How can it be possible that we spent the entire hour and ten minutes of class talking about verbs? Well, it wasn’t on purpose, I’ll tell you that much. I had a lot of other stuff planned. Really awesome stuff. Mind-blowing ideas and concepts that could have utterly changed your miserable little lives. But it turns out that verbs are pretty complex little buggers.

(If you weren’t in class this day, download the worksheet through the link at the end of the post and use the info below to fill it out. The quiz will be on Tuesday.)

Specifically, we discussed three verb “types”: transitive, intransitive, and linking. Here are some basic definitions:

Transitive verbs: verbs that require a direct object; or, more simply put, actions that affect something else Example: Matt kicked the desk.

Intransitive verbs: verbs that do not take an object; or, actions that don’t effect anyone or thing other than the subject Example: Matt wept.

Linking verbs: verbs that link a subject and a complement; or, verbs that say one thing equals another thing Example: Matt is a crybaby.

Here are a few other fun facts we covered about verbs:

  • The thing that is “affected” by a transitive verb (the desk, in the example sentence) is called the direct object.
  • Transitive verbs can also take an indirect object. The indirect object is something or someone that is indirectly affected by the action in the sentence. In the sentence Matt gave the confidential memo to Richie.” the direct object is “the confidential memo,” but “Richie,” because he is being given the paper, is the indirect recipient of the action of the main verb. Indirect objects are often preceded by the words “to,” or “for.”

  • The verb “to be” is the most common linking verbs, but other verbs such as “seems,” appears,” and “sounds,” can also act as linking verbs.

  • The “complement” that comes after a linking verb can be an adjective (Matt is rad.), a noun (Matt is a master teacher.), or even other stuff, like prepositional phrases (Matt is on something.). Complement simply “complete” sentences with linking verbs by giving the subject something to link to.

After talking about all this, we completed the practice sentences on the worksheet and went over the results.

I think with all this grammar knowledge students are now prepared to make the most of their weekends. It’s always good to lead into the weekend with a good dose of grammar. Keeps you honest and all.


Key quote: “Matt kicked the desk.”

Downloads: Verb intro worksheet


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