main verb


Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to main verb: auxiliary verb

main verb

n.
The verb in a verb phrase that expresses the action, state, or relation and is not an auxiliary verb. In the sentence, The bird has flown, fly is the main verb.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

main′ verb′


n.
a word used as the final verb in a verb phrase, expressing the lexical meaning of the verb phrase, as drink in I don't drink, going in I am going, or spoken in We have spoken.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
While his proposal would work for (2), it would evidently fail for (1), where case assignment for the karman of the main verb differs from that of the gerund.
This is unambiguous because the participle [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] is masculine,(10) and therefore the subject of both main verbs ([GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII]) is masculine, i.e.
verb phrase--a main verb preceded by one or more helping verbs
Its scope had been restricted to the main verb, which it supported in marking its verbal categories of person/number and tense.
Other multiverb constructions may be analyzed as serial verb constructions, or adverbial constructions since the locational verbs in particular appear to have lost some of their main verb properties when used in conjunction with the dispositional or topological verbs.
In Estonian, the syntactically dependent modal auxiliaries are those elements which are used together with a main verb in the infinitive form (Ratsep 1972 : 27) and which do not impose any constraints on the argument that controls the dependent infinitive.
Left is impossible if the main verb is non-preterite.
[The subject is receiving the dusting; was is the helping verb.] Helping verbs always come before the main verb in the sentence, though they may sometimes be separated by other words, as in the question "Did the baker dust the cookie dough with powdered sugar?" Here the verb phrase did dust is split by the subject the baker.
I would argue that intervening material is a matter of convention and that speakers develop ways of overcoming the time they have to wait for the main verb by anticipating what is likely to be said.
Nevertheless, despite the flexibility and variation of the collective noun with respect to verb number, this study demonstrates that the influence of the oblique noun, in particular of its morphology, is one of the determining factors of the plural number of the main verb.
We come to know why the learners insert be in front of the main verb, and why they violate subject-verb agreement rule in the tense under discussion.