Verbs: the basics, plus imperatives and transitives/intransitives, along with some suggested games and activities.s

A verb is a word which tells us what someone or something is doing/being, often described as an action word or a ‘doing’ word, e.g. run, love, eat.

A sentence must contain a verb in order for it to be a grammatically correct and complete sentence.



Take it in turns to act out different actions. You can start with easy ones (run, shout) or with older children you can use it as an opportunity to build ambitious vocabulary (stroll, saunter, gambol).

Simon Says

This is a great one for imperative verbs. Give your child an instruction but they are only to follow it if you preface it with ‘Simon Says’. Ideas could include:

– Jump up high

– Sing like a bird

– Clap three times

Your instructions could get more and more complicated!


Look through recipes and instruction texts to find any imperative verbs.

Experiment with mixing up transitive verbs with strange objects – write five different transitive verbs (e.g. love, hate, eat) on pieces of paper, and five objects, the sillier the better (pigeons, chocolate, hats). Pick them at random and see what you end up with – illustrating them can be fun too.

Strong, dynamic verbs are a great way to build suspense and drama in your writing. Use a thesaurus to find new and exciting synonyms for more common words in your most recent piece of writing.