home edit page issue tracker

This page pertains to UD version 2.

VerbForm: form of verb or deverbative

Values: Conv Fin Gdv Ger Inf Part Sup Vnoun

Even though the name of the feature seems to suggest that it is used exclusively with verbs, it is not the case. Some verb forms in some languages actually form a gray zone between verbs and other parts of speech (nouns, adjectives and adverbs). For instance, participles may be either classified as verbs or as adjectives, depending on language and context. In both cases VerbForm=Part may be used to separate them from other verb forms or other types of adjectives.

Fin: finite verb

Rule of thumb: if it has non-empty Mood, it is finite. But beware that some tagsets conflate verb forms and moods into one feature.


Inf: infinitive

Infinitive is the citation form of verbs in many languages. Unlike in English, it often has morphological form that is distinct from the finite forms. Infinitives may be used together with auxiliaries to form periphrastic tenses (e.g. future tense [cs] budu sedět v letadle “I will sit in a plane”), they appear as arguments of modal verbs etc. In some languages, e.g. in Hindi, they behave similarly to nouns and are used as such (similar to the gerund in English). Nevertheless, this observation is not universal and, e.g. in Slavic languages, infinitives are quite distinct from verbal nouns.


Sup: supine

Supine is a rare verb form. It survives in some Slavic languages (Slovenian) and is used instead of infinitive as the argument of motion verbs (old [cs] jdu spat lit. I-go sleep).

A form called “supine” also exists in Swedish where it is a special form of the participle, used to form the composite past form of a verb. It is used after the auxiliary verb ha (to have) but not after vara (to be):


Part: participle, verbal adjective

Participle is a non-finite verb form that shares properties of verbs and adjectives. Its usage varies across languages. It may be used to form various periphrastic verb forms such as complex tenses and passives; it may be also used purely adjectively.

Other features may help to distinguish past/present participles (English), active/passive participles (Czech), imperfect/perfect participles (Hindi) etc.


Conv: converb, transgressive, adverbial participle, verbal adverb

The converb, also called adverbial participle or transgressive, is a non-finite verb form that shares properties of verbs and adverbs. It appears e.g. in Slavic and Indo-Aryan languages.

Note that this value was called Trans in UD v1 and it has been renamed Conv in UD v2.


Gdv: gerundive

Used in Latin and Ancient Greek. Not to confuse with gerund.


Ger: gerund

Using VerbForm=Ger is discouraged and alternatives should be considered first because the term gerund is rather confusing: the English gerund is a verbal noun or a converb, and it shares the morphological form with present participle (which may mean that the tagset will not distinguish it from the participle); the gerundio in Spanish and other Romance languages shows some similarities with present participles and with converbs, but not with verbal nouns; likewise, some Slavists use the English term gerund to denote converbs (adverbial participles), which should be labeled VerbForm=Conv; and UD version 1 recommended (inspired by English) to use it for verbal nouns, which in UD v2 should use VerbForm=Vnoun.

However, the feature is still available in UDv2 and can be used if the alternatives do not seem acceptable. The feature may be removed in future versions but comprehensive investigation has to be done first.


Vnoun: verbal noun, masdar

Verbal nouns other than infinitives. Also called masdars by some authors, e.g. Haspelmath, 1995.

While in some languages verbal noun and infinitive may be two labels for the same category (and then the language-specific documentation must specify which label should be used), in other languages these categories are distinct. For example, most Slavic languages have infinitive as a specific, uninflected form of the verb, and they also have derived verbal nouns, which behave much like ordinary nouns, have a noun-like distribution (different from infinitives), and inflect for case and number.



VerbForm in other languages: [ab] [abq] [akk] [bej] [bg] [bm] [cs] [cu] [cy] [el] [eme] [en] [es] [fi] [fr] [ga] [gub] [gun] [hbo] [hu] [hy] [it] [ka] [kpv] [ky] [la] [mdf] [myv] [orv] [pcm] [qpm] [ru] [sl] [sv] [tr] [tt] [u] [uk] [urj]