Traditional grammars define verbs as “words that denote an action or a state of being.” Verb phrases consist of a verb plus any modifiers, complements, objects, particles, infinitive markers, and auxiliaries.
In grammar, a verb phrase head is the word that functions as the head of the verb phrase. Only verbs can function as verb phrase heads. Examples of verbs as verb phrase heads include the following:
- am crying
- had bitten
- could have been being painted
- throw up
- might read the new novel
- look into the problem
- has given me a headache
Verb as Verb Phrase Head
Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.