Thursday, March 3, 2011

day 57: two classes of verbs—action verbs and being, helping, linking verbs

There are two main classes of verbs that we teach in our books: action verbs and being, helping, and linking verbs. Obviously, there are various tenses of verbs. And yes, there are verbs that can have objects (i.e. direct objects) and verbs that are not known for having objects. And there are dozens of other ways to categorize verbs.

However, we have found that the best way to teach any grammar skill is to teach it as it relates to writing. After all, we learn grammar for writing and speaking (not to choose the correct answer on a grammar quiz!). Thus, we focus on action verbs and another group of verbs that we affectionately call Be a Helper, Link verbs—being, helping, and linking verbs all grouped together.

There are many reasons for this, and since many teachers have questioned us through the years, I will give our reasons here—and then tomorrow, introduce you to a simple-as-pie way to learn (or teach your kids/students) all being, helping, and linking verbs in one easy swoop!

  1. Action verbs all have the same characteristics (regardless of whether they are transitive, intransitive, passive, active, etc. etc.):
    1. They show that the subject did some type of action.
    2. They can all have adverbs with them.
    3. They can have direct objects following them:
                                                    i.     I gave the book away. (Action verb—gave; Direct object book)
                                                  ii.     She spoke the words clearly. (Action verb—spoke; Direct object words)

  1. Being, helping, and linking verbs all have the same characteristics:
    1. They show the state of being of the subject: He was here.
    2. They cannot have adverbs with them.
    3. They can have predicate adjectives following them: He was smart.
    4. They can have predicate nominatives following them: They were the ones.
    5. Most of them may be used as helping verbs—each one can help a base word by telling when the base verb took place: They were reading the novel in class.

For those reasons, we group action verbs all together as action verbs—and being, helping, and linking verbs all together into BHL verbs (Be a Helper, Link)—being, helping, and linking verbs.

Join us tomorrow to learn all thirty-two of these in one day! Smile…

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