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Encyclopedia > Verb

In syntax, a verb is a word belonging to the part of speech that usually denotes an action (bring, read), an occurrence (decompose, glitter), or a state of being (exist, stand). Depending on the language, a verb may vary in form according to many factors, possibly including its tense, aspect, mood and voice. It may also agree with the person, gender, and/or number of some of its arguments (subject, object, etc.). Image File history File links Please see the file description page for further information. ... In linguistics, verbal agreement is a morpho-syntactic construct in which properties of the subject and/or objects of a verb are indicated by the verb form. ... Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Image File history File links Information_icon. ... Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... A word is a unit of language that carries meaning and consists of one or more morphemes which are linked more or less tightly together, and has a phonetical value. ... In grammar, a part of speech or word class is defined as the role that a word (or sometimes a phrase) plays in a sentence. ... Grammatical tense is a way languages express the time at which an event described by a sentence occurs. ... In linguistics, the grammatical aspect of a verb defines the temporal flow (or lack thereof) in the described event or state. ... It has been suggested that prohibitive mood be merged into this article or section. ... In grammar, the voice of a verb describes the relationship between the action (or state) that the verb expresses and the participants identified by its arguments (subject, object, etc. ... Grammatical person, in linguistics, is deictic reference to the participant role of a referent, such as the speaker, the addressee, and others. ... In linguistics, grammatical gender is a morphological category associated with the expression of gender through inflection or agreement. ... In linguistics, grammatical number is a morphological category characterized by the expression of quantity through inflection or agreement. ... The subject of a sentence is one of the two main parts of a sentence, the other being the predicate. ... An object in grammar is a sentence element and part of the sentence predicate. ...



Main article: Valency (linguistics)

The number of arguments that a verb takes is called its valency or valence. Verbs can be classified according to their valency: In linguistics, valency or valence refers to the capacity of a verb to take a specific number and type of arguments (noun phrase positions). ...

  • Intransitive (valency = 1): the verb only has a subject. For example: "he runs", "it falls".
  • Transitive (valency = 2): the verb has a subject and a direct object. For example: "she eats fish", "we hunt rabbits".
  • Ditransitive (valency = 3): the verb has a subject, a direct object and an indirect or secondary object. For example: "I gave her a book," "She sent me flowers."

It is possible to have verbs with zero valency. Weather verbs are often impersonal (subjectless) in null-subject languages like Spanish, where the verb llueve means "It rains". In English, they require a dummy pronoun, and therefore formally have a valency of 1.[dubious ] An intransitive verb is a verb that has only one argument, that is, a verb with valency equal to one. ... The subject of a sentence is one of the two main parts of a sentence, the other being the predicate. ... A transitive verb is a verb that requires both a subject and one or more objects. ... The accusative case of a noun is, generally, the case used to mark the direct object of a verb. ... In grammar, a ditransitive verb is a verb which takes a subject and two objects. ... An impersonal verb is a verb that cannot take a true subject, because it does not represent an action, occurrence, or state-of-being of any specific person, place, or thing. ... In linguistic typology, a null subject language is a language whose grammar permits an independent clause to lack an explicit subject. ... A dummy pronoun (or more formally expletive pronoun or pleonastic pronoun) is a type of pronoun used in non-pro-drop languages, such as English, when a particular argument of a verb (or preposition) is nonexistent, unknown, irrelevant, already understood, or otherwise not to be spoken of directly, but a...

The Tlingit language features a four way classification of verbs based on their valency. The intransitive and transitive are typical, but the impersonal and objective are somewhat different from the norm. In the objective the verb takes an object but no subject, the nonreferent subject in some uses may be marked in the verb by an incorporated dummy pronoun similar to the English weather verb (see below). Impersonal verbs take neither subject nor object, as with other null subject languages, but again the verb may show incorporated dummy pronouns despite the lack of subject and object phrases. Tlingit lacks a ditransitive, so the indirect object is described by a separate, extraposed clause.[citation needed] The Tlingit language (Eng. ...

English verbs are often flexible with regard to valency. A transitive verb can often drop its object and become intransitive; or an intransitive verb can be added an object and become transitive. Compare:

  • I turned. (intransitive)
  • I turned the car. (transitive)

In the first example, the verb turn has no grammatical object. (In this case, there may be an object understood - the subject (I/myself). The verb is then possibly reflexive, rather than intransitive); in the second the subject and object are distinct. The verb has a different valency, but the form remains exactly the same.

In many languages other than English, such valency changes aren't possible like this; the verb must instead be inflected for voice in order to change the valency.[citation needed]


Main article: Copula

A copula is a word that is used to describe its subject,[dubious ] or to equate or liken the subject with its predicate.[dubious ] In many languages, copulas are a special kind of verb, sometimes called copulative verbs or linking verbs. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Because copulas do not describe actions being performed, they are usually analysed outside the transitive/intransitive distinction.[citation needed] The most basic copula in English is to be; there are others (remain, seem, grow, become, etc.).[citation needed]

Some languages (the Semitic and Slavic families, Chinese, Sanskrit, and others) can omit the simple copula equivalent of "to be", especially in the present tense. In these languages a noun and adjective pair (or two nouns) can constitute a complete sentence. This construction is called zero copula. The Semitic languages are the northeastern subfamily of the Afro-Asiatic languages, and the only family of this group spoken in Asia. ...  Countries where a West Slavic language is the national language  Countries where an East Slavic language is the national language  Countries where a South Slavic language is the national language The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages), a group of closely related languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup... The Sanskrit language (Skt. ... Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ... In grammar, an adjective is a part of speech that modifies a noun or a pronoun, usually by describing it or making its meaning more specific. ... Zero copula is a linguistic phenomenon whereby the presence of the copula is implied, rather than stated explicitly as a verb or suffix. ...

Verbal noun and verbal adjective

Main article: Non-finite verb

Most languages have a number of verbal nouns that describe the action of the verb. In Indo-European languages, there are several kinds of verbal nouns, including gerunds, infinitives, and supines. English has gerunds, such as seeing, and infinitives such as to see; they both can function as nouns; seeing is believing is roughly equivalent in meaning with to see is to believe. These terms are sometimes applied to verbal nouns of non-Indo-European languages. A non-finite verb is not limited by the person, tense and number of the subject. ... A verbal noun is a noun formed directly as an inflexion of a verb or a verb stem, sharing at least in part its constructions. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... In linguistics, a gerund is a kind of verbal noun that exists in some languages. ... In grammar, the infinitive is the form of a verb that has no inflection to indicate person, number, mood or tense. ... Supine as an adjective generally refers to any upward-facing position. ...

In the Indo-European languages, verbal adjectives are generally called participles. English has an active participle, also called a present participle; and a passive participle, also called a past participle. The active participle of give is giving, and the passive participle is given. The active participle describes nouns that perform the action given in the verb, e.g. a giving person.[dubious ] The passive participle describes nouns that have been the object of the action of the verb, e.g. given money.[dubious ] Other languages apply tense and aspect to participles, and possess a larger number of them with more distinct shades of meaning.[citation needed] In linguistics, a participle is a kind of verbal adjective; it indicates that the noun it modifies is a participant in the action that the participle refers to. ... Voice, in grammar, is the relationship between the action or state expressed by a verb, and its arguments (subject, object, etc. ... In grammar, voice is the relationship between the action or state expressed by a verb, and its arguments (subject, object, etc. ... Noun or noun substantive is a lexical category which is defined in terms of how its members combine with other grammatical kinds of expressions. ...


Main article: Verb conjugation

In languages where the verb is inflected, it often agrees with its primary argument (what we tend to call the subject) in person, number and/or gender. English only shows distinctive agreement in the third person singular, present tense form of verbs (which is marked by adding "-s"); the rest of the persons are not distinguished in the verb. In linguistics, conjugation is the creation of derived forms of a verb from its principal parts by inflection (regular alteration according to rules of grammar). ...

Spanish inflects verbs for tense/mood/aspect and they agree in person and number (but not gender) with the subject. Japanese, in turn, inflects verbs for many more categories, but shows absolutely no agreement with the subject. Basque, Georgian, and some other languages, have polypersonal agreement: the verb agrees with the subject, the direct object and even the secondary object if present. Basque (native name: Euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... In linguistics, polypersonal agreement or polypersonalism is the agreement of a verb with more than one of its arguments (usually up to four). ...

See also

Look up verb in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

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