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What is a verb?

A verb is a word in a sentence that shows action or connects the subject with information about that subject.

Virtually every sentence must have a verb. There are very few exceptions to this rule.

Regular or irregular?

Verbs can be regular or irregular.

Regular verbs all follow the same conjugation pattern.

Irregular verbs don’t follow the normal conjugation pattern. You will need to memorize the irregular verbs’ conjugations.

Check out our file on Irregular Verbs to see some common irregular verbs and their conjugations.

All regular verbs use the following forms to conjugate all verb tenses.

Root Form

The root form of a verb is its most basic form with no “to” in front of it, and no “-s”, “-ed”, or “-ing” on the end.

You will need to use the root form of the verb to form the simple future tense, some of the present tense, and with modals (should play, could play …).

Examples

  • I will play.
  • He will play.
  • You will play.
  • She could play.
  • We will play.
  • It will play.
  • They might play.

Present Tense

Use the root form of the verb for first person singular (I) and plural (we), second person (you), and third person plural (they) in the present tense. Add “-s” to the third person singular (he, she and it).

Examples

  • I play.
  • He plays.
  • You play.
  • She plays.
  • We play.
  • It plays.
  • They play.

Past Tense

Add “-ed” to form the past tense.

Examples

  • I played.
  • He played.
  • You played.
  • She played.
  • We played.
  • It played.
  • They played.

Past Participle

Add “-ed” to form the past participle.

Examples

  • I have played.
  • He has played.
  • You have played.
  • She has played.
  • We have played.
  • It has played.
  • They have played.

Present Participle

Add “-ing” to make the present participle.

Examples

  • I am playing.
  • He is playing.
  • You are playing.
  • She is playing.
  • We are playing.
  • It is playing.
  • They are playing.

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