CBSE English Grammar


Verb. The verb is a word that expresses some action, feeling or existence. It tells us something about the subject; as

Lions roar. (action)Boys fly kites. (action)I feel sorry. (feeling)Ashoka was a great king. (existence)

2. All the verbs (shown above in black) ‘roar’, ‘fly’, ‘feel’, and ‘was’, are limited by ^ the number and person of their subjects. Therefore, ‘roar’, ‘fly’, ‘feel’, and ‘was’, are Main Verbs —main verbs are also called Finite Verbs.

3. Verbs are divided in two parts :A. Main Verbs (also called lexical verbs)B. Helping Verbs (Auxiliaries—Primary and Modals)


Main Verb

Main Verbs are also of two kinds :

  1. Finite verbs
  2. Non-finite verbs

Finite verbs change their forms according to the person and number of the subject and the tense also,

e.g. He reads. I readThey read. She goes.I go.They go.Non-finite verbs do not change their forms according to the number, person or tense of the subject. The infinitives, gerunds and participles are called non-finites.

4. Read the following sentences :Lata sang a song.I wrote a letter.Children like sweets.In each of these sentences the verb takes an object ‘song’, ‘letter’ and ‘sweets’ are objects. A verb that takes an object is called a Transitive Verb. The object usually answers the question what ? Or whom ?Now look at the following sentences :Birds fly.

The sun shines.

These verbs do not require objects. They express the actions by themselves and make the sense complete. They are called Intransitive Verbs.

Some Verbs can be used both Transitively and Intransitively.

II. The Conjugation of Verbs

To Conjugate a Verb means to give its four Principal forms :

Present Past
Past Participle Present Participle

If the Past or Past Participle is formed from the Present Tense by changing the Vowel of a Verb ; as—Take, took, taken and do, did, doneThe Verb is said to be a Strong Verb.If the Verb requires the addition of ‘ed ‘cf or ‘f to form their Past and Past Participles, they are called Weak Verbs ; as—Finish, finished, finished ; die, died, died and build, built, built.

Group I (Where no ‘n’ is added to the Past Participle)

Present Past Past Participle Present Participle
Abide abode abode abiding
Awake awoke awoke awaking
Become became become becoming
Begin began begun beginning
Dig dug dug digging
Drink              ; drank drunk drinking

Group II (Where ‘n’ or ‘ne’ is added to the Past Participle)

Present Past Past Participle Present Participle
Arise arose arisen arising
Bear bore bom bearing
Bear bore borne bearing
Bid bade bidden bidding*
Blow blew blown blowing
Break broke broken breaking
Modals (Prev Lesson)
(Next Lesson) Active and Passive Voice
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