Explanation

A verb that conveys the primary action, process or state (e.g. chatter, know, smash), and can be used on its own (e.g. They chattered). It can also be used with one or more helpers called auxiliary verbs (e.g. They were chattering). Sometimes called a lexical verb.

Main verb or auxiliary verb?

Is the highlighted verb a main verb or an auxiliary verb?

Verb phrases

The National Curriculum does not recognise verb phrases as such. Instead, the notion of clause is defined as "a special type of phrase whose head is a verb".

Here at Englicious we use the term 'verb phrase' in a slightly different way. For us verb phrases are phrases whose Head word is a verb, called the main verb (sometimes also called a lexical verb).

A verb phrase includes a single main verb, either:

Verbs

Verbs have traditionally been described as ‘doing words’ or ‘action words’. This works well for some verbs, like sprint, chatter, eat. Here are some sentence examples with verbs which describe actions:

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