- plural of verb.
, a verb is a word
) that usually denotes an action (bring, read), an
occurrence (decompose, glitter), or a state of being (exist,
stand). Depending on the language
, a verb may vary in
form according to many factors, possibly including its tense
It may also agree with the person
of some of its arguments (subject
The number of arguments that a verb takes is
called its valency or valence. Verbs can be classified according to
(valency = 1): the verb only has a subject.
For example: "he runs", "it falls".
(valency = 2): the verb has a subject and a direct
object. For example: "she eats fish", "Mike hunts deer".
(valency = 3): the verb has a subject, a direct object and an
indirect or secondary object. For example: "I gave her a book,"
"She sent me flowers."
It is impossible to have verbs with zero valency.
Weather verbs are often impersonal
(subjectless) in null-subject
s like Spanish
where the verb llueve means "It rains". In English, they require a
, and therefore formally have a valency of 1.
The intransitive and transitive are typical, but
the impersonal and objective are somewhat different from the norm.
In the objective the verb takes an object but no subject, the
nonreferent subject in some uses may be marked in the verb by an
incorporated dummy pronoun similar to the English weather verb (see
below). Impersonal verbs take neither subject nor object, as with
other null subject languages, but again the verb may show
incorporated dummy pronouns despite the lack of subject and object
phrases. Tlingit lacks a ditransitive, so the indirect object is
described by a separate, extraposed clause.
English verbs are often flexible with regard to
valency. A transitive verb can often drop its object and become
intransitive; or an intransitive verb can take an object and become
- I moved. (intransitive)
- I moved the book. (transitive)
In the first example, the verb move has no
grammatical object. (In this case, there may be an object
understood - the subject (I/myself). The verb is then possibly
reflexive, rather than intransitive); in the second the subject and
object are distinct. The verb has a different valency, but the form
remains exactly the same.
In many languages other than English, such
valency changes are not possible like this; the verb must instead
be inflected for voice in order to change the valency.
is a word that is used to
describe its subject, or to equate or liken the subject with its
predicate. In many languages, copulas are a special kind of verb,
sometimes called copulative verbs or linking verbs.
Because copulas do not describe actions being
performed, they are usually analyzed outside the
transitive/intransitive distinction. The most basic copula in
English is to be; there are others (remain, seem, grow, become,
Some languages (the Semitic
and others) can omit or do not have the simple copula equivalent of
"to be", especially in the present tense. In these languages a
pair (or two nouns)
can constitute a complete sentence. This construction is called
Verbal noun and verbal adjective
Most languages have a
number of verbal noun
that describe the action of the verb. In Indo-European
, there are several kinds of verbal nouns, including
s, and supine
s. English has gerunds,
such as seeing, and infinitives such as to see; they both can
function as nouns; seeing is believing is roughly equivalent in
meaning with to see is to believe. These terms are sometimes
applied to verbal nouns of non-Indo-European languages.
In the Indo-European languages, verbal adjectives
are generally called participle
s. English has an
participle, also called a present participle; and a passive
participle, also called a past participle. The active participle of
play is playing, and the passive participle is played. The active
participle describes noun
that perform the action given in the verb, e.g. I saw the playing
children.. The passive participle describes nouns that have been
the object of the action of the verb, e.g. I saw the played game
scattered across the floor.. Other languages apply tense and aspect
to participles, and possess a larger number of them with more
distinct shades of meaning.
AgreementIn languages where the verb is inflected, it
often agrees with its primary argument (what we tend to call the
subject) in person, number and/or gender. English only shows
distinctive agreement in the third person singular, present tense
form of verbs (which is marked by adding "-s"); the rest of the
persons are not distinguished in the verb.
Spanish inflects verbs for tense/mood/aspect and
they agree in person and number (but not gender) with the subject.
in turn, inflects verbs for many more categories, but shows
absolutely no agreement with the subject. Basque
and some other languages, have polypersonal
: the verb agrees with the subject, the direct object
and even the secondary object if present.
- Gideon Goldenberg, "On Verbal Structure and the Hebrew Verb",
in: idem, Studies in Semitic Linguistics, Jerusalem: Magnes Press
1998, pp. 148-196 [English translation; originally published in
Hebrew in 1985].
verbs in Afrikaans: Werkwoord
verbs in Arabic: فعل
verbs in Aymara: Parliri
verbs in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa):
verbs in Bosnian: Glagoli
verbs in Breton: Verb
verbs in Bulgarian: Глагол
verbs in Catalan: Verb
verbs in Chuvash: Глагол
verbs in Czech: Sloveso
verbs in Danish: Udsagnsord
verbs in German: Verb
verbs in Spanish: Verbo
verbs in Esperanto: Verbo
verbs in Faroese: Sagnorð
verbs in French: Verbe
verbs in Scottish Gaelic: Gnìomhair
verbs in Galician: Verbo
verbs in Korean: 동사 (품사)
verbs in Croatian: Glagoli
verbs in Indonesian: Verba
verbs in Icelandic: Sagnorð
verbs in Italian: Verbo
verbs in Hebrew: פועל
verbs in Kazakh: Етістік
verbs in Latin: Verbum
verbs in Latvian: Darbības vārds
verbs in Lithuanian: Veiksmažodis
verbs in Lingala: Likelelo
verbs in Hungarian: Ige
verbs in Malayalam: ക്രിയ (വ്യാകരണം)
verbs in Mongolian: Үйл үг
verbs in Dutch: Werkwoord
verbs in Japanese: 動詞
verbs in Norwegian: Verb
verbs in Norwegian Nynorsk: Verb
verbs in Low German: Verb
verbs in Polish: Czasownik
verbs in Portuguese: Verbo
verbs in Romanian: Verb
verbs in Quechua: Ruray rimana
verbs in Russian: Глагол
verbs in Northern Sami: Vearba
verbs in Albanian: Folja
verbs in Simple English: Verb
verbs in Slovak: Sloveso
verbs in Slovenian: Glagol
verbs in Serbian: Глаголи
verbs in Serbo-Croatian: Glagol
verbs in Finnish: Verbi
verbs in Swedish: Verb
verbs in Turkish: Fiil
verbs in Ukrainian: Дієслово
verbs in Yiddish: צייטווארט
verbs in Chinese: 动词