Verbs are important part of a sentence. A Verb is defined as a word that describes an action, occurrence or state of being. It helps to make a statement complete. Every sentence must have a verb at its core. Verbs have four qualities (or attributes) - Mood, Voice, Tense and Number. Besides, verbs also have other forms called verbals.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

Transitive verbs involve a direct object whereas intransitive verbs do not involve a direct object. For example, in the sentence "The boy throws the ball", here throws is the verb and ball is the direct object. In the sentence "The boy throws", here the verb throws is used intransitively.

Finite and Non-Finite Verbs

Finite verbs are verbs whose form is governed by the subject of the sentence. This means that finite verbs will change their form depending on person (first person, second person, third person, singular or plural) and tense. On the other hand, Non-finite verbs are those that do not change form based upon the subject. Non-Finite verbs are of three types Participle, Gerund and Infinitive. 

Participles, Gerunds and Infinitives

Participles, gerunds and Infinitives are called verbals. Verbals are words which are formed from verbs but function as a different part of speech.


A participle functions as an adjective. It is formed by adding –ing or –ed to a verb.

  • Examples: The singing bird was the main attraction at the event; The injured man was waiting for the doctor.


A gerund functions as a noun. It is formed by adding –ing to a verb.

  • Examples: Sam likes reading books; Smoking is prohibited in the hospital.


An infinitive functions as a noun, adjective or adverb. It is formed by using the word ‘to’ plus the verb in its stem word.

  • Examples: He was made to clean his room; She loves to talk.

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary vebs are also called helping verbs. There are four auxiliary verbs in the English language - BeHaveWill and Do.

Stative Verbs

Stative verbs are verbs that describe a state rather than an action. While describing states, they are never used in continuous (-ing) form.

Modal Verbs

There are ten modal verbs in the English language - Can, Could, May, Might, Will, Would, Must, Shall, Should, Ought to