly.
  • 褶皱: Tom and Mary folded up the flag.
  • Follow: We must follow the rules of the game.
  • Forbid: I forbid you to smoke.
  • Fry: She fried fish in salad oil.
  • Generate: This machine generates electricity.
  • Get: We’ve got to get the economy under control or it will literally eat us up.
  • Give: The waiter gives me the menu.
  • Grow:Apples grow on trees.
  • Hang: Don’t you hang up on me.
  • Happen: You made it happen.
  • Hesitate: I hesitate to spend so much money on clothes.
  • Hide: I’m hiding from Tim.
  • Hug: I really need a hug.
  • Hurry: It had to hurry to find a home because I was already on to something else.
  • Hurt: I hurt my elbow.
  • Identify: She identified him as the murderer.
  • Improve: I need to improve my French.
  • Include: Tom’s lunch includes a sandwich and an apple.
  • Incorporate: Her business was incorporated.
  • Indicate: The arrow indicates the way to go.
  • Involve: This procedure involves testing each sample twice.
  • Iron: I iron my clothes almost every day.
  • Jog: I make it a rule to jog every morning.
  • Jump: Can you jump over the river?
  • Kiss: Did you kiss anybody?
  • Kneel: Do not run, stand, kneel or spin in the slide.
  • Laugh: Tom is laughing.
  • Lay: He laid on his back.
  • Learn:孩子们,先得学爬行。
  • Leave: Leave me alone!
  • Lift: He couldn’t lift the table and no more could I.

English Verbs!!! What is a verb? Learn verb definition and different types of verbs in English with useful verbs list. Learn verb examples and grammar rules with ESL printable worksheets. PinEnglish Verbs!!! What is a verb? Learn verb definition and different types of verbs in English with useful verbs list. Learn verb examples and grammar rules with ESL printable worksheets. PinEnglish Verbs!!! What is a verb? Learn verb definition and different types of verbs in English with useful verbs list. Learn verb examples and grammar rules with ESL printable worksheets. PinEnglish Verbs!!! What is a verb? Learn verb definition and different types of verbs in English with useful verbs list. Learn verb examples and grammar rules with ESL printable worksheets. Pin

What is a verb? Learn verb definition and different types of verbs in English


The verb is an integral part of the English language and there are many rules surrounding its use. In this article, we have learned the various types of verbs as well as how to use them by following some simple grammatical rules.

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Last Updated on March 3, 2023

42 thoughts on “A Quick Guide to Mastering English Verbs | Useful Verb Examples”

  1. In English, hug can be both a verb AND a noun – “to hug” is a verb, but “hug” is a noun – a thing. “A hug” is not the same as “to hug”.

    Example: (Noun form)
    I gave my mom a hug,
    I was giving my mom a hug,
    I want to give my mom a hug,
    I wish I could give my mom a hug,
    I will give my mom a hug.

    All of these examples use “A HUG” and the VERB in all of them is “to give”.

    (VERB form)
    I hugged my mom,
    I was hugging my mom,
    I want to hug my mom,
    I wish I could hug my mom,
    I will hug my mom.

    I hope this helps someone out there


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