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What are Empty Verbs? Grammar Review

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What are Empty Verbs? Grammar Review

Empty verbs perform a few different jobs in English. In simple terms, empty verbs replace other verbs. Empty verbs are used as part of a phrase as well. Native English speakers often convey the same message two different ways. Common empty verbs are “Have, give, take, make, do, get”. As empty verbs have no meaning, they are commonly used to help describe certain activities. Collocated word combinations use certain empty verbs to explain or describe an action or fact. Below are a few examples. Ask your teacher for more!

Empty Verb Examples

I am having a party Friday! (Planning or schedule.)

You have a car! (You own a car.)

We have coffee in the mornings! (We drink coffee.)

They gave me an award! (They awarded me with.)

He gives blood at the hospital! (He donates blood.)

She gave me a sandwich! (She served me a sandwich.)

It takes great photos! (The camera works well.)

I take a bath every night! (I bathe every night.)

You need to make up your mind! (To decide.)

We made a complaint at the shop! (To complain.)

They did some shopping! (They went shopping or they shopped.)

He does the cooking every night! (He cooks or prepares dinner.)

She does yoga three times a week! (To practice yoga.)

It gets excited at feeding time! (To be happy.)

The examples above express just a few ideas. Empty verbs should be studied and learned with simple examples and everyday English. Phrases are full of empty verbs. Remember that phrases can be both literal and idiomatic. In other words, literal phrases often describe an action or state. Idiomatic phrases or idiomatic phrasal verbs describe a state or action that is not obvious most of the time. Have fun with empty verbs. Ask your teacher for more advice and examples for empty verbs and what they do.

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