A term used in the grammatical classification of words, to refer to a class traditionally defined as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words (a description which has been criticized in linguistics, largely on the grounds that many verbs do not ‘act’ in any obvious sense, e.g. seem, be). The formal definition of a verb refers to an element which can display morphological contrasts of tense, aspect, voice, mood, person and number. Functionally, it is the element which, singly or in combination with other verbs (i.e. as a ‘verb phrase’), is used as the minimal predicate of a sentence, co-occurring with a subject. If the predicate contains other elements (e.g. object, complement, adverbial), then it is the verb which more than any other is the unit which influences the choice and extent of these elements; e.g. the verb put takes both an object and a locative adverbial, as in he put the book on the table. In many grammatical theories, accordingly, the verb is considered the most important element in sentence structure.


语法给词分类的术语,指一类传统上定义为表示“动作”或“行动”的词(这种描写在语言学中遭到批评,主要是许多动词并不明显表达“动作”涵义,例如seem“看来”,be“是”)。动词的形式定义指一个成分有时、体、态、语气、人称、数等形态对立。功能上动词定义为一个成分单独或与别的动词结合(即“动词短语”)用作句子的最小谓语,与主语同现。如果谓语还包含其他成分(例如宾语、补语、状语),那么是动词而不是任何其他成分影响这些成分的选择和范围;例如,动词put“放”带一个宾语和一个处所状语。如he put the book on the table“他把书放在桌上”。因此在许多语法理论中动词被视为句子结构最重要的成分。