THIS page provides hundreds of example sentences taken from English literature, illustrating the use of various words.

Verb

Below are some examples of sentences from classic literature using words classed as Verbs.

Verbs include words such as:

Arrive, entertain, gather, relax, seem, understand, write.

A Verb expresses action or state, i.e. what something does or is. For example:

• “Emma knows I never flatter her,” said Mr Knightley.
Jane Austen

Some Verbs have a special role in helping other Verbs, and are called ‘auxiliaries’. For example:

Be, do, can (could), have, must, ought, shall (should), will (would).

• “I shall not be easy till I have explained everything.”
• “You must write again very soon.”
• “Why did you not come?” Jane Austen

1

Her entreaty had no effect on Tom.

From ‘Mansfield Park’, by Jane Austen.

2

Let me think what I have achieved.

From ‘David Copperfield’, by Charles Dickens.

3

“You must write again very soon.”

From ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen.

4

Evidently Biddy had taught Joe to write.

From ‘Great Expectations’, by Charles Dickens.

5

The voice of calumny is never silent.

From ‘A Damsel in Distress’, by P.G. Wodehouse.

6

“Well, I ’ll refresh your memory.”

From ‘Mr Standfast’, by John Buchan.

7

“I do feel better,” remarked Mr Mason.

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.

8

Various duties awaited me on my arrival.

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.

9

The clock ticked on through the silence.

From ‘Jill the Reckless’, by P.G. Wodehouse.

10

I am afraid she had no taste for music.

From ‘David Copperfield’, by Charles Dickens.

11

I coasted down a long hill to a bridge.

From ‘Mr Standfast’, by John Buchan.

12

“I could not even see where you were.”

From ‘Northanger Abbey’, by Jane Austen.

13

I advise you to leave me alone, constable.

From ‘The Thirty-Nine Steps’, by John Buchan.

14

I was often out in cold, rain, and sleet.

From ‘Great Expectations’, by Charles Dickens.

15

“You’ve lost your sense of proportion.”

From ‘The Lost World’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

16

His torch dropped head downwards and went out!

From ‘The Hobbit’, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

17

“He had always a taste for low company.”

From ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

18

Can you spare me for an hour or two?”

From ‘Northanger Abbey’, by Jane Austen.

19

“There’s been too much blabbing already.”

From ‘Treasure Island’, by Robert Louis Stevenson.

20

I could scarcely see my way down the ladder.

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.

Picture: These six steam locomotives were special guests of the Threkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, near Keswick in Cumbria, for its steam gala in 2015. © Chris Allen, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. By Peter Trimming, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0.
Featured Word
Can

Can you spare me for an hour or two?”

From ‘Northanger Abbey’, by Jane Austen.

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