What is Verb?

A verb is a word that expresses an action or state of something.
e.g., write, eat, drink, buy, go, come, laugh, play, catch, wash, speak, sleep, etc.

  • He is eating an apple.

In the above sentence, the word ‘eat’ is a verb. It tells about an action which is done by the subject (he) in the sentence. A verb expresses some action. For instance, the verb ‘eat’ expresses an action of chewing a food and swallowing it. 

Most verbs express an action, but a few verbs also express a state of something.

A verb that expresses an action is called a dynamic verb, e.g., go, write, eat, wash, buy.


  • He is going to school.               .
  • They are playing football.        
  • She writes a story.                   
  • He broke a cup.                      

On the other hand, the verb which expresses a state of something is called a stative verb, e.g. seem, resemble, consists of, belong to, impress, surprise, etc.


  • He seems a nice man.               (expresses a state).
  • She resembles her sister.          (expresses a state).
  • She belongs to a noble family.  (expresses a state).

A few verbs can be used both as dynamic as well as a stative verb.


  • He looks handsome.     (‘look’ used as a stative verb).
  • He looked at the door.  (‘look’ used as a dynamic verb).


There are three major forms of a verb.

  1. Base Form        (1st form)
  2. Past Simple       (2nd form)
  3. Past Particle      (3rd form)


Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Write Wrote Written
See Saw Seen

Adding ‘ing’ to the base form of a verb (e.g., laugh) turns into a form (e.g., laughing) known as present participle. Examples:  go – going, sleep – sleeping, play – playing, do – doing. The present participle is also sometime called a 4th form of a verb. The present participle form of verb is mostly used in continuous tenses.

  Formation of 2nd and 3rd Forms of Verb

Verbs are divided into the following two types based on the formation of their 2nd and 3rd forms.

  1. Regular Verbs
  2. Irregular Verbs

  Regular Verbs

A verb whose past simple and past participle are formed simply by adding ‘-ed’ to it, is called a regular verb.

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Ask Asked Asked
Open Opened Opened
Use Used Used
Start Started Started
Look Looked Looked
Allow Allowed Allowed
Need Needed Needed
Help Helped Helped
Try Tried Tried
Pull Pulled Pulled

  Irregular Verbs

A verb whose past simple and past participle are formed in different ways (not by adding ‘-ed’) is called an irregular verb.

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
See Saw Seen
Eat Ate Eaten
Write Wrote Written
Drink Drank Drunk
Send Sent Sent
Sleep Slept Slept
Find Found Found
Buy Bought Bought
Teach Taught Taught
Do Did Did
Fly Flew Flown

  A few verbs remain the same in all the three forms.

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Put Put Put
Shut Shut Shut
Cut Cut Cut
Spread Spread Spread
Read Read Read