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Verbs in English


Verbs in English are used to express action. Verbs and nouns are the two most important ingredients in any language. Nouns tell us what is involved in a situation, verbs tell us what happens in a situation. This page provides easy access to all the important information about verbs you can find on this site.

Verb Types

To begin with, this overview provides a look at the different types of verbs in English. These include transitive and intransitive verbs, as well as various verb patterns.

Verb Types Overview

Auxiliary Verbs

An understanding of auxiliary (helping) verbs is essential in English. All tenses make use of auxiliary verbs and a complete knowledge of each will help you conjugate tenses correctly. Begin with an overview of the function of auxiliary verbs:

Auxiliary Verbs Explained

In spoken English, auxiliary verbs are often contracted - She'll come, They've bought, etc. - this guide to contractions will help you understand standard auxiliary verb contractions.


Finally, once you've reviewed the use of auxiliary verbs in English, take this auxiliary verb quiz to test your understanding of auxiliary verb usage.

Auxiliary Verb Quiz

Irregular Verbs

Conjugating regular English verbs is relatively easy. Conjugating irregular verbs can be frustrating! Irregular verb conjugation doesn't follow any specific rules, although there certainly are patterns. Here are references at the site to help you with irregular verb conjugation and use.

This first resource provides example sentences in all tenses of 35 irregular verbs.

Irregular Verbs - Sentence Examples

These interactive practice resources allow you to check your knowledge of irregular verb past simple and past participle forms. They're great fun as games and test your knowledge.

Irregular Verb Interactive Practice
Irregular Verbs Quiz

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal verbs are verbs that are followed by one or two prepositions or particles. Here are some example sentences:

I look forward to seeing you soon. - look forward to
She put her friend up for two months. - put up

Phrasal verbs can be very frustrating as the use of prepositions is not always logical. Pick up can literally mean to pick something up (He picked up the book. OR it can mean to learn something (He picked up some Spanish in Madrid. These resources will help you learn the most common English phrasal verbs.

This introduction to phrasal verbs explains various types of English phrasal verbs and important sentence structure issues to consider when using separable and inseparable phrasal verbs.

What are Phrasal Verbs?

There are a number of other resources on the site about phrasal verbs including: reference materials, phrasal verb examples, phrasal verb quizzes, and phrasal verb lesson plans. This special phrasal verb resources collects all of the phrasal verb resources on the site.

Phrasal Verb Resources

Verb Patterns

Certain verbs combine with other verbs. Here are some examples:

She enjoys eating out in fine restaurants. - verb + gerund
Jack wants to get a new job. - verb + infinitive

These interactive practice resources allow you to check your knowledge of verb patterns. They're great fun as games and test your knowledge.

Gerund or Infinitive - Learning Tool
Gerund or Infinitive Quiz 1
Gerund or Infinitive Quiz 2

Verbs + Prepositions

Another challenge to using English verbs are common verb + preposition combinations. Here are some resources to learning verb + preposition combinations and testing your knowledge.

Verb + Preposition Combination Reference List
Verb + Preposition Quiz 1
Verb + Preposition Quiz 2

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