Once again during my TESOL module, I am learning things which should be common knowledge to me, yet I finish my tutorials feeling incompetent.
This has been a relearning process for me, which is perhaps more important than discovering new avenues at the moment. If I take verbs for granted, how am I supposed to teach them to ESL learners?
This blog post will provide a brief introduction into verbs, as I myself am only being introduced to similar definitions.
What is a verb?
Verbs are action words. They are there to describe the action being carried out. This can be both physical actions and mental processes.
It is an open word category; meaning that there an be new words added.
- Have a clearly stateable meaning.
- Function as the main verbs in a sentence (i.e.they carry the main meaning of the sentence.
- There is no limit to the number of verbs in this class.
- Have regular endings for forming past and present tenses
- The most common of these verbs have irregular morphology.
- These verbs form a separate class because they can function either as main verbs or as auxiliary verbs (helping verbs).
- Auxiliary verbs add extra information to the main (lexical) verb.
- There are 3 verbs in this class; do, be, and have
Primary auxiliary verbs can change the meaning of the sentence from positive to negative.
The three primary verb classes
As a main verb:
- Activity verb: I do the gardening. Brian does the ironing.
- Fixed idiomatic expressions: We’d better do some work. It’s not a fancy car but it does the job.
As Auxiliary verb:
- Questions: Do you want to join us?
- Negator: I don’t understand.
- Emphatic: I do like to be beside the seaside.
- Question Tags.
2. to BE
As primary verb
- as a primary verb, it’s called the copula because of it’s special links or coupling function.
- copular verbs: It is gorgeous!
As Auxiliary verbs
progressive aspect: I am speaking passively. It is suggested. (Suggested = past participle)
3. To Have
As main verb:
- Indicated possession: I have, you have etc.
As Auxiliary verb:
- perfect aspect: I have just washed the car
As I stated early, my own understanding of verbs is still growing so I would encourage you to take your own initiative and explore other aspects of verbs.
Below is a YouTube video from the user Socratica where they discuss verbs; the video is targeted at ESL learners so I believe it will be useful in your pursuits to become an ESL teacher.