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Verbs usually go after nouns, and say what someone or something is doing: I run; he plays cricket; she likes chocolate; the river flows. To test whether a word is a verb, substitute it for run, plays, likes or flows and see if it has the same function. Let’s test it on a real sentence:
“Our members believe that the analysis and the examples outlined in Chapter 2 of the report do not take into account fully the idiosyncrasies of contract law in the UK.”
People who were taught about grammar at school were probably told “A verb is a doing word”. So what is being done here? Our members are believing something. We can tell it’s a verb because we can put it in phrases like the ones above: I believe; he believes cricket is interesting; she believes chocolate is healthy. The river, being a river, cannot believe anything, but it is still grammatical to say, “The river believes it flows through Shropshire”. Grammar is concerned with the function of words, rather than their meaning, so a sentence can be impossible or nonsensical but still grammatically correct.