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Function of a Verb

Discussion in 'English' started by Nelehmum, May 12, 2012.

  1. I am a student in the primary sector and have been asked to consider how to explain the function of a verb without using the phrase "doing or being word" which I have been told is not particularly helpful. I like "action word", but I'm not sure that is any more helpful, particularly for auxilliary and linking verbs. Any thoughts?
     
  2. I am a student in the primary sector and have been asked to consider how to explain the function of a verb without using the phrase "doing or being word" which I have been told is not particularly helpful. I like "action word", but I'm not sure that is any more helpful, particularly for auxilliary and linking verbs. Any thoughts?
     
  3. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    We avoid defining the function of different "parts of speech" (as we used to say) in semantic terms. There's as much action in the noun "fight" as there is in the verb "fight". The most common verb is "be", which is no "doing" word.
    Verbs convey the tense of clauses, being capable of form changes between past and present.
     
  4. Yeah, that's going to go down well with a Primary class...
     
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    If you can't tell them the simple truth, then best say nothing?
     
  6. I think there are ways of presenting the truth that might make it more likely that a Primary aged child would understand it!
     
  7. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    OK. Go on then
    But, please, no nonsense about doing/naming/describing words.
     
  8. I think so. [​IMG]
     
  9. gruoch

    gruoch Established commenter

    Speech marks. [​IMG]
    I rest my case.
     
  10. It is a word with refers to an action or a state (which covers things like "be"). It is also the type of word that we would change the tense for, which helps us know whether we're talking about something in the past, present or future.
     
  11. Englishteacher2

    Englishteacher2 New commenter

    I agree. I usually start of by explaining that every sentence has to have a verb, then talk about 'actions'. After that, I ask them to stand up and say 'I am here', and write this on the board. Then I ask them what the verb is in that sentence. We have a short discussion about 'being' or 'existing', and then move on the full list of variations of 'to be'.
    I have to say, I am bit confused by the comments from Nelehmum's school. I think the kids are completely comfortable with 'doing' or 'action' words, and I can't think of a better starting point.
     
  12. Why not ? At primary level these labels are adequate and tell part of the truth about words. I wouldn't advocate the daily use of such terms as a replacement for noun/verb/adjective etc.
     
  13. Not bad...
     
  14. Think it might be over-simplifying it, a bit?
     
  15. I think that applies to many adults - English teachers as well, I imagine! It's language's equivalent of a ready reckoner.
     

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