What is a verb in Spanish?

What Are Verbs In Spanish Featured

What is a verb in Spanish? A verb in Spanish is “el verbo”.

A verb is a word that expresses action or a state of being.

Verbs are one of the eight parts of speech.

Verb Definition

Definition of Verb in Spanish

In Spanish, the definition of a verb is:

El verbo es una palabra que expresa acción o estado de ser.

This definition names two types of verbs: action verbs and state of being verbs (also known as linking verbs). Because they can stand alone in a sentence, they are called main verbs.

Take a look at some examples:

  • Yo camino cada mañana. (I walk every morning.) camino = action verb
  • El vecino mantiene limpio el patio. (The neighbor keeps the patio clean.) mantiene = action verb
  • Ellos son inteligentes. (They are intelligent.) son = linking verb

There is another category of verbs, the helping verbs. They cannot stand alone and must connect to an main verb. Helping verbs always help action verbs or linking verbs.

Examples of helping verbs:

  • El show debe empezar pronto. (The show should start soon.) debe = helping verb, empezar = action verb
  • Los gatitos han crecido mucho. (The kittens have grown a lot.) han = helping verb, crecido = action verb
  • Estamos esperando el correo. (We are waiting for the mail.) estamos = helping verb, esperando = action verb

Take note that some words can function in many ways. You have to look at how the verb acts in a sentence to be able to tell which type of verb it is.

Verb Form

Spanish verbs are conjugated. What does this mean?

It means the endings change to match the subject and the desired tense. This creates many different forms of each verb.

Learn more about verb conjugation here.

Now, we are going to focus on the ways main verbs can act.

So, now you can tell someone what a verb is in Spanish. (You can say, it’s a word that expresses action or state of being. Better yet, you can say, es una palabra que expresa acción o un estado de ser.) You also know there are three categories of verbs (action verbs, linking verbs, and helping verbs).

High five! You are a pro already!

Let’s take a closer look at how verbs act.

5 Verb Types

As you can see, there are two kinds of action verbs: intransitive and transitive. They can stand alone as well as the linking verbs. These four are main verbs.

Last, the helping verbs must combine with a main verb. This forms a verb phrase.

In Spanish, intransitive verbs are called verbos intransitivos.

These main verbs express action. They do not transfer action to a receiver. Their action is complete on its own.

The light shines.

Brilla is an intransitive verb.

Nobody or nothing receives the action brilla.

In Spanish, transitive active verbs are called verbos transitivos pasivos.

These main verbs transfer action to someone or something. They act in either the active voice or the passive voice. Here are some examples of both.

My sister turned off the light.

Apagó is a transitive verb.

In this sentence, luz receives the action apagó. The receiver of action is called a direct object, so in our sentence luz is the direct object.

Every transitive sentence must have a direct object who receives the action.

In Spanish, transitive active verbs are called verbos transitivos pasivos.

These verbs also show action and also transfer the action to a receiver. Intransitive verbs in passive voice, the receiver or the action is the subject!

The light was turned off by my sister.

The fish was captured.

Who is receiving the action in these sentences?

Luz received the action of apagado and pez received the action of capturado. Luz and pez are the subjects. As you can see, the action transfers to the subject.

Sometimes we might not know who initiated the action. ¿Quién capturó el pez? (Who captured the fish? A prepositional phrase tells us who.

This is the first time we see a verb that does not express any action. That’s because linking verbs tell us the state or condition of the subject. They link the subject of the sentence with either a noun that restates the subject or an adjective that describes it.

The shade is dark.

Es is a linking verb.

In this sentence, es links the subject with the condition of the subject.

A linking verb is like an equal sign between the subject and the predicate noun or predicate adjective.

In Spanish, helping verbs are called verbos auxiliares.

Helping verbs are not main verbs since they cannot stand alone in a sentence. They always go with action verbs or a linking verb.

Click here to see a list of the Spanish helping verbs.

When a helping verb assists a main verb, you have a verb phrase.

We can finish.

Podemos is a helping verb.

Acabar is the main verb.

Some verbs can function as main verbs or helping verbs, but they can only do one job at a time in a sentence.

Do you understand Spanish verbs now? I sure hope so.

Instant Conjugation Kit Ipad DeskIf you’d like to fast-track your way through verb conjugations, you need to check out our Instant Conjugation Kit!

It’ll save you time and wasted effort, and it will bring you well-earned confidence.

I hope this lesson has helped you learn about Spanish verbs!

This is original content from https://growspanish.com/what-is-a-verb-in-spanish

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Spanish Verb Conjugation

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