A verb is a word that denotes action. A sentence cannot be formed without using verbs. In the Reading Comprehension section, which verb is used, how it is used, and what tense of the verb is used, determines how the passage is to be read.
1. Transitive or Intransitive Verb
The first distinction that the candidates need to know about verbs is between transitive and intransitive verbs. Transitive verbs are verbs that transfer the action on to the object, such as, ‘the boy kicked the ball’. Here, the verb kicked has an impact on the ball and changes the position of the ball. Intransitive verbs, on the other hand, do not transfer the thrust of the action on an object, for example, ‘the boy sleeps’. Knowing what transitive and intransitive verbs are and which is being used in a given sentence in the passage will tell you a lot about the object of the sentence and the action itself.
Closely related to verbs is the concept of tense. Tense is an important concept, used in all sentences having verbs. Tense denotes the time an action has taken place. Accordingly, it is divided into three parts- Past, Present and Future. Authors make use of tenses to mark a shift in their passages, especially the ones pertaining to time. Using past tense denotes that the speaker is referring to an event in the past, the past perfect tense reveals that the action has taken place before a new action has begun in the past. The simple present tense denotes a universal truth or fixed schedule and so on. For example, ‘the bus leaves at 5 am’ reveals that the bus follows the same schedule every day, even though the sentence does not mention the frequency, but the simple present tense ‘leaves’ gives us that information.
Sometimes, a tense change becomes necessary if the time frame changes from the past to the present tense. For example, ‘I think in hindsight, India deserved to win the match’ combines both present and past tenses. The sentence means that the person is thinking in the present about an incident which occurred in the past. Therefore, knowing which tense is used when, reveals a lot about the passage and helps the candidates to ascertain the direction of the passage.
Another concept associated with verbs is Voice. The voice of the sentence reveals whether the subject is doing the action or receiving the action. For example, ‘Tom wrote a letter’- the verb in this sentence denotes that Tom was actively engaged in the act of writing a letter in the past, the sentence is in Active Voice. In the Passive Voice, this sentence will be reframed as, ‘A letter was written by Tom’, in which Tom becomes the receiver of the action. Knowing the difference between the two Voices can give you an idea about the transition in the passage too.
Without verbs, no meaningful sentence is possible. Verbs occupy an important part in a sentence. Which way the passage flows is decided largely by the type and position of verbs in the sentences.
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