Chapter 4: Verbs
Verbs either do something or they predicate something. (To predicate something
is to say that it’s true.) That is, most verbs can be used to talk about actions. A
small number of very common verbs (like be, become and seem) can be used to
predicate that something is true of the noun you are talking about. Please read the
“What a worrier you are,” grumbled the cat sleepily. “You’re probably even
worrying that you’ll cook me the wrong way. ‘Should I roast the cat in the oven,
or would it be more tasty in a stew?’” The cat then yawned an enormous yawn,
and stretched his front paws forward, and arched his back so tightly that he
almost burst through his skin. Then he slowly eased himself into an upright
Look at the first sentence. What did the cat do? He grumbled. That is the main
verb in the sentence. What did he grumble? He says, “What a worrier you are.”
Using the word are, he predicates of the son that he is a worrier, or in easier
English, he says the son is a worrier.
The other verbs in this paragraph are are worrying, will cook, roast, would be,
yawned, stretched, arched, burst, and eased.
The predicate of a sentence always contains a verb. The only part of speech that
can be used to talk about an action or predicate something of a noun is a verb.
Identify the verbs in the following paragraphs.
1. “I’m going to Dead Man’s Hall,” he said. “At least, that’s where I’m going if I’m
on the right road.”
2. “This is the road, all right,” the man replied. “This building behind me is Dead
3. “Oh,” said the brother. “Here I am, then.” He looked at the door and hesitated.
4. “Were you just going to the hall, or did you plan to go in as well? If you go in,
everyone there will want to buy that ham. There’s never much meat in the hall, you
know. But don’t you sell it unless they give you the pepper mill that sits on the table
behind the door. When you come out again, I’ll teach you how to use the mill,
which grinds up pepper very nicely, and also anything else you might happen to