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Verbs, the real sense makers

Importance and classifications of  verbs, the real sense makers


In the topic,  SENTENCE,  we have studied that the general pattern or structure of a sentence is

‘S + V+ O’,  that is,  Subject + Verb + Object.

eg: Robert spent all the time for watching base ball,

Here, in this topic, Verbs, the real sense makers,  we try to find out  which one  is  most important, whether  the ‘ subject‘, or ‘verb’, or ‘object’.

To understand it,   let’s  look at the following sentence.

James played Tennis yesterday

Here we can say that ‘James’ is the subject, ‘ played’ is  the verb and ‘Tennis’ is the object in the sentence.

Now, let’s try to read the sentence avoiding the object of the sentence.  Then we get,

James  played …..  yesterday,

Here there is no problem in the sense of the sentence, even if  there is no object.

So object is not an important factor to make a sentence  complete in  sense.


Then,  if we try to avoid the subject,  we get the sentence as,

….. played Tennis yesterday.

Here,  the sentence  makes an incomplete sense but convincing for us to get an idea.   So, we can understand that without a subject we can guess the sense  that the sentence makes.


Then look at the sentence without the verb as follows,

James  …. Tennis yesterday.

Here,  we don’t get even a mere idea and also we are shocked at the sense of the sentence that makes.

So, here, the sentence can no longer be called as a sentence, but only as a group of separated words.  Also it can’t be called  as a phrase,  because even a phrase can give a some what meaning.

eg: Reading the book…

Hence, we can say that,  if  we  avoid verb from a sentence, it  loses its complete meaning and remains  merely as a group of  words  giving no idea. 

 That’s,  Verb is  the most important part of a sentence and it is  the  verb that  gives a complete sense to  the sentence.  

In this back ground, we are going to study verbs in detail.

Verbs can mainly be classified into two.

Finite verbs and Infinitive verbs/ non- finites


As we studied earlier in the topic VERBS ,  we can say that,  ‘verbs having a particular tense form’ are called  Finite verbs.

eg: ‘worked’,  ‘wrote’,  ‘played’ etc....


The verbs  ‘without having a particular tense form’  are called  infinitive verbs

eg: ‘go’, ‘read’, ‘study’ etc..

Infinitives can be categorised into two,  ‘ To’Infinitives’  and  ‘Bare – Infinitives’

To — Infinitives

The verbs with  a  ‘to’  in front of  it,  or,  simply say, verbs followed by ‘to’ are  known as  ‘to – infinitives.’

eg:‘ to read’, ‘to sing’, ‘to drink etc’ ..

Bare- Infinitives

Verbs without the ‘ to ‘ are known as Bare infinitives.

eg: ‘read’, ‘sing’, ‘drink’ etc….


( ‘Verb’  without  ‘ a particular tense form’ can commonly be termed as ‘Non-finite’ or ‘Infinitive.’)

eg: ‘to go’,  ‘come’,  ‘drinking’,  ‘having played’, ‘to have sung’,   ‘broken’, etc…

From the above example,  we can’t find out a particular tense form

We studied in the topic  Verbs the real sense makers   that  there are mainly two forms of verbs,   that is  ‘verbs without  a particular tense form’ ( Main  verbs / infinitives etc )  and   ‘verbs with a particular tense form‘       ( Finite Verbs ).

That  means,  Finite verbs are always confined in a particular tense form,  but infinitives don’t  belong to  any tense.   That is,  they are free from tenses  as long as they are not confined in a particular tense form.  In this sense,  infinitives may also be called as FREE VERBS.

The  verbs in most of the sentences except imperative sentences are Finite verbs and only this finite verbs can give a sentence its complete sense.   So,   if we want to make an infinitive verb  as  finite,  we have to seek the help of some factors that lead to which tense the infinitives are to be confined.   These factors that help infinitives for becoming  finite verbs are called  Helping verbs most commonly Auxiliary verbs. 

So, ‘Auxiliary verbs’ or  ‘Helping verbs’ are a type of verbs that helps the ‘ Infinitive verbs’ or ‘Non- finite verbs’ or ‘Main verbs’ or ‘Ordinary verbs’ or ‘Normal verbs’ or ‘Principal verbs’ or ‘Free verbs’ or ‘Base/ Root form of the verbs’ to get a particular tense form. 

To understand more about these helping factors, we have to go to the topic  Auxiliary verbs/ helping Verbs


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