The verb, the fourth of the eight parts of speech, is an action word. Since all
good writing starts with strong verbs, this part of speech is very important.
The three basic types of verbs are the following:
➲ The action verb tells what action the sentence’s subject (or doer) per-
is performing, has performed, or will perform.
Our lawyer speaks frequently with her clients.
This lawyer has spoken with some clients this week.
These attorneys will be speaking soon.
➲ The linking verb connects (or links) a subject (or doer) to a noun, pro-
or adjective in the sentence. The words that follow a linking verb
answer the question ‘‘What?’’
Common linking verbs are am, is, are, was, be, being, appear, grow,
seem, smell, stay, taste, turn, sound, remain, look, feel, and become.
These chickens are hungry.
Selena is the club president.
Note: To tell the difference between an action verb and a linking verb,
substitute a form of the verb be. If the new sentence seems logical, the
verb that you replaced is probably a linking verb.
Sylvia sounded the alarm. (action verb)
Sylvia sounded nervous. (linking verb)
➲ The helping verb assists the main verb in a sentence. One or more
helping verbs can assist the main verb. If a sentence is a question,
answer the question, and the helping verb will precede the main verb.
This mechanic will repair the auto this morning.
These mechanics will be inspecting the auto this afternoon.
Has the mechanic spoken with you yet?