A term used in the grammatical classification of words, to refer to a class traditionally defined as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words (a description which has been criticized in linguistics, largely on the grounds that many verbs do not ‘act’ in any obvious sense, e.g. seem, be). The formal definition of a verb refers to an element which can display morphological contrasts of tense, aspect, voice, mood, person and number. Functionally, it is the element which, singly or in combination with other verbs (i.e. as a ‘verb phrase’), is used as the minimal predicate of a sentence, co-occurring with a subject. If the predicate contains other elements (e.g. object, complement, adverbial), then it is the verb which more than any other is the unit which influences the choice and extent of these elements; e.g. the verb put takes both an object and a locative adverbial, as in he put the book on the table. In many grammatical theories, accordingly, the verb is considered the most important element in sentence structure.
語法給詞分類的術語，指一類傳統上定義為表示“動作”或“行動”的詞（這種描寫在語言學中遭到批評，主要是許多動詞并不明顯表達“動作”涵義，例如seem“看來”，be“是”）。動詞的形式定義指一個成分有時、體、態、語氣、人稱、數等形態對立。功能上動詞定義為一個成分單獨或與別的動詞結合（即“動詞短語”）用作句子的最小謂語，與主語同現。如果謂語還包含其他成分（例如賓語、補語、狀語），那么是動詞而不是任何其他成分影響這些成分的選擇和范圍；例如，動詞put“放”帶一個賓語和一個處所狀語。如he put the book on the table“他把書放在桌上”。因此在許多語法理論中動詞被視為句子結構最重要的成分。