Copyright

What is a Main Verb? - Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: What is a Noun Phrase? - Definition & Examples

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

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 Main Verb
  • 0:53 Verb Review
  • 1:28 Main Verbs in a Sentence
  • 2:23 Complications
  • 4:03 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

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

There are four things you need to write a good sentence: capitalization, punctuation, a subject, and a verb. In this lesson, we will learn about the verb - its role and how to identify it.

Main Verb

What do you like most about your favorite movie - the character, the story, the special effects? Most movies have a main character - the person or animal who stars in the movie. But if you only have the main character, all you have is a movie poster - nothing happens. You need action to make a good movie.

A sentence is like a movie. It must have a subject, which tells whom or what the sentence is about, like the movie star. But a sentence also needs some action. That is why every sentence has a main verb. The main verb of the sentence expresses either the action or the state of being of the subject.

sentence formula

Verb Review

What is a verb, anyway? A verb is a word that expresses an action or state of being.

Action verbs express action. Here are some examples of action verbs:

  • run, walk, kick, hug, eat, dance, write, forget, build

Linking verbs connect the subject to a word that describes or renames it. Here are some examples of linking verbs:

  • is, was, seems, appears, feels, grows, smells, tastes, becomes

Main Verbs in a Sentence

A sentence is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

The main verb is the verb in the sentence that is expressing the action or state of being of the subject.

1. Marilyn ate pie.

  • In this sentence, the subject is Marilyn. The action verb ate tells the action that Marilyn performed. Ate is the main verb in this sentence.

2. She was hungry.

  • In this sentence, the subject is she. The linking verb was connects the subject to the word that describes it. Was is the main verb in this sentence.

3. Cooper ran around the track.

  • In this sentence, the subject is Cooper. The action verb ran tells what Cooper did. Ran is the main verb in this sentence.

main verbs

Complications

You might find a sentence with more than one verb. If this happens, you need to first find the subject of the sentence. Then see which verb expresses the action of that subject or connects that subject to a word that renames or describes it.

1. Eric yelled at the barking dog.

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

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about Study.com
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 160 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 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 risk-free for 30 days!
Create An Account
Support