Raising attainment through entertainment and learning through laughter.

The Punctuation Show Blog.

Welcome to The Punctuation Show Blog page. Check back regularly for fresh resources and teaching ideas.

Verbs - Let's Do It...

One of the best CPD sessions I’ve ever had was in the early days of the Grammar tests.  I was being trained to mark the ‘Level 6 SPaG papers.  I couldn’t attend my allocated dates due to work commitments, so I was offered the opportunity to go to London for an additional session.

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:

Auxiliary Verbs

Auxiliary verbs are often referred to as ‘helping verbs’.  They support the sentences main verb to function as a complete verb in a sentence, eg ‘I have watched the film’ or ‘I was going out’. 

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are used to indicate degrees of probability, such as ‘would’, ‘should’, ‘could’ or ‘might’.

Transitive/Intransitive Verbs

Transitive 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.


Gerunds are verbs that function as nouns in a sentence.  For example, ‘Running is very popular.

Verb Analysis

Once pupils understand the definition of verbs, it’s useful to have a few ideas to use in the classroom.  Look at a passage from a well written book or article and spot the verbs.  Look at the form they take within each sentence.  Good writing will use a variety of these forms.

It can also be fun to swap verbs to completely change the meaning of a sentence, but retaining grammatical accuracy.

Verb Placement

Get pupils to experiment and place verbs at different points within a sentence.  Try rewording the same sentence by placing the same verb in different areas of the sentence.

The man visited London. 
The verb is in the middle.  The sentence is basic and to the point.  Emphasis is on the location (noun).

Visiting London was the highlight of the man’s trip. 
Placing the verb at the beginning of a sentence, forces the writer to be more descriptive or give more information.

London was the best place the man had visited

Placing the verb at the end places emphasis on what has happened.

Verbs are covered in The Grammar Show, while auxiliary verbs are covered in the Advanced Grammar Show.

‹ Go Back

Share this article.

Company Information

The Punctuation Show and everything on this site is owned by PODCASTREVISION LTD
Director: Barrie McDermid
Company number - 06990962
VAT Reg - 978 170187
Public Liability Insurance cover for £1,000,000

The mission of The Punctuation Show is to raise attainment through entertainment and encourage pupils to learn through laughter. We aim to please in everything we do and will go out of our way to provide outstanding customer service.

Connect with The Punctuation Show on Social Media

Connect with us on the platform of your choice to get updates of what The Punctuation Show is doing and for offers, resources and competitions.

Mailing list:

By signing up to our newsletter, you get free resources in your inbox regularly to save your precious time. What's not to like?