Action verbs are verbs that specifically describe what the subject of the sentence is doing. These types of verbs carry a great deal of information in a sentence and can convey emotion and a sense of purpose that extends beyond the literal meanings of the words. A sentence like "The band appeared on the scene" sounds much more less impressive than the sentence "The band erupted onto the scene." The power of the action verb lies in the meaning and intention that they contain and how they bring direction and force to the sentence. Understanding the types of action verbs will make students better writers and communicators.
The following list of tenses shows the different verb forms for regular verbs:
Base - To discover
The general rule for past tense is that you add –ed to the base of the verb. However, the past tense verb form becomes more complicated depending on what letter the base of the verb ends with. The following rules apply to most cases of regular verbs.
When the base form of the verb ends with:
Irregular verbs don't conform to the above spelling rules and therefore must be learned individually. The following is an example of the different verb forms for an irregular verb:
Base - To drink
Revising writing to include verbs that are lively and express action is a fantastic way for students to improve their prose. Consider what the actions are in a sentence and choose the most expressive, powerful verbs to convey those actions.
Have students circle every is, are, was, and were in their papers and ask them to think about the action in the sentence. Do these verbs convey the action accurately? Have them brainstorm on other verbs that better express the action of the sentence.
One genre that stresses the importance of using action verbs is resume and cover letter writing. Job seekers need to understand that employers need to be able to clearly see the applicants accomplishments. Since resumes and cover letters strive to be succinct and to the point, verb usage is particularly important. Be sure to use the right action verbs to describe your skills and past accomplishments when applying for a job.