Create an account
Verbals and Verb Phrases
• Verbals are formed from the four principal parts of verbs
• However, verbals do not act as verbs
• This is the one situation where a past or present participle may be used grammatically without a helping verb
• because it's not a verb in such a situation, but a verbal
• A verbal phrase = verbal [+ modifiers + complement (as if the verbal were still a verb)]
• formed from present participle
• end in -ing
• act as Nouns
• can therefore be Subject, Direct Object, Indirect Object, Predicate Nominative, Object of Preposition, or Appositive
• formed from present or past participle
• end in -ing, -ed, -en (and other irregular past participle forms - see Gucker, 30-31)
• act as Adjectives
• if single word, will appear next to noun/pronoun being modified
• if phrase, can be embedded in sentence or appear at beginning to modify subject
• often, but not always, set off by commas
• formed from "to" + present form
• not to be confused with prepositional phrases beginning with "to"
• prep phrases don't contain verbs
• act as Nouns, Adjectives, or Adverbs
• as nouns, often the DO of "mental action"
• as adjectives, will appear next to noun/pronoun being modified
• as adverbs, position not fixed
Each verb has four forms
• Present see
• Simple past saw
• present participle seeing
• past participle seen
Each verb has two numbers that correspond to and must agree with the number of the subject
Ways of distinguishing verbs and verb phrases
1. action verbs vs. linking verbs
2. main verbs vs. helping/auxiliary/modal verbs
3. transitive vs. intransitive verbs
4. passive vs. active verbs
Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.
Having trouble? Click here for help.
We can’t access your microphone!
Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again
Reload the page to try again!Reload
Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom
Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom
It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.
Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.
For more help, see our troubleshooting page.
Your microphone is muted
For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.
Star this term
You can study starred terms together