The verb is perhaps the most important part of the sentence. A verb or compound verb asserts something about the subject of the sentence and express actions, events, or states of being. The verb or compound verb is the critical element of the predicate of a sentence.
In each of the following sentences, the verb or compound verb is highlighted:
Dracula bites his victims on theneck.
The verb "bites" describes the action Dracula takes.
In early October, Giselle will plant twenty tulip bulbs.
Here the compound verb "will plant" describes an action that will take place in the future.
My first teacher was Miss Crawford, but I remember the janitor Mr. Weatherbee more vividly.
In this sentence, the verb "was" (the simple past tense of "is") identifies a particularperson and the verb "remembered" describes a mental action.
Karl Creelman bicycled around the world in 1899, but his diaries and his bicycle were destroyed.
In this sentence, the compound verb "were destroyed" describes an action which took place in the past.
What is a Noun?
A noun is a word used to name a person, animal, place, thing, and abstract idea. Nouns are usually the first words whichsmall children learn. The highlighted words in the following sentences are all nouns:
Late last year our neighbours bought a goat.
Portia White was an opera singer.
The bus inspector looked at all the passengers' passes.
According to Plutarch, the library at Alexandria was destroyed in 48 B.C.
Philosophy is of little comfort to the starving.
A noun can function in a sentence as a subject, adirect object, an indirect object, a subject complement, an object complement, an appositive, an adjective or an adverb.
Many common nouns, like "engineer" or "teacher," can refer to men or women. Once, many English nouns would change form depending on their gender -- for example, a man was called an "author" while a woman was called an "authoress" -- but this use of gender-specificnouns is very rare today. Those that are still used occasionally tend to refer to occupational categories, as in the following sentences.
David Garrick was a very prominent eighteenth-century actor.
Sarah Siddons was at the height of her career as an actress in the 1780s.
The manager was trying to write a want ad, but he couldn't decide whether he was advertising for a "waiter" or a"waitress"
Most nouns change their form to indicate number by adding "-s" or "-es", as illustrated in the following pairs of sentences:
When Matthew was small he rarely told the truth if he thought he was going to be punished.
Many people do not believe that truths are self-evident.
As they walked through the silent house, they were startled by an unexpected echo.
I like to shout intothe quarry and listen to the echoes that return.
He tripped over a box left carelessly in the hallway.
Since we are moving, we will need many boxes.
There are other nouns which form the plural by changing the last letter before adding "s". Some words ending in "f" form the plural by deleting "f" and adding "ves," and words ending in "y" form the plural by deleting the "y" and adding "ies," asin the following pairs of sentences:
The harbour at Marble Mountain has one wharf.
There are several wharves in Halifax Harbour.
Warsaw is their favourite city because it reminds them of their courtship.
The vacation my grandparents won includes trips to twelve European cities.
The children circled around the headmaster and shouted, "Are you a mouse or a man?"
The audience was shocked whenall five men admitted that they were afraid of mice.
Other nouns form the plural irregularly. If English is your first language, you probably know most of these already: when in doubt, consult a good dictionary.
In the possessive case, a noun or pronoun changes its form to show that it owns or is closely related to something else. Usually, nouns become possessive by adding a...