Chapter 1-1-3: Mixed Verbs

Grammar > Parts of Speech > Verbs > Mixed Verbs

A small number of verbs fall into the “mixed” verbs category. Verbs in this category have more than one meaning and that means that, even though the verb is spelled the same, it can have completely different meanings.

This is not too hard to understand if you are a Francophone and you take a look at the French language. One example is the verb jouer (to play). It can take the preposition à or de, depending on what you’re playing: “Playing a game” or “playing an instrument.” Another example is the French verb “planter.” It can mean to put a plant in the ground, but it can also mean to rapidly do something: “Planter un baiser sur la nuque.

So, it’s the same in English. Unfortunately, some mixed verbs behave like "Non-Continuous" verbs while others behave like "normal” verbs. This makes things difficult for second language learners.

☑ If the “Mixed” verb is actually acting as a “Normal” verb, it can be used in all verb tenses.

❎ If the “Mixed” verb is actually acting as a “Non-continuous” verb, it can rarely be used in continuous verb tenses.

Mixed verbs: to appear, to be, to feel, to have, to hear, to look, to miss, to see, to smell, to taste, to think, to weigh, etc.

The following excerpt from provides a list of mixed verbs with examples and definitions:

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