A verbal is a word that looks like a verb in that it implies some kind of action, but it is not functioning as a finite verb.
|Always have a subject.||Never have a subject.|
|Can take an object.||Can take an object.|
|Called finite verbs because they are limited by a subject||Are not limited by a subject.|
|Every clause must have a verb.||Can never be the main verb of a clause (after all, they aren’t verbs).|
In English, there are three kinds of verbals:
They function as follows:
- Gerunds always function as nouns.
- Participles always function as adjectives.
- Infinitives can function as an adjectives, adverbs, or a noun.
Learn how to diagram verbals here.