The session, as it turned out, was with the Chief Examiner. Much of the session focused on verbs and their function in a sentence. A secure knowledge of verbs really does allow you to control your writing.
A Definition of Verbs
At their simplest, verbs are action, doing or being words. There are a number of different categories of verbs:
Modal verbs are used to indicate degrees of probability, such as ‘would’, ‘should’, ‘could’ or ‘might’.
Transitive/Intransitive VerbsTransitive verbs are verbs that can be used with an object. For example ‘Did you like the book?’ - ‘like’ is a transitive verb, being used with ‘the book’ which is an object.
Intransitive verbs are verbs that function without an object. For example ‘It has rained’ - ‘rained’ is the intransitive verb and doesn’t need an object in order to function within the sentence.
It can also be fun to swap verbs to completely change the meaning of a sentence, but retaining grammatical accuracy.
The man visited London.
Visiting London was the highlight of the man’s trip.
London was the best place the man had visited.
Verbs are covered in The Grammar Show, while auxiliary verbs are covered in the Advanced Grammar Show.