What Are Compound Verbs? (with Examples)

What Are Compound Verbs? (with Examples)

A compound verb is a single verb made up of more than one word.

Examples of Compound Verbs

Compound verbs come in one of four forms:

A Prepositional Verb.
  • to opt for
  • to rely on
  • to bow out
A Phrasal Verb
  • to tear off
  • to take away
  • to work out
A Verb with Auxiliaries
  • was running
  • had been taken
  • will be considering
Read more about auxiliary verbs.

A Compound Single-word Verb
  • to flyby
  • to water-proof
  • to babysit

Examples of Compound Verbs in Sentences

Here are some examples of compound verbs in sentences:
  • I believe in equality for everyone, except reporters and photographers. (Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948)
  • (This is a prepositional verb.)
  • Take the miseries away, and you take away some folks' reason for living. (Toni Cade Bambara)
  • (This is a phrasal verb.)
  • It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this. (Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970)
  • (These are examples of a verb with its auxiliaries.)
  • We need to idiot-proof this program against some very talented idiots.
  • (This is a compound single-word verb.)

Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

See Also

What are verbs? What are auxiliary verbs? What are compound adjectives? What are compound nouns? Glossary of grammatical terms