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You are HERE >> Language Arts > Grammar > Grade 9

by Elaine Ernst Schneider

Objective(s): By the end of this lesson the student will be able to: 
1. define the term 'verb'
2. differentiate between action and linking verbs.
3. distinguish between active and passive voice.

Pre-Class Assignment: 
Resources/Equipment/Time Required: 

The verb is the fourth of the eight parts of speech. Just for the record, here are all eight:

        noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

Verbs can be used in different ways. They can be action or linking. They can be in active or passive voice   where do we begin?

First, let's start with a basic definition: A verb is a word that expresses action, makes a statement, or links relationships. 

Action verbs do just that. They demonstrate action. 

              Examples: Jim hit the ball.

              Susie cooked spaghetti.

              Joey drove the tractor.

Linking verbs make statements OR they express links and relationships.

              Examples, statements: She is a good girl.

              He is a football player.

              Examples, links/relationships: She is my mother.

              That boy is my neighbor.

Linking verbs are on a special list. Here is that list:

Am, is, are, was, were, be, being, been, has been, have been, had been, will be, shall be, may be, would have been, should have been, can be, should be, would be (any combination that ENDS with be or been.) seem, become, taste, feel, smell, sound, look, appear, grow, remain, stay

HINT: In a verb phrase, it is the word that ENDS the phrase that determines usage. For example, in the phrase, "is cooking," even though "is" would be classified as a linking verb used by itself, the last word in the phrase is "cooking." Therefore, the verb phrase is action and "is" was used simply as a helping verb - NOT a linking verb. 

HINT: Linking verbs can be in any tense and can have endings such as "ing" or "ed" and they are STILL linking verbs.

HINT: Some of the verbs on the linking verb list can be used as action verbs OR linking verbs. Be sure to reason out their usage.


 The tree grew to be quite tall. (action verb - The tree physically grew.)

 The man grew weary. (linking verb - expresses a statement, even a relationship between 
 the man and "weary.")

  She is looking at the picture. (action verb - She is physically doing the action of looking.)

  She is looking paler by the minute. (linking verb - links "she" with "paler.")

Assignment(s) including Answer key: 

List the verbs in the following sentences. Mark A for action and L for linking.

1. The mayor suggested that the boy clean Wilmington Statue for his community service project. 

                   __________ __________ 

2.Two friends water-skied on Lake Erie. 


3.The twins, who are from the large city of Houston, are vacationing in Canada. 
                   __________ __________ 

4.The teacher asked the student for his report on the country of France. 


5.The address on the envelope was Mexico. 


6.The witness's story is about a man in a building. 


7.The factory blew into a thousand pieces. 


8.Mary was so excited that she ran all the way home.

                   __________ __________

For the Answer Key, Click Here
Submitted by:  © Elaine Ernst Schneider  is a freelance writer and a teacher. She has been writing since high school and has published articles, songs, and children's work. Presently, Elaine is a curriculum author for Group Publishing and also writes the City Songs column for ezine.  Send on your comments


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