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Verbs are used to indicate the actions, processes, conditions, or states of beings of people or things.
Verbs play an integral role to the structure of a sentence. They constitute the root of the predicate, which, along with the subject (the “doer” of the verb’s action), forms a full clause or sentence—we cannot have a sentence without a verb.
When we discuss verbs’ role in the predicate, we usually divide them into two fundamental categories: finite and non-finite verbs.
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part of speechpart of speech,
in traditional English grammar, any one of about eight major classes of words, based on the parts of speech of ancient Greek and Latin. The parts of speech are noun, verb, adjective, adverb, interjection, preposition, conjunction, and pronoun.
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 typically used to indicate an action. English verbs are inflected for person, numbernumber,
entity describing the magnitude or position of a mathematical object or extensions of these concepts. The Natural Numbers

Cardinal numbers describe the size of a collection of objects; two such collections have the same (cardinal) number of objects if their
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, tensetense
[O.Fr., from Lat.,=time], in the grammar of many languages, a category of time distinctions expressed by any conjugated form of a verb. In Latin inflection the tense of a verb is indicated by a suffix that also indicates the verb's voice, mood, person, and number.
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 and partially for moodmood
or mode,
in verb inflection, the forms of a verb that indicate its manner of doing or being. In English the forms are called indicative (for direct statement or question or to express an uncertain condition, e.g.
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; compound verbs formed with auxiliaries (e.g., be, can, have, do, will) provide a distinction of voicevoice,
grammatical category according to which an action is referred to as done by the subject (active, e.g., men shoot bears) or to the subject (passive, e.g., bears are shot by men). In Latin, voice is a category of inflection like mood or tense.
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. Some English verblike forms have properties of two parts of speech (e.g., participles may be used as adjectives and gerunds as nouns). Verbs are also classified as transitive (requiring a direct object) or intransitive. In Latin verb inflectioninflection,
in grammar. In many languages, words or parts of words are arranged in formally similar sets consisting of a root, or base, and various affixes. Thus walking, walks, walker have in common the root walk and the affixes -ing, -s, and -er.
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, voice and mood are indicated in every form. Most languages have a form class resembling that of English verbs. In many of them, unlike English, these words may form complete sentences, e.g., in Spanish, "I am singing" is expressed by the single word canto. Some languages (e.g., Turkish) can convey a great deal of information through modifications of form in the verb stem and ending, without the aid of auxiliary forms. A single word, for example, can indicate reciprocity, reflexivity, necessity, time, infinitive, number, person, and voice, as well as negative, causative, imperative, and intensive meanings.



a part of speech that denotes action or condition and is used in a sentence primarily as a predicate. The grammatical meaning of action or condition becomes clear in one or another system of grammatical categories that are characteristic of the verb (in the given language) and, in their aggregate, distinguish it from other parts of speech in that language. These grammatical categories are expressed by conjugation, which may be simple (Russian pishu, “I write,” or pisal, “I [thou, he] wrote”; or Ukrainian pysatymu, “I will write”) or complex, using helping verbs (budu pisat’, “I will write”) or particles (pisal by, “I [thou, he] would write”).

The most common grammatical categories of the verb are tense, mood, aspect, and voice. When functioning as a predicate, the verb relates to the subject of the sentence and sometimes by its form indicates the subject, making it unnecessary (for example, in the Russian poidesh’, “thou wilt go,” the verb form itself indicates the second person familiar—that is, the fact that the action is being performed by the person being spoken to). In many languages the verb agrees with the subject in person and number, and sometimes (as in Arabic and in Russian in the past tense and subjunctive) in gender or, in many African and some Caucasian languages, in class. In verbs of some languages the categories of person and number are absent altogether (for example, the Danish skriver means “I write,” “thou writest,” “he writes,” and “we write”).

In many languages, verbs having objects agree with these objects, direct and indirect (polypersonal conjugation). Thus, in Adygei se o u-s-shag, “I took thee,” the first prefix, u-, refers to the direct object o (thee), and the second prefix, -s-, refers to the subject, se (I). Verbs not used with a subject are called impersonal verbs—Russian svetaet, “it’s getting light”, or smerkaetsia, “it’s getting dark.” In several languages verbs are used only with a so-called formal subject and do not refer to a real person or subject—Russian svetaet, “it’s getting light”; German es dämmert, “it’s getting dark.”

The predicate function is not the only syntactic function of the verb; it appears in other functions, but usually in a specific form. In Chinese the verb used as an attribute must affix the particle ti which has the effect of annulling its predicative quality (for example, compare wo k’an ti shu, “the book being read by me,” and wo k’an shu, “I read the book”). In many languages there are entire series of verb forms that are rarely or never used as predicates: participles, verbal adverbs, infinitives, supine forms, gerunds, masdars (verbal nouns), and so on.


Meshchaninov, I. I. Glagol. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Isachenko, A. V. Grammaticheskii stroi russkogo iazyka v sopostavlenii s slovatskim: Morfologiia, part 2. Bratislava, 1960.
Bondarko, A. V., and L. L. Bulanin. Russkii glagol. Leningrad, 1967.



(computer science)
In COBOL, the action indicating part of an unconditional statement.
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