Understanding Passive and Active Verbs


Verb Types Review
Verbs are words that show action (action verbs) or conditions and relationships (linking verbs). English also has auxiliary (helping) verbs.

Action verbs (not to be confused with active verbs) are verbs that describe something that can be done. Verbs like talk, run, throw, cook, eat, jump, drive, write, and read are all action verbs.

Linking verbs include any form of the verb be (am, are, is, was, were, being, been, etc.) as well as become and seem. Linking verbs connect the subject of the sentence with additional information. Linking verbs perform the function of an equals (or inequality) sign. Linking verbs perform no action and merely state the presence or absence of an existing condition or relationship.

A true linking verb is neither active nor passive. Linking verbs link, or connect, the subject of the verb with other information. Some verbs, however, can act as both linking and action verbs: look, appear, feel, taste, smell, prove, grow, and remain.

Auxiliary verbs (also called helping verbs) are used in forming the tenses, moods, and voices of other verbs. The most common auxiliary verbs are have, be, and do.

Subjects and Direct Objects Review
Subjects are what or who the sentence is about. The subject always includes at least one noun, pronoun, or word functioning as a noun. A subject can even be a group of words. The subject answers the question of “who or what is doing or being this verb.”

Direct objects are the immediate recipients of the action or the item the verb affects. The direct object receives the action performed by the subject and generally answers the question “what.”

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Very helpful. I am showing this to my children.

Unfortunately, many people think this topic is not very important. Knowing the differences will help make my writing stronger.