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Verb, the process of being

What is it called when a verb is no longer the process of doing, but the process of being something? Is it still simply just a verb?

Sorry for the lack of example, it was troubling me late last night, if i still remembered the word, i probably wouldn’t be asking this question.

  • May 4, 2009
  • Posted by drmc
  • Filed in Grammar

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discusses gerunds:
a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in <em>-ing</em>, e.g., <em>asking in do you mind my asking you?</em></blockquote>

Now, those who are blessed with a grounding in Latin may be familiar with the example of a gerund of obligation: NUNC EST BIBENDUM. Bibendum is the gerund (noun) formed from the verb 'bibo'=drink. It means 'drinking' as the name of an activity, or of an action, perhaps.
Allied with the verb "est"=is, the idea of "must" creeps in as a quirk of Latin; and with nunc=now, we have "there must be drinking now" as our first draft of a translation. A coffee mug I was given by an appreciative Latin pupil says "nunc est bibendum" on one side, and "time for a drink" on the other, a fine, loose translation, conveying brilliantly the sense of the Latin.

In sum, then, a gerund is the noun version of a verb.

Brus June 20, 2012, 3:51pm

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"He is sleeping". Sleeping is an action verb, although there would be little action for the spectator to behold, any more than with 'he is thinking' or 'he is dreaming'. All intransitive. Any offers for action verbs followed by direct objects where the spectator would not notice anything happening (excluding twitching, grunting etc as subsidiary, accompanying actions). Maybe "I dreamed a dream...", for example. OK, Verya?

Brus June 20, 2012, 3:41pm

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I wanna know , in the sentence:
he is sleeping , what kind of state verb is the verb sleeping.

verya June 17, 2012, 4:07am

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"This is very interesting! keep it up"

I think you are just about three years too late, my friend.

JJMBallantyne February 24, 2012, 5:38am

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This is very interesting! keep it up

Dawood A. February 24, 2012, 12:39am

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Stative vs Dynamic verb, or 'action' vs 'state' verbs, I reckon?

paul.davies May 13, 2009, 7:04am

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<strong>New Oxford American Dictionary, 2nd Edition. © 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc.</strong>:

a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun, in English ending in <em>-ing</em>, e.g., <em>asking in do you mind my asking you?</em></blockquote>

mykhailo May 12, 2009, 2:06am

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Linking verbs are also known as "copulative verbs", is this the term you were after?

Google has a few contrary definitions, but seems fairly good, and agrees with my vague memories of grammar lessons.

ridanuk May 7, 2009, 5:54pm

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Was the term you were after "copulative verbs"?

Google searches for this don't give consistent answers, but echoes my vague memory of this grammar.

ridanuk May 7, 2009, 1:15pm

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Thanks for the help you two, although I do believe I was looking for Gerunds, although it very well could have been the linking verbs Porsche mentioned.
We'll never know with my horrible memory.

Thanks again, 'much appreciated.

drmc May 6, 2009, 10:59pm

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I don't think transitive vs. intransitive is what Dr. Mc is looking for. Transitive vs. intransitive only has to do with whether or not the verb takes an object. In "I ate yesterday", "ate" is intransitive. In "I ate pizza yesterday", "ate" is transitive.

The terms you're looking for are action verbs and state-of-being verbs. The terms are somewhat self-explanatory. Action verbs describe, well, actions: to run, to go, to eat, etc.

State-of-being verbs are sometimes called linking verbs because they can link the subject of a sentence with something that describes it. The verb "to be" in its various forms is a state-of-being verb. "I am hungry" describes my physical state, not some action that I am engaging in. If "I tasted the pizza", then "tasted" would be an action verb. If "The pizza tasted good", then "tasted" would be a state-of-being or linking verb.

porsche May 6, 2009, 1:05pm

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Taking a wild guess here, but do you mean transitive vs intransitive verbs?

ivy May 6, 2009, 3:23am

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Yes     No