A finite verb is a form of a verb that has a subject (expressed or implied) and can function as the root of an independent clause;[1] an independent clause can, in turn, stand alone as a complete sentence. In many languages, finite verbs are the locus of grammatical information of gender, person, number, tense, aspect, mood, and/or voice.[2] Finite verbs are distinguished from non-finite verbs, such as infinitives, participles, etc., which generally mark these grammatical categories to a lesser degree or not at all, and which appear below the finite verb in the hierarchy of syntactic structure. The finite verbs are in bold in the following sentences, and the non-finite verbs are underlined: Verbs appear in almost all sentences. This sentence is illustrating finite and non-finite verbs. The dog will have been trained well. Tom promises to try to do the work. In many languages (including English), there can be just one finite verb at the root of each clause (unless the finite verbs are coordinated), whereas the number of non-finite verbs can reach up to five or six, or even more, e.g. He was believed to have been told to have himself examined. Finite verbs can appear in dependent clauses as well as independent ones: John said that he enjoyed reading. Something you make yourself seems better than something you buy. Most types of verbs can appear in finite or non-finite form (and sometimes these forms may be identical): for example, the English verb go has the finite forms go, goes, and went, and the non-finite forms go, going and gone. The English modal verbs (can, could, will, etc.) are defective and lack non-finite forms. It might seem that every grammatically complete sentence or clause must contain a finite verb. However, sentences lacking a finite verb were quite common in the old Indo-European languages, and still occur in many present-day languages. The most important type of these are nominal sentences.[3] Another type are sentence fragments described as phrases or minor sentences. In Latin and some Romance languages, there are a few words that can be used to form sentences without verbs, such as Latin ecce, Portuguese eis, French voici and voila, and Italian ecco, all of these translatable as here ... is or here ... are. Some interjections can play the same role. Even in English, utterances that lack a finite verb are common, e.g. Yes., No., Bill!, Thanks., etc. A finite verb is generally expected to have a subject, as it does in all the examples above, although null-subject languages allow the subject to be omitted. For example, in the Latin sentence cogito ergo sum ("I think therefore I am") the finite verbs cogito and sum appear without an explicit subject – the subject is understood to be the first-person personal pronoun, and this information is marked by the way the verbs are inflected. In English, finite verbs lacking subjects are normal in imperative sentences, and also occur in some fragmentary utterances. Come over here! Don't look at him! Doesn't matter.

The first three categories represent agreement information that the finite verb gets from its subject (by way of subject–verb agreement). The second four categories serve to situate the clause content according to time in relation to the speaker (tense), extent to which the action, occurrence, or state is complete (aspect), assessment of reality or desired reality (mood), and relation of the subject to the action or state (voice).