Verb Phrases in English Grammar

Parts Of Speech

baby asleep

Sweet dreams!

A Verb Phrase is a group of words which work together in the same way as a single verb does.

For example, the verbs in the sentences below are highlighted bold.

She slept soundly.

The dog barked all night.

In the following examples instead of a single word acting as a verb, we are using verb phrases.

She was sleeping soundly.

The dog was barking all night.

Form

As you can see, a verb phrase consists of a main verb plus one (sometimes more) auxiliary verb, modal verb‏‎ or participle.

is sleeping

had been sleeping

Notes

Some grammarians, use the term verb phrase differently. Depending on who you read, the following phrases in bold all count as verb phrases (even thought the first one is actually still only one word).

He slept.

He had slept.

He managed to sleep through the night.

In this third example, the verb phrase is equivalent to the predicate.

Related Articles

6 Tips to Make your ESL Classes More Effective

Teaching is undeniably a challenging job, in fact many consider it one of the most difficult careers you could choose. Nevertheless, being a teacher is an enriching experience. Through quality education and effective teaching methodologies,...

read more

ICAL TEFL Resources

Knowledge is Power The ICAL TEFL site has thousands of pages of free TEFL resources for teachers and students. These include: The TEFL ICAL Grammar Guide. Country Guides for teaching around the world. How to find TEFL jobs. How to teach English....

read more

0 Comments