<< Back to Lessons Index

Reading and Writing Rocks Yellow / Lesson 2: Action Verbs

Action Verbs

  • A verb tells of an action or state of being.

    Verbs are a necessary components of all sentences.
    Verbs have two important functions: Some verbs put static objects into motion while other verbs help to clarify static objects in meaningful ways.

Action verbs

  • Some verbs indicate action, even if the action is unseen.

  • An action verb tells something is happening, has happened, or will happen.
                    Christy listens.
                    The Patriots lost.
                    A shark surfaced.
                    The crew waited.

Action verbs

  • If you are unsure whether a sentence contains an action verb or not, look at every word in the sentence and ask yourself, "Is this something that a person or thing can do?"

Action verb Examples

  • Can you during? Is during something you can do? Can you math? Is there someone mathing outside the building right now? Can you class? Do your obnoxious neighbors keep you up until 2 a.m. because they are classing? Can you nap? Bingo! Sure you can! You'd probably prefer napping to listening to a biology lecture yourself. Can you at? Of course not! Can you her? Show me hering. Can you desk? Demonstrate desking for me! In the sentence above, therefore, there is only one action verb: napped.

Action verbs:Active Anna

  • Anna Action/Verb jumped from bed on Monday. She ran to the breakfast table, doing three cartwheels on the way.
        "Anna, you are too active!" said Mrs. Action/Verb.
        "So?" Anna replied as she leapt out the door.
        She raced her friend, Donna Direct-Object, all the way to school. But she couldn't sit still. Ms. Sentence, the teacher, tapped her ruler on her desk and said, "Anna, SIT STILL!".
        "Yes, ma'am," Anna said as she picked up her pencil. When the class lined up for Art, Patrick Pronoun whispered, "You'd better stop being so active. You'll get into trouble." But Anna was seeing how long she could hop on one foot and not trip over Donna.
        The Art teacher, Mrs. Preposition, was showing the class how to draw snowflakes when Anna tipped over in her chair. Then she did five somersaults right into a table. Anna got a bruise on her forehead and had to go to the nurse.
        Then Mr. Noun, the principal, wrote a note home to Anna's parents. And can you guess what Mr. and Mrs. Action/Verb decided? No gymnastics, Anna's favorite class, for a week!
        So Anna learned to do flips only in gymnastics and to learn in school instead.

Action verbs

  • Action verbs can also be actions you can't see such as: Sue thought about pets. She wanted a puppy.

  • Action verbs are time-telling verbs. They also tell when ? something takes place. Examples:
    My dog runs faster than yours. (present tense)
    Yesterday he ran around the block. (past tense)
    Tomorrow he will run in a race. (future tense)

  • Actions verbs main be used alone as the main verb of a sentence; as in: My kitten fell into the pond. Or the action verb may use a helping verb; as in: If you get too close to the edge, you will fall too.

Linking verbs do not express action. Instead, they connect the subject of the verb to additional information about the subject.

  • Some verbs simply tell that something exists.
    These verbs are called linking verbs because they link the subject with some other word or words in the sentence

Linking verbs

  • The following verbs are true linking verbs: any form of the verb be [am, is, are, was, were, has been, are being, might have been, etc.], become, and seem. These true linking verbs are always linking verbs.

Other Linking Verbs

  • Then you have a list of verbs with multiple personalities: appear, feel, grow, look, prove, remain, smell, sound, taste, and turn. Sometimes these verbs are linking verbs; sometimes they are action verbs. Their function in every individual sentence determines what you call them.

Linking Verbs

  •        be (am, are, is, was, were, been, being)     look     feel      taste
  •        become,      became       appear     smell       grow
  •        seem      sound

Linking Verb Examples

  • Examples:
  •     The call sounded urgent.
        The assembly is tomorrow.
  •     My sister and I looked alike.
        Lynn feels sick.

Action or Linking?

  • How do you tell when they are action verbs and when they are linking verbs? If you can substitute am, is, or are for the verb and the sentence still sounds logical, you have a linking verb on your hands. If, after the substitution, the sentence makes no sense, you are dealing with an action verb instead.