Using Verbals and Verbal Phrases for Better Writing

Using Verbals and Verbal Phrases for Better Writing

As marketers and copywriters, we often forget the value of grammar rules in content writing. Verbals and verbal phrases are extremely valuable in creating appealing content for online audiences. There’re several great reasons to actively use them in your content marketing:

  • Verbs are actionable and inspire direct engagement
  • Verbs can make your sentences shorter and more informative
  • Verbs can persuade readers to subscribe or buy something
  • Verbs will improve the quality of your writing regardless of the marketing channel

What’s the secret of using verbals and verbal phrases to your advantage? Are there different types of verbs to consider, and what should you focus on? Let’s tackle those questions and discuss how verbs can help make the content better for your audiences moving forward.

Differentiating Verbals and Verbal Phrases

The first thing we should address is the difference between verbs and verbal phrases. Once we know which is which, using them in content marketing will become that much easier.

Verbs are words that address certain actions or occurrences in the English language. We use them daily without even realizing it, so there’s a good chance you’ve already used them for better writing without realizing it. Some examples of verbs include:

  • Write
  • Create
  • Inspire
  • Develop

Verbal phrases are extensions of verbs. They transform verbs and pair them with other words to create phrases that further explain certain actions. A verb that is a part of a phrase is verbal. Thus, we call verbs paired with other words - verbal phrases. Here are some examples, derived from the previously mentioned verbs:

  • I like writing every day.
  • Creating new artwork is fun!
  • This is an inspiring book.
  • They’re developing a new business model.

As you can see, it’s impossible to mistake verbs for verbals or verbal phrases in content writing. As you experiment, you will realize how easy it is to use both to create captivating content for your audience in different mediums.

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Categories of Verbal Phrases for Better Writing

Let’s dig deeper and learn about different categories of verbal phrases. As we’ve mentioned, content marketers often overlook the value of understanding grammar beyond spell-checking and formatting for digital publishing. Stand out from your colleagues by learning about the three different categories of verbal phrases:

1. Infinite

Infinite verbal phrases combine verbs with the word “to” and are very dynamic when it comes to content creation. We separate infinite verbal phrases into nouns, adjectives, and adverbs depending on their application.

Noun - Tim loves to swim.

Adjective - Do you have a lighter to lend me?

Adverb - Maria tried to cook pasta yesterday.

2. Participle

Participle phrases are different from infinite phrases because they rely on past and present tenses equally. They usually end in -ed or -ing and refer to a past action. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

While writing his book, John is relaxed.

Enjoying doing artwork, she built her career.

3. Gerund

Gerund uses the gerund type of verbal form to create a verbal phrase. These phrases are nouns and that differentiates them from participle phrases which are exclusively adjectives. Let’s take a look at a few right now:

Samantha enjoys eating tuna salad.

Chris likes repairing old cars.

As you can see, you’ve probably used verbals and verbal phrases in your content marketing more times than you could count. With this knowledge in hand, however, you can start using verbals more deliberately and direct your readers into certain actions online. Let’s look at a few practical tips before we wrap up to give you good direction.

Practical Verbal and Verbal Phrases Applications in Writing

  • Engage your Readers with Actionable Phrases

Using verbal phrases in your content can make your writing more actionable and engaging. This is great for website navigation, blog post titles, metadata, and short-form content. Once readers spot actionable verbals in your content, they will be far more likely to interact with those content pieces.

  • Creating Calls to Action with Verbal Phrases

Calls to action are ripe for verbal phrase application. Whether you write content for eCommerce, social media, or email, calls to action with verbal phrases will convert more leads for your business. They will appeal to your readers’ emotional triggers and ensure that they take direct action inspired by your CTA.

  • Omnichannel Marketing Content Writing

As you might have guessed, verbal phrases can be used in a wide range of content marketing channels. Email marketing, social media, instant messaging, and even blog content and website navigation are on the table. Mix and match verbals in your content to make it stand out in your readers’ eyes and to improve their conversion rates.

Getting Started 

Verbals and verbal phrases are irreplaceable parts of content marketing. Whether you write blog posts, social media status updates, or long-form papers and documents, verbal phrases have to find their way into your content. With them, you will create far more legible, engaging, and informative content than without them. 

Try to deliberately mix different verbals into your content going forward and gauge your audiences’ reaction to them. You will find a healthy balance of using verbals with other content just as you do with SEO and thus create better writing.