What is a Verb?

Verbs are the words or groups of words that describe the action, occurrence, existence, state, status, position, profession or change, pertaining to the subject, that the sentence seeks to convey.


  1. We eat to live.
  2. They are presenting a group dance.
  3. The goat was bleating loudly.
  4. I have finished writing my essay.
  5. We have two hands to work with.
  6. My brother is happy to get the first division.
  7. Your answer was not correct.
  8. Henry was a young boy of fourteen.
  9. His father is a train ticket examiner.
  10. The blind man was helped by a little girl.
  11. This mango is not sweet.
  12. The patient was very weak.

In sentences, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 10 the highlighted words eat, are presenting, was bleating, have finished, and was helped, respectively show some actions being done. In sentence 5, have shows possession.

In sentences 6, 7 and 8, is, was and was, respectively show some state or condition. In sentence 9, is shows position or profession. In sentences 11 and 12, is and was, respectively show status.

Therefore, all the words showing action, possession, profession, position, quality or state in the above sentences are verbs.

The verb is the most important and essential part of a sentence. It forms the only essential component of the predicate of a sentence.

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