Campus Recruitment – Verbal Ability – Verb
A verb is a word that expresses an action or a state of being or possession.
e.g.: He works in an MNC. (action)} They were busy last Sunday, (state); She has a lot of patience. (possession); Since the role played by verbs is important, no sentence can exist without a verb. Verbs are classified into auxiliaries and main verbs. Auxiliaries are further classified into primary and modal auxiliaries.
Primary auxiliaries are verbs which may play an independent role or help other verbs in forming tenses,
- e.g.: As primary auxiliaries:
She is a well-known Architect.
She has an interview next week.
He does his work meticulously.
They are our neighbors.
We were busy yesterday.
He had no idea about the course,
- e.g.: As Auxiliaries or helping verbs:
The children are celebrating their friend’s birthday.
Have you read this book?
He had left by the time I reached there.
Does she meet you often?
Don’t pluck the flowers.
Where were they going yesterday?
Modal auxiliaries are helping verbs which require another action verb to complete their meaning. Unlike primary auxiliaries, they go with all subjects. They also don’t display tense independently. The following are classified as modals: can, could, will, would, shall, should, may, might, must, used to, ought to and need not.
‘need’ in a positive sentence is not used as a modal as it follows all the rules like a regular action word. Only in a negative sentence does it act like a modal and so it is sometimes referred to as a semi-modal. For example,
He needs your help in finalizing this project.
They need some more information.
In the examples given above, the verb ‘need’ acts like a normal verb, agreeing with the subject and changing with tense. In a negative sentence, it acts like a helping verb with the verb in the infinitive form.
e.g.: You need not drive fast.
The students need not answer all the questions.
Modal auxiliaries differ from primary auxiliaries in the following ways.
- Model auxiliaries cannot stand independently. They need a main verb to complementor to add to their meaning,
e.g.: I can swim.
Could you lend me your book?
He will help you if you ask him.
Students must carry their I-D cards with them.
- Unlike primary auxiliaries, modal don’t show tense by themselves. The tense of the sentence depends on the sentence.
e.g.: ‘could’ can be used for a past action, or a request in the present. For example,
He could run 200 m in 20 seconds, (past)
Could you tell me where the bank is? (request)
- All modal auxiliaries ‘agree’ with all subjects; they don’t change with the subject.
e.g.: if the subject is he, she or it, the primary auxiliary must be has, does etc. but a modal does not change its form according to the subject.
Main or action verbs are also classified as transitive or intransitive verbs.
Verbs which need an object to pass on their action are called transitive verbs. These verbs can be converted to passive sentences.
Action verbs which don’t need an object are called intransitive verbs, and cannofbe passivized. You will be learning in detail about passive voice later.
All main verbs have three principal forms. Depending on the way they form the three forms they are either called ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ verbs. Weak verbs form their past and participle forms by adding ‘-d’ or ‘-ed’ These
verbs are also called regular verbs
‘Strong’ or irregular verbs form their past and participle forms in many other ways.