Three Types of Verbs

There are three types of verbs.

  • Alive verbs  ——– show we are alive. is, was, were, are
  • Action verbs ——— show action. put, ask, remember, think
  • Noun verbs ———- nouns acting as verbs. hammer, saw, nail, collar

Noun-verbs are verbs that can also be nouns. They are the best kinds of verbs. They show an object and an action at the same time.

Three Types of Verbs Activity 1

Determine if these are alive verbs, action verbs, or noun verbs

1. plant

6. table

11. label          

16. is

2. were

7. think

12. paper        

17. roof          

3. imagine

8. was

13. curtain      

18. weigh       

4. crawls

9. chicken

14. beg           

19. wall          

5. gallop

10. picture

15. cloud

20. sigh

Verbs and Wordiness

Strong verbs help us say things quicker:

John rode his bicycle from Oregon to Washington. 

John bicycled from Oregon to Washington.

The game was put on television.

The game was televised.

The dogs chased a raccoon up a tree.

The dogs treed a raccoon.

Sometimes you must find a better verb from outside the sentence. For example, make in this sentence is weak. The writer finds a stronger verb that is not in the sentence.

Wordy and weak:  To make cookies, turn on the oven to 350°.

Stronger:  Bake the cookies at 350°.

Three Types of Verbs Activity 2

Reduce the following by changing a noun to a noun-verb.

1. I want you to put those papers into boxes.

2. Jane was the chair of the basketball committee.

3. Barry and Wendy played on the teeter-totter after school.

4. Juanita put up wallpaper in her bedroom.

5. John rode a jet-ski to Paradise Island.

6. Sally jumped all the way to school on her pogostick.

7. Jennifer used a tape recorder for the work she needed to memorize.

8. Ms. Prince managed to get tickets for her clients for their trip to Figi.

Three Types of Verbs Activity 3

Use a stronger action verb or a noun-verb to reduce the following:

1. The giraffe reached its neck up like a crane to eat the highest leaf.

2. The malfunctioning stoplight caused traffic to bottleneck for an hour.

3. Jeff flew a helicopter to Lake Swan for some fabulous fishing.

4. Can you tell me if Paris Hilton likes to shop in Paris, France?

5. I submitted an application for the job.

6. Sonya took her boat to Crew Island.

7. Jesse put icing on the wedding cake.

8. John pushed the accelerator to 110.