Aspects of the Verb

Aspects of the Verb

1.The duration of the action depends upon the presence or absence of an object.


The teacher writes several commands of which some are transitive and some are intransitive. These are distributed to the children and they begin executing the commands at the same time. It is observed that some children have finished their actions, i.e. write a word, open the door, while others have not finished because no one has told them to stop, i.e. walk, hop.

Aim: Point of consciousness: An action without an object may last forever. An action with an object has a specific point of completion.

Indirect Aim: comprehension of transitive and intransitive verbs; concept of infinitive

2. The difference between past and present.


The teacher writes a command, which the child reads and executes. What have you done? I have brought you a pencil.What did it say for you to do on this card? Bring me a pencil. You say that you have brought me a pencil, not I bring you a pencil.The present tense lasts only while the action is being done. Once the action is finished, it is already in the past. More examples are given.

Aim: to notice the change in the verb for past and present

Indirect aim: to prepare for verb conjugations

3. Different durations of the present

Presentation:The teacher writes and distributes commands, some which will take a while to complete and some shorter actions. All of the children begin together. When some children have finished, each child states what he/she has done or is doing. The duration of the present depends upon the action. The present can be very brief, or it can last for a long time. We have a special way of saying that an action is going on: I am reading a story.

Aim: to understand that the present lasts as long as the action lasts

Indirect Aim: to prepare for verb conjugations: present continuous tense

4. Invisible Movement

Presentation:The teacher writes a command which requires no visible movement, e.g. think of a story. The child reads the command and executes it. It seems that nothing is happening. There is no movement. What were you doing? I was thinking of a story. What did you do when I asked what you were doing? I answered you. You have performed two actions: thinking, which showed no movement and answering a question, which was an action we could see and hear.

When you were thinking all of the action was going on inside, in your brain; it was an internal action. When you read silently, your mind is very active even though your body doesn’t have to move.

Aim: to understand the verb can indicate internal or unseen movement or activity.

5. Commands of Reading

The teacher writes a simple command and the child executes it. When the action is completed, the child places the symbols over the words.

The verb is cut off and the child is asked to execute the command, i.e. the window. The child sees that he/she cannot do anything without the verb.

The label is cut into several pieces and the words are mixed up. In a command the subject is understood, therefore the child must understand that the noun – the object – comes after the verb.

The children execute commands, copy them in their notebooks and place the appropriate symbols above the words. The children may compose their own commands.

Aim: to understand the placement of the verb in relation to the object.

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