A complete sentence has a subject and a verb and makes sense or is a complete thought. There are two kinds of verbs: action and linking. Both of these verbs may have helping verbs too!
Action Verbs: any verb that shows action of doing, motion, or thought. EX. to jump, to laugh, to think, to wonder, to do, to work, SENTENCE- We laughed at her answer. My sister wandered into the park.
Linking Verbs: any verb that shows a state of being. Linking verbs LINK tow things together or the subject of the sentence with another idea. EX. to be (am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been) SENTENCE- I am smart! [ The subject I is linked with smart.]
Linking verbs can be tricky. Some unusual ones are: to become, to appear, to seem, to taste, to grow. To determine if these verbs are action or linking, ask yourself: "Is the SUBJECT doing it?" OR "Can I replace the verb with a form of 'to be' (such as is or are)? Thus, it is a linking verb. SENTENCE- You appear confused. [Is the subject -you- doing the action of appearing? NO! OR Can I reword the sentence inserting ARE in the place of APPEAR? YES! Thus, it is a linking verb connecting you and confused. YOU = CONFUSED.] SENTENCE- Mr. Hauser appeared in our class today. [Is the subject - Mr. Hauser - doing the action of appearing? YES! tt is an action verb. OR Can I re-word the sentence inserting IS in the place of APPEARED? NO! Mr. Hauser is not connected with in our class. MR. HAUSER = IN OUR CLASS?? NO!
Helping Verbs: There are THREE kinds of helping verbs. In the following sentence, the verb is might be going: SENTENCE - I might be going to the fair with Charlie. MIGHT and BE are helping the main verb GOING. We sometimes call MIGHT BE GOING a verb phrase because the verb contains more than one word.
1. Any form of the verb "to be." (am ,is, are, was, were, be, being, been) When a form of the of to be is the only verb, it is NOT a helping verb. EX- You are a dreamboat! Here, "are" is a linking verb because there is NO other verb in the sentence for it to help. EX- You must be an idiot! Here, "be" is the main verb and NOT a helping verb. EX- We are going to the movies tonight. Here, "are" is helping the main verb "going."
2. Here is a list of HELPING verbs that are ALWAYS going to be HELPING VERBS; they will never be "stand-alone" verbs: could, would, should might, must, may can, will
EX- She must follow the directions to Susan's house. EX- My fingers will become arthritic with age.
3. Here is a list of verbs that can be helping verbs as well as "stand alone" verbs: do, does, did had, has, have Any form of the verb TO BE (am, is are, was, were, be, being, been)
EX- I did not want his advice about dating. [Here, DID is helping the main action verb WANT.] EX- Tommy did the job of counting the money. [Here, DID is a "stand-alone" ACTION verb.] EX- Mary and I have worked on our homework. [Here, HAVE is helping the main verb WORKED.] EX- She has the hives! [ Here, HAS is a "stand-alone" verb.]
Subjects: a subject of a sentence either has an action verb (does the action of the sentence) or has a linking verb (links to an idea).
To determine the subject of a sentence first find the verb. Identify it as either action or linking. Then ask: "WHO?" or "WHAT?" of the verb. Sentence- Mrs. Frey asks too many questions! EX- action verb= asks To find the subject of this verb ("asks"), you should ask: Who asks? or What asks? The answer is Mrs. Frey; thus, Mrs. Frey is the subject of the action verb "asks."
To determine the subject of a linking verb, look to the noun or pronoun LEFT of the verb that word is the subject. Then, look to the RIGHT of the verb for a noun or pronoun that links back to the subject. Sentence- This book is too long. EX- linking verb= is To find the subject of this verb ("is"), you should look to the the word left of "is" - book. Thus, book is the subject. Book is linked to the word long which is on the right of the verb.