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verb is one of the main parts of a sentence or question in English.

In fact, you can’t have a sentence or a question without a verb! That’s how important these “action”
parts of speech are.
The verb signals an action, an occurrence, or a state of being. Whether mental, physical, or mechanical,
verbs always express activity.

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Physical Verbs – Definition and Examples

Physical verbs are action verbs. They describe specific physical actions. If you can create a motion with
your body or use a tool to complete an action, the word you use to describe it is most likely a physical

Physical Verb Examples

The physical verb examples in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.
• Let’s run to the corner and back.
• I hear the train coming.
• Call me when you’re finished with class.

Mental Verbs – Definition and Examples

Mental verbs have meanings that are related to concepts such as discovering, understanding, thinking,
or planning. In general, a mental verb refers to a cognitive state.

Mental Verb Examples

The mental verb examples in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.
• I know the answer.
• She recognized me from across the room.
• Do you believe everything people tell you?

States of Being Verbs – Definition and Examples

Also known as linking verbs, state of being verbs describe conditions or situations that exist. State of
being verbs are inactive since no action is being performed. These verbs are usually complemented by

States of Being Verb Examples

The state of being verbs in the following sentences are in bold for easy identification.
• I am a student.
• We are circus performers.
• Please is quiet.

Types of Verbs
How many types of verbs are there? In addition to the main categories of physical verbs, mental verbs,
and state of being verbs, there are several other types of verbs. In fact, there are more than ten different
types of verbs that are grouped by function.

List of all Verb Types

Action Verbs
Action verbs express specific actions, and are used any time you want to show action or discuss
someone doing something.
Transitive Verbs
Transitive verbs are action verbs that always express doable activities. These verbs always have direct
objects, meaning someone or something receives the action of the verb.
Intransitive Verbs
Intransitive verbs are action verbs that always express doable activities. No direct object follows an
intransitive verb.
Auxiliary Verbs
Auxiliary verbs are also known as helping verbs, and are used together with a main verb to show the
verb’s tense or to form a question or negative.
Stative Verbs
Stative verbs can be recognized because they express a state rather than an action. They typically relate
to thoughts, emotions, relationships, senses, states of being, and measurements.
Modal Verbs
Modal verbs are auxiliary verbs that are used to express abilities, possibilities, permissions, and
Phrasal Verbs
Phrasal verbs aren’t single words; instead, they are combinations of words that are used together to take
on a different meaning to that of the original verb.
Irregular Verbs
Irregular verbs are those that don’t take on the regular spelling patterns of past simple and past
participle verbs.
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What is a Noun?
Of all the parts of speech, nouns are perhaps the most important. A noun is a word that identifies a
person, animal, place, thing, or idea. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what makes a noun a noun, and
we’ll provide some noun examples, along with some advice for using nouns in your sentences.

A noun is a word that denotes a person, place, or thing. In a sentence, nouns answer the questions
who and what.

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Identifying a Noun
A noun is a part of speech that denotes a person, animal, place, thing, or idea. The English word noun
has its roots in the Latin word nomen, which means “name.” Every language has words that are nouns.
As you read the following explanations, think about some words that might fit into each category.
• Person – A term for a person, whether proper name, gender, title, or class, is a noun.
• Animal – A term for an animal, whether proper name, species, gender, or class is a noun.
• Place – A term for a place, whether proper name, physical location, or general locale is a noun.
• Thing – A term for a thing, whether it exists now, will exist, or existed in the past is a noun.
• Idea – A term for an idea, be it a real, workable idea or a fantasy that might never come to
fruition is a noun.
Noun Examples
When we first start to learn the parts of speech, trying to identify different words can seem like a
challenge. This process gets easier with practice. Here are some noun examples to help you get started.
The nouns in each sentence have been italicized.
• Person – He is the person to see.
• Person – John started to run.
• Person – Plato was an influential Greek philosopher.
• Person – Sharon admires her grandfather.
• Person – My mother looks a lot like my grandmother, and I look very much like them.

• Animal – The dog barked at the cat.

• Animal – Elephants never forget.
• Animal – Sophie is my favorite horse.

• Place – The restaurant is open.

• Place – Let’s go to the beach.
• Place – Look over there.
• Place – Come here.
• Place – Harvard and Yale are two famous universities.
• Place – Look! There’s the Eiffel Tower.

• Thing – Throw the ball.

• Thing – Please close the door and lock it.
• Thing – Use words properly to be understood.
• Thing – The lamp sits on a table next to the sofa.
• Thing – Money doesn’t grow on trees.

• Idea – Follow the rules.

• Idea – The theory of relativity is an important concept.
• Idea – Love is a wonderful emotion.

How Nouns Function

Nouns have several important functions. While it’s impossible to list them all here, we’ll go over the
most important jobs nouns are tasked with.
• Nouns are subjects. Every sentence has a subject, which is a noun that tells us what that
sentence is all about. John swung the baseball bat.
• Nouns are direct objects. These nouns receive action from verbs. John swung the baseball bat.
• Nouns are indirect objects. These nouns receive the direct object. Brad threw John the ball.
• Nouns are objects of prepositions. These nouns follow the prepositions in prepositional
phrases. John swung the baseball bat at Greg.
• Nouns are predicate nominatives. These nouns follow linking verbs and rename the subject.
John is a baseball player.
• Nouns are object complements. These nouns complete the direct object. They named their dog
This is just the beginning. Be sure to dig deeper and explore more for additional information about
nouns and even more noun examples.

There are several different types of noun, as follows:

Common noun
A common noun is a noun that refers to people or things in general, e.g. boy, country, bridge, city,
birth, day, happiness.

Proper noun
A proper noun is a name that identifies a particular person, place, or thing, e.g. Steven, Africa, London,
Monday. In written English, proper nouns begin with capital letters.

Concrete noun
A concrete noun is a noun which refers to people and to things that exist physically and can be seen,
touched, smelled, heard, or tasted. Examples include dog, building, coffee, tree, rain, beach, tune.

Abstract noun
An abstract noun is a noun which refers to ideas, qualities, and conditions - things that cannot be seen
or touched and things which have no physical reality, e.g. truth, danger, happiness, time, friendship,
Collective nouns
Collective nouns refer to groups of people or things, e.g. audience, family, government, team, jury. In
American English, most collective nouns are treated as singular, with a singular verb:
The whole family was at the table.
In British English, the preceding sentence would be correct, but it would also be correct to treat the
collective noun as a plural, with a plural verb:
The whole family were at the table.
For more information about this, see matching verbs to collective nouns.
A noun may belong to more than one category. For example, happiness is both a common noun and an
abstract noun, while Mount Everest is both a concrete noun and a proper noun.

Count and mass nouns

Nouns can be either countable or uncountable. Countable nouns (or count nouns) are those that refer
to something that can be counted. Uncountable nouns (or mass nouns) do not typically refer to things
that can be counted and so they do not regularly have a plural form.


Adjectives are words that modify (change) nouns, pronouns and other adjectives.

An adjective is a word that describes a noun, giving extra information about it. For example:
a sweet taste
a red apple
a technical problem
an Italian woman

Most adjectives can be used in two positions. When they are used before the noun they describe, they
are called attributive:
a black cat
a gloomy outlook
a slow journey
a large suitcase

When they are used after a verb such as be, become, grow, look, or seem, they’re called predicative:
The cat was black.
The future looks gloomy.
The journey seemed slow.
They were growing tired.