Verbs, a part of speech, refer to
- words that show
- actions (Action Verbs)
- feelings, states of being (Nonactive (aka Inactive) Verbs).
Action verbs are words that denote specific actions in a sentence.
Because actions tend to be concrete and sensory,sentences that employ action verbs tend to be more accessible, readable, understandable thansentences that employ nonactive (aka Inactive) verbs
Nonactive (aka Inactive) Verbs
Key Concepts: Coordination & Subordination; Organizational Schema; Sentences; Writer-Based vs. Reader-Based Prose;
Why Do Verbs Matter?
The use of action verbs becomes essential when you’re tasked with representing a large amount of information with few words, such as in a resume or cover letter.
Examples: Action Verbs
Using action verbs is easy once you get used to writing with them. Search your document for forms of the verbs to be, to have, and to do. Notice that these kinds of verbs generally don’t generate the types of clear pictures that action verb convey. Here is a list of action verbs for your consideration:
|Management/Leadership Skills||administered, analyzed, appointed, approved, assigned, attained, authorized, chaired, considered, consolidated, contracted, controlled, converted, coordinated, decided, delegated, developed, directed, eliminated, emphasized, enforced, enhanced, established, executed, generated, handled, headed, hired, hosted, improved, incorporated, increased, initiated, inspected, instituted, led, managed, merged, motivated, organized, originated, overhauled, oversaw, planned, presided, prioritized, produced, recommended, reorganized, replaced, restored, reviewed, scheduled, streamlined, strengthened, supervised, terminated|
|Communication/People Skills||addressed, advertised, arbitrated, arranged, articulated, authored, clarified, collaborated, communicated, composed, condensed, conferred, consulted, contacted, conveyed, convinced, corresponded, debated, defined, described, developed, directed, discussed, drafted, edited, elicited, enlisted, explained, expressed, formulated, furnished, incorporated, influenced, interacted, interpreted, interviewed, involved, joined, judged, lectured, listened, marketed, mediated, moderated, negotiated, observed, outlined, participated, persuaded, presented, promoted, proposed, publicized, reconciled, recruited, referred, reinforced, reported, resolved, responded, solicited, specified, spoke, suggested, summarized, synthesized, translated, wrote|
|Research Skills||analyzed, clarified, collected, compared, conducted, critiqued, detected, determined, diagnosed, evaluated, examined, experimented, explored, extracted, formulated, gathered, identified, inspected, interpreted, interviewed, invented, investigated, located, measured, organized, researched, searched, solved, summarized, surveyed, systematized, tested|
|Technical Skills||adapted, assembled, built, calculated, computed, conserved, constructed, converted, debugged, designed, determined, developed, engineered, fabricated, fortified, installed, maintained, operated, overhauled, printed, programmed, rectified, regulated, remodeled, repaired, replaced, restored, solved, specialized, standardized, studied, upgraded, utilized|
|Teaching Skills||adapted, advised, clarified, coached, communicated, conducted, coordinated, critiqued, developed, enabled, encouraged, evaluated, explained, facilitated, focused, guided, individualized, informed, instilled, instructed, motivated, persuaded, simulated, stimulated, taught, tested, trained, transmitted, tutored|
|Financial/Data Skills||administered, adjusted, allocated, analyzed, appraised, assessed, audited, balanced, calculated, computed, conserved, corrected, determined, developed, estimated, forecasted, managed, marketed, measured, planned, programmed, projected, reconciled, reduced, researched, retrieved|
|Creative Skills||acted, adapted, began, combined, conceptualized, condensed, created, customized, designed, developed, directed, displayed, drew, entertained, established, fashioned, formulated, founded, illustrated, initiated, instituted, integrated, introduced, invented, modeled, modified, originated, performed, photographed, planned, revised, revitalized, shaped, solved|
|Helping Skills||adapted, advocated, aided, answered, arranged, assessed, assisted, clarified, coached, collaborated, contributed, cooperated, counseled, demonstrated, diagnosed, educated, encouraged, ensured, expedited, facilitated, familiarize, furthered, guided, helped, insured, intervened, motivated, provided, referred, rehabilitated, presented, resolved, simplified, supplied, supported, volunteered|
|Organization/Detail Skills||approved, arranged, cataloged, categorized, charted, classified, coded, collected, compiled, corresponded, distributed, executed, filed, generated, implemented, incorporated, inspected, logged, maintained, monitored, obtained, operated, ordered, organized, prepared, processed, provided, purchased, recorded, registered, reserved, responded, reviewed, routed, scheduled, screened, submitted, supplied, standardized, systematized, updated, validated, verified|
|More Verbs for Accomplishments||achieved, completed, expanded, exceeded, improved, pioneered, reduced (losses), resolved (issues), restored, spearheaded, succeeded, surpassed, transformed, won|
Authors use different types of verbs in different contexts. As always, consider your purpose and audience when crafting the message you are writing.
Why is Grammar Important? NCTE Position Statement (National Council of Teachers of English. 7/1/2002.