List of Verbs

This list of verbs will help you understand verbs a little better. For a more in-depth look at verbs, see the verb page.

Quick Refresher

Verbs are words that show action or state of being.

There are three major categories of verbs: action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs (also called auxiliary verbs). Let's check them out!


Action Verbs

As their name implies, action verbs show action.

Keep in mind that action doesn't always mean movement.

Talia thought about bears.

In that example, the verb thought does not show movement, but it is still an action verb.

There are many, many action verbs. Here's a small list of verbs that show action.

clean cut drive eat
fly go live make
play read run shower
sleep smile stop sweep
swim think throw trip
walk wash work write

Diagramming Action Verbs

If you've checked out this site much, you know that I think sentence diagramming rules when it comes to teaching and learning grammar.

Sentence diagramming is a way to visually show how all of the words in the sentence are related to each other.

All verbs are diagrammed on a horizontal line after the subject.

A vertical line separates the subject from the verb, and the rest of the sentence depends on the type of verb you are diagramming. Let's look at the different kinds of action verbs!

    1. Transitive Active

    Certain action verbs called transitive active verbs transfer action to something called a direct object.


    Joe kicked the ball. Jim ate the cake.

    Kicked and ate are transitive active verbs. Ball and cake are direct objects.
    verbs sentence diagram

    2. Transitive Passive

    This type of action verb transfers its action to the subject. Isn't that crazy?


    My car was stolen. The house was demolished.


    verbs sentence diagram

    3. Intransitive Complete

    This type of action verb does not transfer action to anyone or anything. It is diagrammed in the same way that a transitive passive verb is diagrammed.

    I screamed. The dog barked.


    verbs sentence diagram

Linking Verbs

You can call these either linking verbs or intransitive linking verbs. They link the subject of a sentence with a noun or adjective.

Lana became a famous equestrian.

Became is a linking verb. It is linking the subject Lana with the noun equestrian.

If you count all of the forms of to be as one word, there are 13 linking verbs. Memorize these!

Forms of be be, am, is, are, was, were, been, being
Other Linking Verbs appear, become, feel, grow, look, seem, remain, smell, sound, stay, taste, turn


This video shows you the difference between linking verbs and action verbs. To learn more, see these grammar and diagramming lessons.

Diagramming Linking Verbs

When you diagram intransitive linking verbs, you can see that they link the subject of the sentence with a noun or an adjective.

verbs sentence diagram

Helping Verbs

These do just what their name implies. They help the main verb in the sentence. The main verb will be either an action verb or a linking verb.

The helping verb(s) and the main verb come together to form a verb phrase.


Greta will love these sausages.

Will is a helping verb. It is helping the main verb (love), which is an action verb. The verb phrase is will love.

There are only 24 helping verbs. Use the following list of verbs and this lovely song to memorize them!



be am is are
was were been being
have has had could
should would may might
must shall can will
do did does having

Diagramming Helping Verbs

When you see how to diagram these, it's easy to see that they help other verbs.

verbs sentence diagram

If you want to teach or learn grammar the easy way, then follow a step-by-step program that clearly lays everything out for you and allows you to move at your own pace. The Get Smart program is presented in a logical sequence, so it's not an overwhelming mishmash of information. Before you know it, you'll be a grammar and sentence diagramming pro!

The whole program is online, so you have instant access to these lessons and videos. It's easy and fun. You can get it at www.English-Grammar-Revolution.com/daily-diagrams.html
Keep learning and have fun!

Elizabeth O'Brien is the creator of the Grammar Revolution step-by-step grammar and sentence diagramming programs. Her programs are guaranteed not only to teach you grammar, but also to give you more confidence in your communication skills.

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