Identifying verbs

Learning focus

To understand what verbs are and be able use them in your writing.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help you understand verbs

  • three activities


A verb is a word used to describe an action, state or occurrence. Every proper sentence you write should include a verb.

Watch this clip to learn more about verbs and how they are used.

Learn about verbs.
  • Verbs can be used to describe an action (doing something).

For example, the word ‘jumping’ in this sentence:

The rabbit was jumping in the field.

  • They can also be used to describe a state (being or feeling something).

For example, the word ‘likes’ here:

The monster likes rollercoasters.

  • Or a verb can be used to describe an occurrence (something happening).

For example, the word ‘became’ in this sentence:

The caterpillar became a butterfly.


Activity 1

Check how well you understand verbs with these two short activities.

1. Highlight all the verbs in the sentences.

Remember: Verbs can describe an action, state or occurrence.

2. Now complete this verbs quiz. Can you get all five questions correct?

Activity 2

Look at the 'Identifying Verbs Picture Cards' activity sheet below.

On a sheet of paper, write one verb that you can see happening in each picture. You should have a list of 12 verbs when you've finished.

Top tip!

Verbs are 'doing words' so ask yourself: 'What can I see the person doing in the picture?' That will give you your verb.

Identifying verbs picture cards

Activity 3

Choose four of the verbs that you came up with from the pictures in Activity 2.

Write one sentence using each verb.

For example: They are building a snowman in the freezing cold.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about what verbs are and used them in your writing.

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