How to Build Sentences With Multiple Verbs


While there are many ways to increase writing skills, building sentences with multiple verbs creates interesting and active prose. When composing a paper for university or high school, creating sentences that avoid a passive voice is imperative. A passive voice is any sentence that relies on "to be" verbs or where the noun does not actively partake in the action. By practicing sentences with multiple verbs, writers can develop the skills necessary to improve their prose and improve their writing skills.

  • Write a simple sentence with one verb and only a few words. Example: "The cow jumped over the moon." By starting somewhere easy and comfortable, taking the leap to multiple verbs can be a bit less harrowing and complicated. Then compose a second sentence, still with only one verb, and somehow related to the first. Example: "The dish ran away with the spoon." The simpler the sentences, the more easily and cohesively they can be combined.

  • Combine the two sentences with a conjunction, such as "and," "but," or "or." Example: "The cow jumped over the moon, and the dish ran away with the spoon." Now you are left with a compound sentence, built out of two smaller sentences, that contains two verbs. The sentences can also be combined with a semi-colon, making one sentence out of two complete sentences. It will look like this: "The cow jumped over the moon; the dish ran away with the spoon."

  • Create another simple sentence. Example: "Sally dropped the ball."" What was Sally doing before she dropped the ball? Perhaps Sally heard a loud noise. Now, the sentence becomes: "When Sally heard a loud noise she dropped the ball." The sentence now has two verbs, "heard" and "dropped."

  • Determine what action you would like to take place in a sentence. If you know the subject will go to the theater, but are not sure how she will get there, think about different actions she could take. For example: "While walking to the store, Rebecca decided to stop at the movies." Rebecca has undertaken three actions: she walked, she made a decision, and she stopped.

  • Begin the sentence with an introductory clause. According to the Online Writing Lab at Purdue University, introductory clauses "are dependent clauses that provide background information or 'set the stage' for the main part of the sentence, the independent clause." Introductory clauses introduce the action, making multiple verbs necessary. Example: "While waiting for her order, Carmen called her mother." Carmen has done two things: waited and called.


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