Main Verbs

(Lexical Verbs)

Now that we have learned about helping/auxiliary verbs, next lets us look at Main Verbs.

What is Main Verb?

The main verb, also known as lexical verb, is a verb that has meaning on its own. You can understand what is said when someone just mention any main verb on its own. The main verb can be the only verb in a sentence. And main verb can also be used with one or more helping verbs.

There are thousands of main verbs and we can further break them down into the following classifications:

  • Transitive, Intransitive and Ditransitive Verbs
  • Linking Verbs
  • Dynamic and Static Verbs
  • Regular and Irregular Verbs

All the above categories are often mixed.  A verb could be irregular, transitive and dynamic; others could be regular, transitive and stative.

What are Verb Forms?

English verbs come in several forms. For example, the verb “eat” can be: to eat, eat, ate, eaten, eating, eats; a total of 6 forms. English tenses can be complicated, but the verb forms that we use to make the tenses are actually simple. Main verbs may either have 4 or 5 or 6 forms whereas “to be” has 9. Verb forms should not be confused with tenses. We use the different verb forms to make tenses, but they are not the same. We will deal with “Tenses” in another chapter.