1. tdd1984
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    tdd1984 New Member

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    Question about Verbs?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by tdd1984, Dec 7, 2010.

    I'm just curious, are all verbs listed in the dictionary. I can't find the site I was looking at last night. However, they was showing examples of sentences using verbs. They were showing examples of sentences using verbs. They were using words such as "will be."

    I'm just confused because I'm writing a book. I'm looking up each word in the dictionary to see if it's a verb. My writing structure sounds very smooth though and active. However, I'm thinking I could be using verbs with our realizing it. Because some verbs can be a few words, just not listed in the dictionary.

    Would greatly appreciate it if someone could help me out here?
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    here's where a good online dictionary works best, since it'll take whatever form of the verb you look up and give you the infinitive [main verb] and all of its forms...

    a print dictionary can't do that, so you need to know the infinitive [e.g., 'be' instead of 'am/are' etc.] to look it up, if the book isn't large/comprehensive enough to list all the other tenses...

    here's the one i use, with example noted above:

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/am

    however, if you're attempting to write a book without even knowing what is a verb and what isn't, i'd have to say you're putting the cart miles before the horse and you'd better learn the basics of english grammar first...
     
  3. tdd1984
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    tdd1984 New Member

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    True

    You are correct. However, you don't need to know the English rules to write a book. I know of many people that have written books and write on popular blogs. They know what verbs are (as I do too). However, they don't know every single rule about English.

    Some people just write well in general. They just have a good sense for how it needs to be written. In addition, most book writers will hire professional editors.

    A lady that manages our content is a teacher at the college. She said honestly, don't worry about all the rules. Just proof read it and make sure everything flows together. She said the same thing I did. She stated that a lot of people don't know the "rules of English." However, they know how to write in clarity and smoothness to where it makes sense.

    If you ask me that's what writing is about. Writing it in a way your audience will find it interesting and enjoyable.
     
  4. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    A verb is a kind of small pony, right?
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i never said they should... 'the basics' clearly does not = 'every single rule'...

    where did you get that idea?... pros charge too much for 'most' beginners to be able to afford one... and i'm sure 'most' new writers wing it on their own, anyway, even if they could afford to throw away good money that has little to no chance of ever being recouped...

    huh?
     
  6. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    um...humour, right?
     
  7. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    It worked better in my head. And without tdd1984's post being above mine. And in a world where I made sense... Um... I'll just go and have a cup of tea and lie down in a darkened room for a while now.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    You are always using verbs. There are verbs that don't seem like verbs and there are verbs which serve as auxiliaries in order to impart different uses to the verbs to which they are auxiliary.

    What confuses me is your original question. I get the feeling from the wording in your OP that you somehow wish to avoid their use. There is a novel that contains no E's, but a story sans verbs beggars belief.

    Forgive me for asking, but are you perhaps confusing verbs with adverbs? Much ado is made about avoiding adverbs, and were the question pointed at that particular group of words then things would make a bit more sense, because avoiding verbs....
     
  9. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Believe it or not, there is a novel without verbs. It's called Le Train de Nulle Part by Michel Thaler. I've been meaning to read it, but it's very tough to get hold of a copy.
     
  10. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Wow. Found some info on that book, and... yeah, underwhelmed.

    Michel Dansel indicating that "verbs are like weeds" is a bit pretentious. Sounds to me more like novelty than novel. ;)
     
  11. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    Reminds me of a writing exercise I read about in one of those delicious how-to-do-creative-writing books, where the author (a teacher) set a task for his students to complete a short piece using absolutely no adjectives. He thought, rightly, that it would teach them to use more clever imagery, and not use words like 'beautiful' or 'glowing' or 'creepy' whenever describing something: overuse of adjectives, I've gathered, is a form of 'lazy writing'. At the end of the exercise, each student was allowed to pick one adjective to insert where they wanted - and everyone appreciated adjectives more. :)

    As for verbs, I have to think that extra bit harder to know what they are. Maybe because I didn't have it drilled into me at a school (sometimes I wish I had). If people said 'use a describey word', or a 'doing' word, or a 'connecting' word, my grammatical genius sparkles. But adverbs; I know not what they're about. I feel my way through a well-constructed sentence rather than having a concrete dictum to refer to. I'd love to read these verbless books, too...

    ...And LOL - small pony. :D
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the simplest definition is that verbs are 'action words'... that's how first graders are introduced to them [or were, many decades ago when i was one, anyway!]
     
  13. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Well, at least someone got it. Thank you ma'am.
     
  14. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    I can vouch for them being "action words" as recent as three decades ago.

    -Frank
     
  15. wolfi
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    wolfi Contributing Member

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    to help those who where born just a bit early then the rest of us :D

    as of l;last year its verbs are action words

    or the famous
    verbs its what you do
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    darth...
    ok, i'll admit i'm being dense here... how the heck is 'verb' connected with a 'small pony'?
     
  17. FrankABlissett
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    FrankABlissett Active Member

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    Oh - mama! Darth's just being silly.

    -Frank
     
  18. darthjim
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    darthjim Member

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    Silly: silly |ˈsilē|
    adjective ( -lier , -liest )
    having or showing a lack of common sense or judgment; absurd and foolish : another of his silly jokes | “Don't be silly!” she said.
    • ridiculously trivial or frivolous : he would brood about silly things.
    • [as complement ] used to convey that an activity or process has been engaged in to such a degree that someone is no longer capable of thinking or acting sensibly : he often drank himself silly | his mother worried herself silly over him.

    Yes. Yes I am. Was. Whatever.
     
  19. Noya Desherbanté
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    Noya Desherbanté Senior Member

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    If I ever get a small pony, he or she shall be called Verb. :) It's like Herb, a very fitting name for tiny equestrian companion. :D
     
  20. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    He couldn't say it without using one, though, could he? :D
     
  21. digitig
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    digitig Contributing Member Contributor

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    It looks as if your problem is with the way verbs change with tense and aspect. Still, you should find "be" in the dictionary and it should tell you that it's a verb.
    Why? I doubt whether any writer bother's thinking "pronoun ... verb ... determiner ... adjective ... noun" when they write "He saw the blue house". Yes, the competent writer probably can do that, but when learning to write it's more important to be able to correctly construct "He saw the blue house" than it is to name the parts.
     
  22. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    He didn't say he didn't like weeds. Lots of people like weed.

    :)
     

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