What Are Verbs?

The queen is the most powerful piece in chess. She is also the most powerful part of a sentence.  She is a verb.

Verb Tests

http://images.clipart.com/thw/thw11/CL/5344_2005010018/000803_1063_82/22101057.thb.jpg?000803_1063_8255_v__vThere are two tests for verbs.  The first:


If you can fill in the blank and then stop, it’s a verb.

They go.          They are.         They play.

Use the first verb test to pick out the verbs:

    1. laugh
    2. cry
    3. pray
    4. hope
    5. printer

The second test:

She __________.

If you can fill in the blank and then stop, it’s a verb. 

She goes.         She is.              She plays.

Use the second verb test to pick out the verbs:

    1. teeters
    2. is
    3. potatoes
    4. swims
    5. bows


Some verbs will fit both blanks:

They _____________ .

She _____________ .

    1. They/She went.       2. They/She talked.         3. They/She should.

Class Activity

Does the word below fit –

    • One test? (a verb)
    • Both tests?   (a verb)
    • Neither test? (not a verb)

 1. belched      2. ask         3. stairs       4. sleeps       5. car

 6. gallop       7. jog         8. shakes        9. carried         

10. cabinets

Class Activity

Most books will tell you verbs are action words. It is true that most verbs are action words. But most verbs we use are not action words. Use the verb tests on these words that are not actions.

  1. is       2. are       3. was        4. were        5. should

   6. would      7. could      8.  may      9. might      10. did

Not Sure?

If you are not sure if a word is a verb, then ask a question.

Should they     [do that]?                     They should.

Have they        [done that]?                 They have.

Would they     [do that]?                     They would.

Are they          [going there]?              They are.

Is it                  [mine]?                        It is.

Did she            [ask him]?                   She did.


Yell the following!

Verb:  She ________________ (blank)

They _____________ (blank)



-S Verbs

Verbs can be singular, plural, or both.

A singular verb is for one person, place, thing, or idea.

A plural verb is for two or more people, places, things, or ideas.

Singular verbs end is s.  The first verb test works on them:

She runs.            She yells.

Plural verbs do not end is s.  The second verb test works on them:

They run.             They yell.

Some verbs are singular and plural.  Both verb tests work on them:

She ran.              They ran.

Class Activity

Complete either exercise:      Finland Grades 1+

                                                 Finland Grades 7+