This post is the first in a series on Verbs. Dry, dry, horrifically essential stuff.
- Discuss the difference between finite and non-finite verbs.
- Extract all the verbs from a passage of prose; categorize them as finite or non-finite.
Skill Level: beginner
If the five lexical categories were Tolkien’s infamous rings, the Verb would be the One Ring to rule them all. For writers, it can make or break a narrative. A wrong verb or a wrong tense on a verb can skew your intended meaning and instantly derail your reader’s focus. It can also summon grammar-wraiths to hammer their shrieking condemnation down upon your head. (Man, how I wish I were only kidding about that.)
Thus, as writers, it behooves us to be well acquainted—and perhaps even intimate—with our friend and sometimes friendly nemesis, the Verb.