Definition of main verb in English:

main verb

Syllabification: main verb


  • 1The verb in a main clause.
    More example sentences
    • An intermediate step is to put the ‘using’ clauses between the object and the main verb, like this.
    • Maybe Dickens needed a good sub-editor to remind him that the rules require sentences to contain proper main verbs.
    • This was ‘translated’ from German, as shown by the placement of the main verb at the end of the sentence.
  • 2The head of a verb phrase, for example eat in might have been going to eat it.
    More example sentences
    • The combination of helping verbs with main verbs creates what are called verb phrases or verb strings.
    • When writing the rule, always use the base form of the main verb and any auxiliary verbs.
    • It appears that the semi-modals are hybrid forms, combining characteristics of both main verbs and auxiliary verbs.

More definitions of main verb

Definition of main verb in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day astrogation
Pronunciation: ˌastrə(ʊ)ˈgeɪʃ(ə)n
(in science fiction) navigation in outer space