In this post, I will tell you about action verbs. I will provide the definition and use a few action verbs within sentences. In this way, you will come to know that an action verb is not a non-action verb.
Definition of Action Verbs
The verbs that express action are called action verbs. If the subject in a sentence can do the action only then, it is an action verb.
1. He worked voluntarily for a non-profit organization.
2. I have cooked your favorite dish.
3. They will go for a party tonight.
4. We thought about our mistake and said sorry to him.
In the above examples, you can see that the verbs worked, cooked, go, thought, and said are action verbs because the subjects (he, I, they, and we) can do these actions.
A subject can DO an action verb
Transitive and Intransitive Verbs
Action verbs can be transitive or intransitive.
Transitive verbs: These are the action verbs in which the verb needs a direct object within a sentence. In this case, the object is being affected by the action verb.
1. She broke the glass.
2. Jack slapped the boy.
In the above examples, broke and slapped are transitive verbs that have the direct objects ‘the glass’ and ‘the boy’.
If you are not getting it, ask yourself ‘to what?’ or ‘to whom?’ For instance, in the first example, she broke ‘what?’ (the glass). In the second example, Jack slapped ‘to whom?’ (the boy).
Intransitive verbs: These are the action verbs in which the verb does not need a direct object within a sentence. These verbs are opposite of transitive verbs because they do not transfer any action to the objects.
1. I walk early in the morning.
2. They went to the beach yesterday.
In the above examples, you can notice that the verbs ‘walk’ and ‘went’ do not have any direct objects. ‘In the morning’ and ‘to the beach yesterday’ are not the direct objects. Hence, ‘walk’ and ‘went’ are both intransitive verbs.
An Important Point
Other than action verbs, there are also non-action verbs in English vocabulary. They are opposite of action verbs. As the name expresses, non-action verbs are those verbs that do not show any action. It can represent an opinion, sense (i.e. look, taste, smell, feel, or sound), or a state of being. For instance, to consider, to need, to want, to believe, etc.
Examples of Action Verbs in sentences
1. She wants a glass of water.
2. I believe what you say.
3. They prefer to stay here for two days.
In the above examples, the verbs ‘wants’, ‘believe’ and ‘prefer’ are non-action verbs as, there are no actions taking place within sentences.
Note: You cannot use non-action verbs in the progressive tenses. In this case, only action verbs are applicable.
It is concluded that action verbs are those verbs that a subject can do. They can be transitive or intransitive verbs [i.e. some require a direct object (transitive) whereas, some action verbs do not need a direct object (intransitive)].