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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: 1. What a Verb Is, and What Verbs Aren't. English Grammar Lessons

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when you're trying to understand English

grammar the first thing you really have

to come to grips with is what is

anything further and in this video I

want to try to explain what a verb is

and show you what a verb is and also to

show you why it's not a good idea to

think that a verb is a act is an action

word I think that's probably the

definition that a lot of people have in

their heads about when they're asked

what is a verb that you say well it's an

action word well that is not actually

very helpful in thinking about verbs and

let's start out by showing you why that

is so we took this sentence which I

there's two sentences here let's look at

this one seeing his smirking and the

approach sandor felt the dreaded hour of

reckoning draw near and if I asked you

well what what verb or verbs are there

in this sentence if you're thinking well

the verb is an action word you might

what would you what would you think and

you might say well seeing that's there's

some action in there smirking that's an

action approach that that sounds like

there's got some action in it dreaded

dreaded that's somebody's doing some

dreading so that's that's an action

reckoning that looks like that looks

like an action like I reckon that Dustin

saw is going to happen so that could be

draw like what I'm doing right now

drawing that seems like an action felt

I'm feeling something that bad seems

like an action what else I think that

those are all the things that seemed to


that could be candidates or seem to

fulfill the condition of having action

in them well in fact only one of these

words is a verb and it's felt this is

the only verb in this sentence

everything else is not a verb it's

something else now for me to go into

detail about what all these things are

that would not be the first video in

this series I mean that because there's

a lot of things you have to know before

you can really understand what these

other things are but you can learn right

now why these things aren't verbs and

let me give let me start by giving you a

better definition of verb better than a

verb is an action word and that is a

verb is something with a subject that is

subjects and verbs go together and the

shortest English sentence that can be is

a combination of a subject and a verb so

for example take this very short

sentence gap or eats it consists of

evert eats and in subject gap and we see

that the subject and the verb as we say

agree so it's not gap or eat it's a

board eats if you said gap or eat you

would not sound the native speaker would

know that's that's incorrect and the

problem that the native speaker would be

picking up on is a problem of what we

call agreement that is gap or each is a

sentence in which the subject gap were

does not agree with the verb eat gap or

as a subject agrees with these they are

the sub they're confirmed to go together

and you can't get any more basic than

that when you're looking

at an English sentence it's the subject

and the verb combination that holds the

sentence together that the sentence is

built around so sand or felt that is a

subject verb combination and any subject

verb combination could in fact stand

alone as a sentence now it might not be

a very interesting sentence like sand or

felt well it's not much of a sense but

it is dramatically complete it's the

subjects and/or and the verb felt none

of the other things none of the other

words here the look action II they seem

to have a lot of action in them could

satisfy that requirement so see well you

might say well now wait a minute

there is a subject for a combination

there you might think because who's

doing the scene sand or is doing the

scene just as in this subject verb

combination sand or is doing the feeling

sand or fell but this cannot be a verb

let's try to make a sentence out of this

subject and this word if you think it's

a verb and what you get is sand Orsini

sand or seating well that's not a

sentence you would need to have a work

like is you would need to add some form

of the verb to be sand or if scenes and

was seen sand or had been seen and so

forth but seeing all on its own

cannot function as a verb with sand or

as a subject you get this thing

we're seeing you could go through all of

these these things like approach

well now that again that in in other

sentences approach certainly is a verb

like they approach the altar I mean

that's that's a sentence that's

perfectly fine but who would be doing

the approaching here well seeing this

work an enemy approach okay well enemy

the enemy is doing the approaching but

if we put those two together enemy and

approach as a subject verb combination

once again you get enemy approach that

is not a subject for a combination if it

were if it were subject for a

combination it would have to be enemy

the enemy approaches not enemy approach

so this is not a verb whatever it is it

isn't a verb and we the the dreaded our

well whenever you have you code is that

a verb

well let's think about what what always

is the case when something is a verb so

let's look at this tiny little sentence

down here yeah boy eats and let's let's

fill it out a little gap or eating bugs

now whenever something is a verb and is

functioning properly you can change the

tense of the verb and and leave

everything else the same and you should

come up with something perfectly fine so

Gavin war eats bugs you can substitute

eats with is eating gab or it's eating


yeah or ate bugs Gavin gap or will be

eating bugs if you just change the tense

of the sentence of the verb that is

everything should be fine but look what

would happen if you try to change

dreaded the dreaded hour well that's a

good thing

phrase but the is threading our or the

will be dreaded our or anything else the

you can't do it you can't change this in

two different tenses this isn't a verb

the hour of reckoning again if it if it

is a verb you should be able to do

anything that we were doing with each

snap here you can't say the hour of will

be reckoning the dreaded hour will be

reckoning drawn nearer I mean that

doesn't make any sense at all

draws similarly what what is doing the

drawing near what is drawing near

well it's the hour that is drawing near

but then you're into the same thing that

there's no way that our agrees with the

verb draw you you get the hour draw near

yeah and of course it isn't the hour

going here it's the hour draws near now

I know that this may be a little in a

way frustrating because I haven't told

you what all these things are but again

that's that's not the point of this

video the point is to see what they

aren't and they aren't verbs and that

should show you that it's not right to

think of a verb as an action word

because I would hate to have to explain

why felt which is indeed a verb and is

the only verb in the sentence well I

felt had more action in it than seeing

or smirking or dreaded or draw or

reckoning or approach I just wouldn't

even know where to begin I don't know

how to how to make that case but what I

can say is that felt is the only word in

the sentence that has a subject and

that's what a verb is it's it's

something that has a subject and the

subject verb combination is the heart of

the English sentence and that's the

right place to start when you're trying

to figure out what English grammar is

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