Chicago Style Workout 45: Verbs, Part 1


Verbs are famous for their ability to show action, but they can also express a condition or a state of being. You might even say (an action) that verbs are (a state of being) the most important part of speech.

This month’s workout, “Verbs, Part 1,” focuses on paragraphs 5.97–116 of CMOS 17.

We can’t cover such an important part of speech in a mere ten questions, so look for “Verbs, Part 2” in the near future.

Subscribers to The Chicago Manual of Style Online may click through to the linked sections of the Manual (cited in the answers). (For a 30-day free trial of CMOS Online, click here.)

Note: Style guides and dictionaries sometimes disagree. This quiz is designed to test your knowledge of The Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition.

[Editors’ note: Chapter 5 of CMOS is quite large, comprising 248 numbered sections on grammar and syntax, plus another hefty chunk on usage. For the sake of variety, workouts will revisit the chapter periodically rather than continuously.]

Chicago Style Workout 45: Verbs, Part 1

1. A verb is the only part of speech that can express a full thought by itself.
2. In We jumped into the lake, the verb “jumped” is
3. A verb whose past-tense and past-participial forms end in ‑ed or ‑d is called
4. Certain past-tense and past-participial forms that end in ‑t rather than ‑d or ‑ed—for example, dreamt instead of dreamed—are
5. A verb that connects its subject to a closely related word in the predicate—like “is” in That snake is venomous or “feel” in I feel sick—is called
6. A linking verb isn’t normally followed by an adverb: I feel bad for you, not I feel badly for you.
7. A verb phrase, which consists of an auxiliary verb and a principal verb, should never be split by an adverb: certainly could happen, not could certainly happen.
8. The form of a verb that is usually listed as a main entry in dictionaries is
9. A verb that ends in ‑ing or ‑ed—like watching or watched—is known as
10. In Running is great exercise, “running” functions as


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4 thoughts on “Chicago Style Workout 45: Verbs, Part 1

  1. Whether it’s possible or not, I think I have communicated a full thought with a noun.

  2. I don’t think your answer to question 6 is correct. For example, I could write “That snake is very large,” and the adverb “very” follows right after the linking verb.

    • True, a word like “very” can occur within the subjective complement. And though the example in question 6 doesn’t illustrate that scenario, we’ve adjusted the wording slightly to account for the possibility.

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