Questions tagged [verbs]

This tag is for questions about verbs. Verbs are words that express an action, occurrence, or a state of being. Add this tag to single-word-requests if you are looking for a verb. Add the tag word-usage if you are asking about the usage of the verb.

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Is [the act of something] considered a verb or a noun?

For example, take "Teaching people can be difficult" Is "teaching people" (the act of teaching people) a noun phrase and "be difficult" the verb phrase, as in being ...
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Why is the sentence structured this way?

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. I need a little clarification on ...
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Use of intransitive verbs [closed]

Would it be grammatically correct to say "a spoon is used to stir" or "a mouse is used to click"
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Do dictionaries disfavor "disfavor"?

A question on ELU asked for A word for making an event more likely or less likely and I proposed the verb pair favor/disfavor in an answer, with these examples: For example, in the case of the Ising ...
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Do we have always to use the simple past with the verb "to wish"?

My question revolves around the verb "wish". I am currently studying present continuous vs simple present, and there a section amongst the instructions entitled "verbs rarely used in ...
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The reason why a transitive verb does not have an object

I found the following sentence on the internet. "I need money, and money, I need." It is what a young girl was saying. (She was talking to herself.) Her parent put it down in writing. Since ...
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sign a contract, secure a contract, close a contract

Which verb comes before the noun "contract"? Are there any differences between their formality or usage? I have secured a contract for my company. I have closed a contract for my company. ...
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The verb "mark" with events in time

The 19th century was marked by the abolition of slavery. The 19th century marked the abolition of slavery. Which is correct? The meaning is that the abolition of slavery was an important event in the ...
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1 answer
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"He tried to burgle the house but it didn't go well"

I'm trying to enrich my English vocabulary and while I was doing so, I've been thinking about the word "Burgle" When I say "he tried to burgle the house but it didn't go well" does ...
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Can the word "abstract" mean "to apply payment"?

I use a proprietary piece of software at work for entering AR payments and the user interface calls this process of applying payments to invoices "abstracting." This term is commonly used in ...
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2 answers
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Can a Noun be an Action? [closed]

For example, in the phrase: Yodelling is good fun. 'Yodelling' is a noun that refers to an action. Would it be correct to call this noun an action?
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Correct use of both for a pair of adjectives with a singular or an uncountable noun

I would like to know which of the following sentences is correct: we investigate a new problem, where both a decisional and a switching variable is a control at disposal of the agents; we investigate ...
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Using respectively to define parameters in a math equation: Singluar or plural verb? [duplicate]

There are a lot of questions/discussions about using singular or plural verbs with respectively, and the answer is always a singular verb. Does using a singular verb also apply while defining the ...
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A verb that means 'to run ineffectively or with difficulty' [closed]

What verb can be used in place of 'run' when describing the way an overweight character might attempt to race towards another individual? Because of his size, this person doesn't move very quickly or ...
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Is there one simple word which means the inverse of the word "apply"? [closed]

I am looking for a simple word which would mean the opposite of the word "apply". The first thing that comes to my mind is "unapply". But I am not sure if it is elegant and maybe ...
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What verbs can stand alone in "We _____ your time is valuable"?

While on hold today by phone, a recording regularly told me, "We appreciate your time is valuable". Is this correct English? I know that there are special verbs, like "know" or &...
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Is there a term for a construction like "...can and has developed," where the omission ("develop") results in an apparent lack of agreement?

Perhaps I'm just overlooking the explanation in grammar references (and questions on ELU), but I haven't found a discussion of this construction (or its advisability): a verb is omitted after a modal, ...
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1 answer
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Descriptive vs Injunctive statement

"Residents in an efficient household take a five-minute shower per person per day"-- I think it is a descriptive statement. I want to know its injunctive counterpart.
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0 votes
1 answer
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Verb: Using an item of a subscription with limited items included [closed]

Let's imagine that you buy a subscription ... for example, to get 2 Yoga lessons per month. What would be the right verb if I am using one of these lessons? I am considering using something like '...
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Word that means "to walk around a room" in the context of looking at things [duplicate]

Not with criminal intent (i.e. case, prowl), but curiosity, as in a museum or in a new friend's house. "Roam" and "stroll" seem more about the movement. Maybe there is no word that ...
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A Constraint <VERB> a Certain Value

In the context of software programming, I am looking for a verb which expresses a certain relation. Using Merriam Webster online, I have not been able to find what I am looking for, due to lack of a ...
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2 answers
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Is "deabstractify" a word? [closed]

I'm currently working on an essay and in it I talk about how there's a computer program that allows me to do something and there was a time in my life where I worked very extensively with this program ...
2 votes
1 answer
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it is not inappropriate that risks be taken

Many outdoor experiences involve risk but that does not mean it is inappropriate that risks be taken, the report says. (Source: Stuff, a New Zealand news media website) I'm curious about the use of ...
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What is the difference between plan and plan out?

My question is quite simply stated in the subject of the post. A coworker and I were editing one of our internal webpages. We stumbled upon the following line: "This will help us in planning out ...
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1 answer
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Why "seen" instead of "saw" [closed]

In instagram, when someone see the message, there's a little indicator "seen" that tells you that the person you are chatting with has seen your message. My question is why it is "seen&...
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collocation for "compensate" the absence

I am unable to attend the class and I don't want to get an absence. I need to ask the teacher for the materials I can do that will "compensate" my absence (meaning I will do them instead of ...
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Passive voice verbs vs. Adjectives

Adjective or verb passive form?? In the sentence We teach our children that everyone is entitled to respect and dignity is 'entitled' more likely an adjective or a verb? A similar question appeared ...
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English verbs derived from ἄρχω (árkhō)?

I'm a historian, so this isn't my speciality. I'm looking into the etymology of "to lead" and related verbs. Since there are numerous verbs with some similarity but vastly different ...
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To come down this way

This is from the movie Clean (2022) The rush of violence is better than dope. Better than blow, better than base. Meth. Crack. If you're lucky it'll let you come down this way. I don't understand ...
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2 answers
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Use of "adorn" as a verb [closed]

Interested in hearing some thoughts on the word "adorn." Someone I'm working with recently used it like this: "They all adorn fancy masks for the party." They mean it is in: "...
3 votes
1 answer
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How to decide Main Verb? [closed]

The last thing we did was finish the supper. What's the main verb in this sentence? If it's 'was', then how do we treat 'did' & 'finish' here?
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Term for noun whose verb means to do the opposite [duplicate]

The word 'dust' is kinda peculiar. The verb form dust means to remove the dust from something, not to add dust to it. Is there a term for this type of word relationship and are there other examples?
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2 answers
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Can the auxiliary verb do/does/did replace a transitive verb?

In Ariana Grande's song off the table there's the verse: Will I ever love somebody like the way I did you? Can we use the auxiliary verb to replace a transitive verb like "love"? For ...
2 votes
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Passive voice with ditransitive verb, which is the patient?

If I were to make the following constructions, how would I label the parts of the sentence using passive voice terminology? Alice seems to be the agent in both these constructions, but which is the ...
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How did the word "impart" come to be associated with "store"?

Merriam Webster gives the definition of "impart": to give, convey, or grant from or as if from a store I've never heard/seen the word described that way before. How is it connected to ...
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Lie Or lay ELA Question [duplicate]

Which one is it? Please lay/lie your dog on the bench. I think it's lay but I'm not sure
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What is the correct structure to use in a sentence containing 'once' as the subordinate conjunction? [closed]

In a sentence containing a conjunction, what are the correct verb forms to be used in the two clauses? For example: I would also suggest that once all these items are established, they must be added ...
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Can you omit the propositions "to", "as I", "as we" or "in order to" before a verb?

Here in Ghana, I've noticed a growing trend of people using phrases like: "Come, join us celebrate the goodness of God." or "This is to enable GRIDco undertake the stringing of ...
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How to explain the sentence "I was sat next to them"? [duplicate]

I am studying linguistics in northwest England and I find many people use the sentence I was sat next to them. Normally people say "I sat next to them" and I kind of understand that the ...
7 votes
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Is there an English equivalent of the Scots usage of "boak" (meaning retch) as a noun?

"Boak" is a Scots word that means "retch" (or vomit), and like retch it can be used as a verb, i.e. "that makes me want to boak" means "that makes me want to retch&...
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1 answer
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What are the differences among 'remove', 'delete', 'dismiss', and 'discard'? [closed]

I'm working for a professional application, and as I'm not a native English speaker I need your light to help me to use the best one in the best context. What is the meaning of each of them and in ...
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What do you call a verb/phrase following a noun ending in 'er' [duplicate]

Is there a term for the verb, and/or the pair of words, where the verb ends in 'er' following a noun? Examples: mind reader star gazer grounds keeper
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Word for "to remove the soul" like decapitate/behead "to remove/cut off the head"

What is the single word/verb for "to remove the soul of/from"? It would be like decapitate/behead meaning "to remove/cut off the head of/from". Example sentence (in fiction): The ...
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If "what" is used in place of a plural noun as a subject, is the preceding verb singular?

The title may be confusing, so let me give an example: They are what stops him from achieving success. This seems strange to me, as "They" is plural while "stops" is in the ...
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Do verbs refer to the tangible or the intangible? [closed]

This might be a dumb question but do verbs (or any other part of speech besides nouns) actually refer to elements of existence in a tangible way? To be clear I would say that something is tangible if ...
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1 vote
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descend from vs be descended from

Merriam-Webster gives two examples on the usage of "descend from" vs "be descended from" in https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/descend%20from . The plants descend from a ...
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"has been" vs "have been" when dealing with multiple nouns [duplicate]

I have seen a lot of similar questions asked but none of them applies to my case. If it exists, please do post the link. So, my question is do we use have or has been when referring to more than one ...
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What's the word/verb meaning "to bend something inwards"?

I'm struggling hard to remember a word I came across many months ago. It's not an uncommon word as far as I can remember. The word in question means, again if I can recall correctly, to bend something ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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Ambiguous Information on ''verb -to and verb -ing''

There are two different pieces of information on this topic, and they are both from trusted sources but these two pieces of information are totally different. So I would love to be answered by a ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Is there a name for the unusual transitive status of the verb "to pile"?

One can say: She piled books on the table; where books is the direct object and the table the indirect. With exactly the same meaning one could say: She piled the table with books where the direct and ...
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