Quick Reference Editing Read from last sentence to first. Underline all verb phrases twice and their subjects once



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Quick Reference Editing

Read from last sentence to first. Underline all verb phrases twice and their subjects once.

What is a verb?

One of the first things we learn about verbs is that they are one of the main parts of a sentence. Being able to find verbs can help you develop your editing skills by identifying some of the most common grammar errors: verb tense, verb agreement, verb form, and sentence structure.



Verbs have very specific criteria; if you have all of the following on your checklist, you can be confident you have a verb:

A verb demonstrates a physical or mental action. The verb tells what the subject does. Often, verbs take an object to make the thought more complete.
College students study.

Professors give out a course syllabus in order to inform students of class expectations.

Academic advisors help students register for classes.


Not all verbs demonstrate an action. A verb can also demonstrate a state of being. These verbs are also called ‘linking verbs’ because they link the subject to the noun or adjective after the verb. Think of a linking verb as an = sign:
First-year college students are often overwhelmed by the demanding expectations of college.

Michelle’s professor seems quite knowledgeable and caring.


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