|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.