Login
Copyright

Action, Linking and Auxiliary Verbs: Definitions, Functions & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Verb Forms: Participles & Infinitives

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:04 What Is a Verb?
  • 0:39 Action Verbs
  • 1:43 Linking Verbs
  • 2:44 Auxiliary Verbs
  • 3:38 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Amy Bonn

Amy has taught college and law school writing courses and has a master's degree in English and a law degree.

Do you think that a verb is just a verb? Check out this lesson to learn about the differences among action verbs, linking verbs, and auxiliary/helping verbs.

What is a Verb?

When you head to the movie theater to catch an action movie, you expect a lot of stuff to happen, like cars chasing each other, action heroes leaping off buildings, and things exploding. In other words, you're in the mood for a lot of exciting verbs. So, what is a verb? That's an easy one, right? A verb is a word that expresses an action or occurrence.

It's true that that's the core of it, but it does get a bit more complicated than that, and there are a few more definitions and rules that you'll need to be acquainted with as you work toward achieving your ultimate goal of becoming a verb master. There are a few different types of verbs and a few things to keep in mind about each type.

Action Verbs

Action verbs are what we most commonly think of when we think about verbs (and particularly when we think about action movies). An action verb is a word that expresses an action that the subject of a sentence does, did in the past, or will do in the future. Note that the subject of a sentence is a noun or pronoun that the sentence is about. The subject usually, though not always, performs the action of the verb. Remember that every sentence must have both a subject and a verb to be complete.

Examples of action verbs are:

run
jump
go
think
do
live
study

Note that action verbs include not just verbs that are truly action-packed. They include words like 'think' and 'decide' and other actions that aren't actually visible. For example, in the sentence, Miriam leapt over the couch, the subject 'Miriam' is performing the action of the verb 'leapt.' In the sentence, Miriam thought about what she had done, the subject 'Miriam' is performing the action of the verb 'thought.' Both sentences contain action verbs, even though one action is a bit more perceptible - and exciting - than the other.

Linking Verbs

A linking verb is quite different from an action verb in that it doesn't actually express action. Instead, it connects a subject to the other words in a sentence that describe it or that provide additional information. Here are some examples of common linking verbs:

appear
be (including am, is, are, was, and were)
become
feel
get
look
seem
smell
sound
taste

Linking verbs quite literally do what the name suggests: They link the subject of a sentence to additional words that tell more about the subject. Here are some examples of linking verbs at work:

The kids appear excited about the holidays.

My sister is nervous.

I feel sick.

Dinner smells delicious.

Even though these linking verbs aren't showing big, kinetic actions and movements, they are nonetheless verbs. They're not the kind of verbs that drive big-budget action movies, but rather movies that are maybe a little less exciting and that feature a lot of sitting around, talking, and emoting.

Auxiliary Verbs

There's one more type of verb that we'll cover in this lesson. A lot of verbs in sentences are comprised of more than one word. An auxiliary verb, also referred to as a helping verb, is one that is the part of a verb phrase that helps the main verb. As part of a verb phrase, a helping verb might show when an action occurs or whether the action is required. Let's look at a few examples to get a sense of just what auxiliary, or helping verbs, do.

Examples of auxiliary, or helping verbs, include forms of the verbs:

be
do
have

As well as verbs like:

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support