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# Working verbs - Please a Manhattan GMAT instructor

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10 Mar 2011, 20:29
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Hello,

The MGMAT SC book mentions a type of verbs called "working verbs". Could someone explain what these verbs are. Please, provide examples.

Thank you!
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25 Apr 2011, 23:21
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Hey metallicafan,

Did you check the glossary in the back of the SC book? The entries for "working verb" and "verbal" are quite good, and read as follows:

WORKING VERB
A verb that could be the main verb of a grammatical sentence. A working verb shows tense, mood, and voice, as well as number and person in some circumstances. The use of this term helps to distinguish working verb from verbals, which cannot by themselves be the main verb of a sentence.

VERBAL
A word or phrase that is derived from a verb and that funcitons as a different part of speech in the sentence: as a noun, as an adjective (noun modifier), or as an adverb (verb modifier).

Ex:
Infinitive: He likes to walk to the store.
Gerund: I enjoy walking.
Present Participle: She is on a walking tour.
Past Participle: The facts given in the case are clear.

*******
the main thing to remember is that a working verb "works"--it DOES what a verb is supposed to do--express the action of the sentence. A verbal, by contrast, does NOT "work" as a verb--it's moonlighting as something else, even though it may bear a superficial resemblance to a working verb.

In practice, the test-writers may try to slip in a distractor that only contains a verbal, not a working verb-- a sentence MUST have a verb to be a complete sentence. Another way of thinking about it is that a sentence MUST have a WORKING VERB to WORK--accept no imitation (verbals).
****
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Retired Moderator
Status: 2000 posts! I don't know whether I should feel great or sad about it! LOL
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26 Apr 2011, 08:21
Thank you Parker!, kudos for you.

Actually, I didn't notice that the description of the working verbs was in the glosary. :s
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20 May 2014, 09:07
Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I had a question regarding the correct example given for 'working verb' in the MGMAT SC book:

'The electron was named in 1894.'

Isn't this sentence still missing a subject? The subject is the noun that performs the action. In this sentence however, the electron is the noun that is receiving the action, therefore making it an object. Right? What am I missing here?

Thanks!
Oz
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09 Aug 2014, 00:37
InfoSeek wrote:
Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I had a question regarding the correct example given for 'working verb' in the MGMAT SC book:

'The electron was named in 1894.'

Isn't this sentence still missing a subject? The subject is the noun that performs the action. In this sentence however, the electron is the noun that is receiving the action, therefore making it an object. Right? What am I missing here?

Thanks!
Oz

Hi

Its not always necessary that subject is something who does an action. A subject is also defined as: about which the sentence is, about which we are talking in the sentence.
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Joined: 13 Aug 2014
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09 Nov 2014, 12:49
InfoSeek wrote:
Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I had a question regarding the correct example given for 'working verb' in the MGMAT SC book:

'The electron was named in 1894.'

Isn't this sentence still missing a subject? The subject is the noun that performs the action. In this sentence however, the electron is the noun that is receiving the action, therefore making it an object. Right? What am I missing here?

Thanks!
Oz

I can give a counter argument: Notice how in passive voice it is not necessary to list the doers of the action (ie. the "by <doers>" part is not compulsory). That means the working verb can exist WITHOUT its doer. That does not mean the sentence is lacking a subject. Also note, in passive voice, the subject has an action performed ON it. The sentence you quote is, indeed, in passive voice. Applying the aforementioned logic, it is error-free.
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19 May 2017, 17:58
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Re: Working verbs - Please a Manhattan GMAT instructor   [#permalink] 19 May 2017, 17:58
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