English Grammar

5 General Characteristics of Verb with examples

The five general characteristics of verbs are action, tense, number, mood, and aspect. Since verbs are words that have a meaning of action, they can represent many different forms and people.

In all languages, ideas are expressed in three basic elements: subjects, verbs, and complements. In some languages, such as Japanese, Latin, Hindi, and Persian, the order is reversed, with the verb last, but the basic elements are preserved. Five Common Characteristics of Verbs

The verb shows the state or action of the subject in relation to the complement. That is to say, it offers the union between these elements and a logical order of existence or time, which allows the listener to understand the sentence or phrase.

5 general characteristics of the verb

The verb can vary depending on the person it refers to or uses and the time it is used. In addition, it gives the way in which the idea is expressed.

Here are the main characteristics of this meaningful word, called a verb:

1- The action

The verb expresses what the subject of the sentence is doing. Following the basic structure, the verb will unite the subject and the complement in a logical sequence.

For example, the sentence:

  • José runs in the street.

The sentence expresses that the subject, in this case, José, does something every morning which is to run. Thus, the verb gives action to the sentence.

2- the time

Times can be shown in three types: past, present, and future. In this way, you can express or know when the action occurs. Five General Characteristics of the Verb

For example, in the sentence:

  • José ran / runs / will run on the street.

The same subject (José) is shown with the same complement (on the street) at three different times (ran that is past, runs that is present and will run that is future).

The verb tenses of the indicative can be extended beyond the present, past, and future in present, past, imperfect past, compound past perfect, past perfect, past, future, future perfect, etc.

3- Person and number

The verbs are conjugated in three persons (first, second and third), each singular and plural.

First-person. It expresses the idea of ​​who is speaking. For example:

  • I write every day. In the plural, it would be: We write every day.

It can be seen that the verb expresses the action of the subject, in this case, that he writes every day.

Second person. It refers to who is listening to the subject expressing the sentence. For example, the following sentence will be in the future tense:

You will read every day. In the plural, it would be: You/you will read  every day.

Third person. It refers to who is out of the conversation between the person speaking and the person listening. For example, the following phrase will be in the past tense:

  • He read every day. In the plural, it would be: They read every day.

4- The mode

Briefly, there are three modes of the verb:

– Indicative: expresses real, safe, and possible events.

  • Examples: “Shakira will sing in Montevideo”, “I used to drink coffee to study”, and “She is talking to her mother”.

– Subjunctive: it expresses a hypothetical possibility, that is, it shows facts without the certainty that they occur. It is also used to express wishes.

Examples: “It was essential that Dad bring the candles”, “The doctor asked me to lie down in bed”, “We will have to assess whether it is prudent to go out into the street with this rain”, “I hope my team wins the cup”.

– Imperative: it is used to give orders, advice, prohibitions, requests, and clear instructions.

  • Examples: “Take off those dirty clothes!”, “Please keep a safe distance”, “Give me my money”, “Don’t run down the hallway at home!”

5- The aspect

The aspect is used to indicate whether the action expressed in the sentence has been completed or not. There are two types of aspects: Five General Characteristics of the Verb

The first one expresses whether the action was concluded.

  • For example, I ran all day.

The second expresses that the action has not concluded.

  • For example, I  listened to the radio all afternoon.

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