Finite Verb

There is a much used definition of a Finite Verb:

"A Finite Verb is limited by the Number and Person of the subject".

Let us consider how far this definition can truly describe the function or help us in our understanding of a finite verb. In the use of our language, the finite verb is mostly used in its simple present or simple past tense form. The simple past tense form of a verb ('went', 'thought' etc) remains unchanged irrespective of the Number and Person of the Subject. Whereas, the change takes place in the simple present tense form of the verb only when the subject is in the third person singular number (plays, goes, etc) and iQ all other cases it remains un changes ('play', 'go').

So, this definition of the finite verb does not help us much in our understanding of the function of a finite verb. In fact, this definition of the finite verb has come to English Grammar from Latin Grammar. But, when this definition holds good for the Latin Language, where every form of a finite verb changes according to the Number and Person of the Subject, it is not so in case of English Language.

Since the Predicate tells something about the subject, let us, then, ask -does the Finite Verb tell something about the subject?

Yes, it does. A Finite Verb tells what the subject is or what the subject has or what the subject does or what is done to the subject.

A Finite Verb, indeed, tells about the action or state or possession of the Subject or the action done to the Subject.


Finite Verb Examples

Let us take the following sentences:

a. Mangoes are ripe.

b. We have a big car.

c. The teacher pulled a chair.

d. Ramesh has been beaten by Sanjay.

In these sentences the finite verb 'are', tells about the state of the subject 'Mangoes', 'have' tells what the subject 'we' possesses, 'pulled' tells us about the action of the subject. 'The teacher' and 'has been beaten' tells about the action done to the subject 'Ramesh'.

All verbs, whether finite or non-finite, can be broadly categorized into two-

1. A verb of state (also known as State Verb)

2. A verb of action (also known as Action Verb).

Also See: State Verb , Action Verb

Grammer Topics

Sentence Formation
Noun and Verb
Simple Sentence, Clause & Phrase
Objective Complement
Intransitive Verb
Noun and Pronoun
Types of Sentences
Finite Verb
Prefixes and Suffixes
Semi Colon
Reported Speech

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