Verbs are an essential part of any sentence and it is important that children get to grips with understanding verbs and how they work, as this will help with their own writing. Of course, understanding verbs can get very complex, with terms such as phrasal verbs, modal verbs and gerunds enough to put most people off. However, we start with the basics, looking at verbs as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words in a simple context.
Once the idea of what a verb does has been understood, we go on to look at the tenses of verbs; how verbs can tell us what a noun (naming word) has done in the past, is doing now or will do in the future. Many children tend to mix up the tenses they use when writing stories, often starting in the present tense and switching to the past, or vice versa.
A popular trend in language today is to create new verbs out of nouns. A recent example is the verb, to google, which has come from the noun, Google. Businesses that get their names used as verbs must be really pleased with the free publicity! With the speed of the internet new words can catch on really quickly and become accepted by dictionaries far quicker than they ever could in the past. We have a couple of pages which look more closely at making nouns from verbs and even suggest that children could come up with some new, fun verbs of their own!
We also take a look at the verb, ‘to be’ in the present and past tenses, trying to avoid errors such as ‘we was looking at the television’.
Identifying verbs and recognising the verb 'to be'. (Year 2 on)
The present and past tense.
Recognising and writing in the present and past tenses. (Year 2/3 on)
More verb tenses
Recognising and using verb tenses including past progressive and present perfect. (Year 3/4 on)
Converting nouns or adjectives into verbs and making nouns from verbs. (Year 5 on)