Verb Placement Guide
Verbs generally indicate action, presence or existence. To get the most out of your writing, you should learn how to correctly write a verb in a sentence. If a verb cannot stand by itself, it is usually placed in front of the noun. To learn how to write a verb in a sentence, see the following examples.
This example shows that the verb is always at the end of a word, e.g., “the dog jumps on the couch.” However, when the verb is not at the end, it appears at the beginning, e.g., “The dog jumps over the couch.” The sentence above has a complete verb phrase with an active verb (the word being spoken) and a complete noun (the couch).
The words, however, do not share a single word, e.g., “the dog” and “on.” When the verb appears at the beginning, it is usually written as the main verb with another verb or word occupying the passive position.
Compound sentences are those that contain one or more independent clauses. To learn how to write a verb in a sentence, write the subject as the main verb. Then, sentences that modify the verb can appear as subparts of the main verb. These sentences include simple sentences like “The dog loves to jump,” “The boy likes to throw the ball,” “The girl likes to play with her little mouse,” “The girl washed her face in the bathroom,” and “I helped her make the coffee.”
A preposition also determines whether a verb will be placed before or after a noun. A preposition can be either transitive or intransitive. If a sentence has a transitive verb, which describes what happens, then the verb will take a direct object. If the verb is an intransitive verb, which describes what needs to happen but does not change the subject of the verb, then the verb will be placed before the noun.
Adverbs describe actions that have already occurred. They can either indicate a past action or describe an ongoing event. An adverb like “was,” “is,” “be,” “was in action,” “is doing,” “was thinking,” “was eating,” “was laughing,” “was sleeping,” and “was speaking” can indicate more than one happening or activity. Other adverbs are commonly used in conjunction with pronouns, as in “The dog eats the cheese,” “The boy paints the ceiling,” “The girl dances with joy,” and “I am writing a love letter to her.”
A simple verb phrase is a short sentence containing only a verb. It does not possess a subject or a verb. A simple verb phrase does not need a topic. Examples of simple verbs include “the dog eats the cheese,” “the boy thinks,” “the girl kisses the boy,” and “I am writing a love letter to her.” “A subject” is missing from a simple verb phrase, which is why it cannot stand in a sentence that doesn’t have a verb.
An incomplete sentence is simply a sentence that doesn’t end in a complete word. For example, “The man loves his dog.” An incomplete sentence can be shortened into a phrase “The man loves his dog, but sometimes he’s gone.” There is no need to mention the man in the complete sentence because the verb is not modifying the subject in the clauses and so is not modifying the word “himself.”
Compounding is the act of combining more than one word or phrase together. For example, “I am walking my dog.” “I am walking my dog while I am cleaning my car.” “I am writing a love letter to her.” Compounding is used less often than an object, but when it is used, it must always be properly joined with the root noun to be grammatically accurate.