What is a Main Verb?

Main Verbs are the words that express action, possession, being, quality, position or profession.


  1. A parrot is holding a green chilli in its beak.
  2. The weeping boy sat on a rock.
  3. The chief guest will inaugurate the new school building.
  4. A traffic policeman controls the traffic.
  5. A teacher teaches the students.

In the above sentences, the highlighted words holding, sat, inaugurate, controls, and teaches are the action words showing some work, possession or being. Therefore, all these words are main verbs.

Main verbs mainly satisfy the question, ‘What … do‘. Sometimes, a verb is sufficient to form the predicate of a sentence. Main verbs are used in various forms depending on the tense and voice of a sentence.

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