What are Light Verbs? Examples and Worksheets (PDF)

In English grammar, there are some verbs that do not carry unique meaning on their own but express a complex meaning when combined with some other words. They are known as Light Verbs. These verbs rely on other words to express proper meaning. Depending on the words with which light verbs are associated, they can have a great variety of meanings. Widely used common light verbs are do, take, have, make, give, get, etc. Light verbs are also known as semantically weak verbs, explicator verbs, delexical verbs, vector verbs, thin verbs, or empty verbs.

Examples of Light Verbs

In general, light verbs get their meaning by pairing with a noun or noun phrase. Some examples of light verbs are:

  • Do your homework first and then you can play.
  • Manasi did the cleaning yesterday.
  • Every afternoon, Aharsi takes a nap.
  • Be sure to make your bed once you get up.
  • Firan gets a lot of emails every day.
  • Give him a break now.

In the above sentences, the verb does not provide the exact meaning till they are paired with the words that are collocated with the verb.

Heavy Verbs, Light Verbs, and Auxiliary Verbs

When verbs carry a unique meaning of their own without relying on other additional information to make sense they are known as full verbs or heavy verbs.

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However, auxiliary verbs are quite similar to light verbs. But, auxiliary verbs work with other verbs to make a unique meaning. Auxiliary verbs are usually used to create tense forms, negative forms of verbs, or to express modality.

Depending on how the verbs are used in a sentence, light verbs can work as full verbs. Again, do and have can work either as a light verb or auxiliary verb.

Light Verb Worksheets

Let’s solve the following Light Verbs Worksheets

Light Verbs Worksheet 1: Underline the light verbs in the below-mentioned sentences.

  1. Do you take milk in your tea?
  2. Aharsi made four mistakes in the exam.
  3. Titli got good grades in CBSE final exam.
  4. Take a look of that drawing.
  5. From where did you get so many messages?
  6. Stop making such a fuss.
  7. Come on guys, let’s have lunch!
  8. Uttam had a snooze after dinner.
  9. Do your dishes after lunch.
  10. Have you made any plan for winter vacation?

Light Verbs Worksheet 2: Fill in the blanks with an appropriate light verb.

  1. She _________ an excellent speech for Independence day.
  2. How much do you _________ in return?
  3. He is ___________ an exam in the afternoon.
  4. _________ her word and she will do it.
  5. Can you ___________ the phone, please?
  6. You need to ________ a decision on these.
  7. Always be ready to _________ someone a favor.
  8. She ________ friendship with her new neighbour.
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