Verbs are one of the eight main parts of speech, and we can't form sentences without them. A verb explains the action of a sentence, but that’s just one part of what verbs do. Use this guide to familiarize yourself with the types of verbs and what they do, and peruse this list of nearly 300 common verbs. There are over 1000 possible verbs you can use in the English language, and I’m sure you’ll recall using some verbs on these lists more than others. This verbs list includes example sentences to help you expand your vocabulary and gain a better understanding of verb words and what they do.
What Is a Verb?
A verb is a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence and forming the main part of a predicate of a sentence. Remember, a predicate is the part of a sentence or clause containing a verb that says something about the subject. All sentences must have a verb, though a sentence doesn't have to have all eight parts of speech. Verb words dictate the action that's taking place, so they're necessary for a sentence to make sense.
Types of Verbs and Verb Examples
There are three types of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs. Action verbs are verbs that express action or possession. Action verbs can be transitive or intransitive. Transitive verb words always have a noun that receives the action of the verb, known as a direct object. They can sometimes also have an indirect object, which is a noun or phrase that occurs in addition to a direct object. Below are verb definitions and verb examples in a sentence.
Transitive verb example: I washed the dishes yesterday. The verb is washed, and the direct object is dishes, since they’re the noun being acted upon.
Transitive verb example 2: Send her the book. The verb is send, and the direct object is book; the indirect object is her. Intransitive verbs do not address an object or an indirect object. It has a modifier, but not an object.
Intransitive verb example: I went outside to enjoy the fresh air. The intransitive verb is went. There is not a direct object that is received by went. Some verbs are always intransitive, like go, lie, sneeze, sit, die, and arrive. Others like eat, can be either intransitive or transitive.
Linking verbs connect the subject of a sentence to a noun or adjective that describes it.
Linking verb example: This oatmeal tastes bland. In this sentence, oatmeal is the noun/subject, and bland is the adjective. Tastes is the linking verb that connects them.
Linking verb example 2: All the kittens are adorable. The subject is kittens, and the adjective is adorable. The linking verb is are.
Helping verbs are used before action or linking verbs to convey additional information. The main verb with an accompanying helping verb is called a verb phrase.
Helping verb example: The kids will help with the new puppy. In this sentence, kids is the subject, help is the main (action) verb, and will is the helping verb.
These verb examples lists contain just some of the most commonly used verbs in the English language. There are so many more verbs you can use, and you can utilize a Thesaurus to find words with similar meanings. All of the examples on this verbs list are given in present tense, but the examples may be in past or present tense.
The list is separated into action, helping, and linking verbs. You may notice that some words like am, appear, was etc. can act as multiple types of verbs. When you see verbs that are on multiple lists, refer to the descriptions of the types of verbs above, and notice how the words differ in meaning in the examples.
|Achieve||The student achieved a high score on her SATs.|
|Assemble||The Avengers and their friends assembled for one last battle against Thanos.|
|Accelerate||You can accelerate your progress on the SAT prep by signing up for tutoring.|
The doctor administered several tests.
This restaurant doesn't allow smoking.
Most students apply to several colleges.
She appeared out of nowhere.
The mayor will appoint a new fire chief in the coming weeks.
My co-worker analyzes tons of data every day.
We budgeted for a new couch this month.
They bought dinner three nights in a row.
She balanced carefully on the beam at the start of her routine.
Make sure you bring dessert to Thanksgiving this year.
We're building a new bookshelf.
The cat chased the mouse around the yard.
My neighbor will check my mail when I go on vacation.
You have to choose your meal for the reception.
Close the door when you leave the room.
In order to collaborate on this project, our team met twice a week.
Collecting coins is one of my favorite hobbies.
I always make sure to like and comment on my friends' posts.
With family overseas, we're lucky that we can communicate through video chats.
It's hard not to compare yourself to your classmates, but you should focus on achieving your own goals.
I convinced my friend to start a study group.
The team continued to the finals.
You have to coordinate the food, music, and guest list for the upcoming event.
I cut my finger while chopping vegetables.
I'm excited to watch the presidential candidates debate each other in the primaries.
Are you prepared to defend your thesis?
He finally decided on what watermelon to buy.
Marine biologists have discovered a new shark species.
Eating brunch with my friends is one of my favorite weekend activities.
My favorite teacher encouraged me to take more creative writing courses.
We established the company as a leader in our industry.
I earned an A on my last biology test.
You should really get that pain in your knee examined.
I expect results by the end of tomorrow.
My team is ready to experiment with different marketing strategies.
Please explain the instructions again.
She loves exploring the coves down by the ocean.
Be careful you don't fall when walking on the icy sidewalk.
I know a man that feed the pigeons every morning.
It's so hot that you could fry an egg on the sidewalk.
Growing up, my sister and I fought all the time.
This dress fits really well.
The ducklings follow the mother duck wherever she goes.
We went to my favorite restaurant for my birthday.
My teacher gave me great advice.
The tree I planted grew so much over this past year.
She gained several new friends in his first year at school.
We need to think of strategies to help us generate more clients.
Hang the painting on the wall in the hallways.
What happened to your ankle?
I hate how nervous I get before taking a test.
She heard her phone ring in the theater, but she ignored it.
Some dogs howl to get attention.
Hop on one foot while you jump rope to improve your workout.
My niece loves to hug her stuffed animals.
I helped make the brownies for the school bake sale.
She held onto her water bottle while they waited in line.
I tripped and hurt my knee.
She always hides her Halloween candy from her siblings.
The witness identified the defendant in the trial.
Ignore the loud music playing in the dorm next door while you're studying.
The story implied that the characters thought that their lives were unfair.
Mary GrandPré illustrated the U.S. editions of the Harry Potter books.
Please inform the class about your findings on Great White Sharks.
They included all the information in the report.
I"m pleased to introduce our new student!
I invested in some stocks for the first time.
Don't irritate your siblings.
She jogged past the duck pond and over the bridge.
You shouldn't joke about sensitive topics.
Jump over this log on the hiking trail.
Do you judge a book by its cover?
I kept my favorite childhood stuffed animals when I moved out.
I knocked lightly on the door.
She loved kicking the punching bag during a workout.
In writing, some people advise you to "kill your darlings."
My friends and I laugh together all the time.
We're learning about cell function in my biology class.
He laid down on the couch for a quick nap.
Don't leave without your lunch.
He lied on his resume and got caught.
I live in the United States.
He lost all of the pens he bought before school even started.
Listen carefully to lectures and take notes.
Together we listed the heavy package and carried it into the house.
I love both my dogs equally.
I like my new coffee table.
He made a collage to show his family history.
I manage all the fundraising efforts for our volunteer group.
She maintains a busy schedule.
Measure out one cup of flour and a half cup of sugar for this recipe.
I'm meeting with my team members Wednesday for our final project.
Mixing and matching your suits can help create a fun professional look.
She mentioned that she is applying to college this fall.
The cheese melted on the bread as soon as it went into the oven.
My family and I moved last year.
I need a new jacket this winter.
The agent is negotiating the player's contract.
He observed several stars through his telescope.
We obtained some information to help with our report.
The doctor ordered more blood tests following the appointment.
She offered her tutoring services.
Open the door for the cat.
I owned a horse when I was a kid.
Painting with watercolors is a relaxing hobby.
The team passed the ball to each other.
We paid for lunch for the whole team.
The students performed a short play that they wrote.
Though the work is hard, you have to persist and get it done.
The couple promised lifelong commitment at their wedding.
The kids played outside all day in the summer.
I pinched my arm to make sure I wasn't dreaming.
He read the report carefully and parsed out all the relevant information.
All of the students participated in the graduation ceremony.
They provided a solid alibi.
Put your coat on the coat rack.
Pull the audio data into the report.
I quit band last year.
All the ducks quacked as soon as they saw I had leftover bread.
A nursing degree qualifies you to take the board exams.
The shelter raises orphaned baby animals.
I read a fantastic book last week.
He realized that staying home for college was the right decision.
The family reveres their personal traditions around the holidays.
The water is so clear that it reflects the trees around it.
My teacher recommended me to a top college.
Our company is reducing waste by printing less and doing more digitally.
I relate to my favorite book characters.
Please report back promptly at 7pm.
All of my top college choices require personal essays.
Rest your wifi if it doesn't work.
Did you renew your subscription to the magazine?
My grandparents were happy to finally retire.
She resisted the urge to watch TV while studying.
I reached under the couch for my missing sock.
The lions in the new movie look so real when they roar.
We love riding the trolley in San Francisco.
Roast the marshmallows slowly so you don't burn them.
They all ran the charity 5K this year.
He said he will get back to me within the week.
Singing in front of an audience is a lot of fun.
Sit in this chair while you wait.
Send the invitations in the mail.
It's considered polite to shake hands when you meet someone.
Showering after a long day feels great.
I showed everyone how to new presentation software works.
Shaming people online is a common occurrence these days.
The kids shocked their parents with elaborate gifts.
I accidentally shrunk my favorite dress in the dryer.
She spoke clearly and intelligently during the debate.
The famous character Sherlock Holmes solves crimes by using his unique skills.
You need to specify which character is the protagonist in your essay.
Bonnie and Clyde famously stole from banks.
The tennis player served the ball.
The car stopped suddenly.
The dog stretched when he woke up.
Joyce is concerned that her magnets won't stick to the fridge.
I finally submitted my college applications last week.
She suggested that I apply to more than three colleges.
The miners struck gold.
Studying for the GRE is a long process.
The girl wanted a stuffed bear to snuggle with.
His aunt surprised him by coming to his concert.
We all took the day off and swam at the local pool.
My friend took the book back from me when I was done reading it.
We talked for hours about all the details for the surprise party.
After hours of preparation, he finally tasted the fresh tomato sauce.
I tore the cardboard in half to make it easier to recycle.
I trapped the spider in a cup and took it outside.
He told the teacher that he was sick.
A shepherd's job is to tend to a flock of sheep.
I want to teach myself Spanish this summer.
My guidance counselor thinks I have a good shot at my first choice school.
They were excited when the girl threw the ball for the first time.
I understand the difference between action, linking, and helping verbs.
I'm glad I go to a school that values extracurriculars.
She volunteers at an after-school program twice a week.
We waited for over an hour.
He walked the dog around the lake.
We warned them to stay away from the haunted house.
She warmed up by the fire after playing outside in the snow.
He wants a puppy for Christmas.
They won the big tournament.
She wished her friend a happy birthday.
I wrote four practice essays.
We all watch the same TV show on Saturday nights.
Wave goodbye when you leave.
Wear a hat when you go to the beach to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Though the new laptops are beautiful, some people yearn for the old design.
|Is||Mom is excited about our family trip this summer.|
|Am||I am worried that I'm not studying enough for my SATs.|
|Are||The puppies are so playful.|
|Was||She was so happy to finally see the show on broadway.|
|Were||They were disappointed that we had to leave early.|
|Be||I will be excited to see how this show ends next year.|
|Been||I've been open-minded about my next job opportunity.|
|Being||He is being stubborn.|
|Appear||He appears to be feeling better.|
|Become||He became fond of pasta after visiting Italy.|
|Feel||He felt tense after his meeting with his boss.|
|Grow||The tree in my backyard grows taller each year.|
|Look||You look tired from your trip.|
|Remain||She remained optimistic about getting into her top colleges.|
|Seem||You seem distracted today.|
|Smell||This dinner smells incredible.|
|Sound||Your cello sounds magnificent.|
|Stay||The baseball player stayed calm in a 3-2 count.|
|Taste||The apple pie tasted delicious.|
|Turn||Her fingers turned blue after being out in the cold for so long.|
|Prove||Her efforts proved worthwhile when she saw her report card.|
|Is||Everyone is wondering if we have an extra day off for the holiday weekend.|
|Am||I am hoping to get a positive response on this job application.|
|Are||They are following the teacher's instructions on the project.|
|Was||I was involved with the fundraising campaign last year.|
|Were||They were looking for the car keys for nearly an hour.|
|Be||He had to be lying since he kept scratching a nostril, an obvious tell.|
|Been||She was nervous to go away to school, since she had never been that far from home before.|
|Has||She has wandered off before.|
|Have||We have always stayed in the same cabin at the lake.|
|Had||I had worked on the campaign for clean water before working for the National Parks Service.|
|Does||My brother does know the Netflix password, he just won't tell me what it is.|
|Do||I do understand the different parts of speech, but I need to practice identifying them.|
|Did||I did remember to buy a new toothbrush, but left toothpaste off my shipping list.|
|Can||We can run the 5K and then go to the picnic.|
|Will||When we go hiking, we will hike the most difficult trail.|
|We shall eat breakfast promptly at 8am tomorrow.|
|Could||I could volunteer for the food drive again, or try something different.|
|Would||My class would participate more if we got participation points as an incentive.|
|Should||I should begin my homework, but I'm way too into this book right now.|
|Must||You must check to make sure you're fulfilling all of the credits you need.|
|May||I may treat myself this year for my birthday.|
|Might||I might take a computer science class this semester.|
As you can see from this list, there are a ton of verbs you can use to form sentences and to strengthen your speech and writing. Making sure you have a multitude of verb examples in your vocabulary will make it easier to identify parts of speech, and will ensure that your writing is specific, concise, and non-repetitive. Make sure you consider what type of verb you’re using, even when you don’t think you have to pay attention to it. Verbs are all around us, and especially after reading this list, you’ll start seeing them everywhere.
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Carrie holds a Bachelors in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College, and is currently pursuing an MFA. She worked in book publishing for several years, and believes that books can open up new worlds. She loves reading, the outdoors, and learning about new things.