Glossary of English Grammar Terms

Active Voice In the active voice, the subject of the verb does the action (eg They killed the President). See also Passive Voice. Adjective A word like big, red, easy, French etc. An adjective describes a noun or pronoun. Adverb A word like slowly, quietly, well, often etc. An adverb modifies a verb. Article The "indefinite" articles are a and an. The "definite article" is the. Auxiliary Verb A verb that is used with a main verb. Be, do and have are auxiliary verbs. Can, may, must etc are modal auxiliary verbs. Clause A group of words containing a subject and its verb (for example: It was late when he arrived). Conjunction A word used to connect words, phrases and clauses (for example: and, but, if). Infinitive The basic form of a verb as in to work or work. Interjection An exclamation inserted into an utterance without grammatical connection (for example: oh!, ah!, ouch!, well!). Modal Verb An auxiliary verb like can, may, must etc that modifies the main verb and expresses possibility, probability etc. It is also called "modal auxiliary verb". Noun A word like table, dog, teacher, America etc. A noun is the name of an object, concept, person or place. A "concrete noun" is something you can see or touch like a person or car. An "abstract noun" is something that you cannot see or touch like a decision or happiness. A "countable noun" is something that you can count (for example: bottle, song, dollar). An "uncountable noun" is something that you cannot count (for example: water, music, money).

Object In the active voice, a noun or its equivalent that receives the action of the verb. In the passive voice, a noun or its equivalent that does the action of the verb. Participle The -ing and -ed forms of verbs. The -ing form is called the "present participle". The -ed form is called the "past participle" (for irregular verbs, this is column 3). Part Of Speech One of the eight classes of word in English - noun, verb, adjective, adverb, pronoun, preposition, conjunction and interjection. Passive Voice In the passive voice, the subject receives the action of the verb (eg The President was killed). See also Active Voice. Phrase A group of words not containing a subject and its verb (eg on the table, the girl in a red dress). Predicate Each sentence contains (or implies) two parts: a subject and a predicate. The predicate is what is said about the subject. Preposition A word like at, to, in, over etc. Prepositions usually come before a noun and give information about things like time, place and direction. Pronoun A word like I, me, you, he, him, it etc. A pronoun replaces a noun. Sentence A group of words that express a thought. A sentence conveys a statement, question, exclamation or command. A sentence contains or implies a subject and a predicate. In simple terms, a sentence must contain a verb and (usually) a subject. A sentence starts with a capital letter and ends with a full stop (.), question mark (?) or exclamation mark (!). Subject Every sentence contains (or implies) two parts: a subject and a predicate. The subject is the main noun (or equivalent) in a sentence about which something is said. Tense The form of a verb that shows us when the action or state happens (past, present or future). Note that the name of a tense is not always a guide to when the action happens.

The "present continuous tense", for example, can be used to talk about the present or the future. Verb A word like (to) work, (to) love, (to) begin. A verb describes an action or state.

English Parts of Speech
There are thousands of words in any language. But not all words have the same job. For example, some words express "action". Other words express a "thing". Other Some grammar books categorize English into words "join" one word to another word. 9 or 10 parts of speech. At English Club, we These are the "building blocks" of the use the traditional categorization of 8 parts of language. Think of them like the parts of speech (see Table for more details). a house. When we want to build a house, we use concrete to make the foundations or base. We use bricks to make the walls. We use window frames to make the windows, and door frames to make the doorways. And we use cement to join them all together. Each part of the house has its own job. And when we want to build a sentence, we use the different types of word. Each type of word has its own job. We can categorize English words into 8 basic types or classes. These classes are called "parts of speech". It's quite important to recognize parts of speech. This helps you to analyze sentences and understand them. It also helps you to construct good sentences. In this lesson, we have an overview of the eight parts of speech, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:
• • •

Parts of Speech Table Parts of Speech Examples Words with More than One Job

Parts of Speech Table
This is a summary of the 8 parts of speech*. You can find more detail if you click on each part of speech. part of speech Verb function or "job" action or state example words (to) be, have, do, like, work, sing, can, must pen, dog, work, music, town, London, teacher, John a/an, the, 69, some, good, big, red, well, interesting quickly, silently, well, badly, very, really I, you, he, she, some to, at, after, on, but and, but, when example sentences EnglishClub.com is a web site. I like EnglishClub.com. This is my dog. He lives in my house. We live in London. My dog is big. I like big dogs. My dog eats quickly. When he is very hungry, he eats really quickly. Tara is Indian. She is beautiful. We went to school on Monday. I like dogs and I like cats. I like cats and dogs. I like dogs but I don't like cats.

Noun

thing or person

Adjective

describes a noun

Adverb

describes a verb, adjective or adverb replaces a noun links a noun to another word joins clauses or sentences or words short exclamation, sometimes inserted into a sentence

Pronoun Preposition Conjunction

Interjection

oh!, ouch!, hi!, well Ouch! That hurts! Hi! How are you? Well, I don't know.

* Some grammar sources categorize English into 9 or 10 parts of speech. At EnglishClub.com, we use the traditional categorization of 8 parts of speech. Examples of other categorizations are:

Verbs may be treated as two different parts of speech: o Lexical Verbs (work, like, run) o Auxiliary Verbs (be, have, must)

Determiners may be treated as a separate part of speech, instead of being categorized under Adjectives

Parts of Speech Examples »

Parts of Speech Examples
Here are some sentences made with different English parts of speech: verb Stop! pronoun She noun Tara pronoun She pron. She noun John verb loves verb speaks verb ran verb works. noun animals. noun English adverb well. noun John noun Animals verb verb is working. verb like adjective kind verb speaks noun people. adjective good noun English.

noun Tara

preposition to noun snakes

adjective noun the conjunction but

adverb

station quickly. pron. I verb hate pron. them.

verb adj. likes big

Here is a sentence that contains every part of speech: interjection Well, pron. she conj. and adj. young noun John verb prep. walk to noun school adverb slowly.

Words with More than One Job »

Words with More than One Job
Many words in English can have more than one job, or be more than one part of speech. For example, "work" can be a verb and a noun; "but" can be a conjunction and a preposition; "well" can be an adjective, an adverb and an interjection. In addition, many nouns can act as adjectives. To analyze the part of speech, ask yourself: "What job is this word doing in this sentence?" In the table below you can see a few examples. Of course, there are more, even for some of the words in the table. In fact, if you look in a good dictionary you will see that the word but has six jobs to do:

verb, noun, adverb, pronoun, preposition and conjuction! part of speech noun verb example My work is easy. I work in London. John came but Mary didn't come. Everyone came but Mary. Are you well? She speaks well. Well! That's expensive! We ate in the afternoon.

word work

but

conjunction preposition

well

adjective adverb interjection

afternoon noun

noun acting as adjective We had afternoon tea.

What are Verbs?
The verb is king in English. The shortest sentence contains a verb. You can make a one-word sentence with a verb, for example: "Stop!" You cannot make a one-word sentence with any other type of word. Verbs are sometimes described as "action words". This is partly true. Many verbs give the idea of action, of "doing" something. For example, words like run, fight, do and work all convey action. But some verbs do not give the idea of action; they give the idea of existence, of state, of "being". For example, verbs like be, exist, seem and belong all convey state. A verb always has a subject. (In the sentence "John speaks English", John is the subject and speaks is the verb.) In simple terms, therefore, we can say that verbs are words that tell us what a subject does or is; they describe:
• •

action (Ram plays football.) state (Anthony seems kind.)

There is something very special about verbs in English. Most other words (adjectives, adverbs, prepositions etc) do not change in form (although nouns can have singular and plural forms). But almost all verbs change in form. For example, the verb to work has five forms:

to work, work, works, worked, working

Of course, this is still very few forms compared to some languages which may have thirty or more forms for a single verb. In this lesson we look at the ways in which we classify verbs, followed by a quiz to test your understanding:
• • •

Verb Classification Helping Verbs Main Verbs

Verb Classification
We divide verbs into two broad classifications:

1. Helping Verbs
Imagine that a stranger walks into your room and says:
• • •

I can. People must. The Earth will.

Do you understand anything? Has this person communicated anything to you? Probably not! That's because these verbs are helping verbs and have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the grammatical structure of the sentence, but they do not tell us very much alone. We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. They "help" the main verb. (The sentences in the above examples are therefore incomplete. They need at least a main verb to complete them.) There are only about 15 helping verbs.

2. Main Verbs
Now imagine that the same stranger walks into your room and says:
• • •

I teach. People eat. The Earth rotates.

Do you understand something? Has this person communicated something to you? Probably yes! Not a lot, but something. That's because these verbs are main verbs and have meaning on their own. They tell us something. Of course, there are thousands of main verbs. In the following table we see example sentences with helping verbs and main verbs. Notice that all of these sentences have a main verb. Only some of them have a helping verb. helping verb John You They main verb likes lied are coffee. to me. happy.

The children We I

are must do not

playing. go want now. any.

Helping verbs and main verbs can be further sub-divided, as we shall see on the following pages. Helping Verbs »

Helping Verbs
Helping verbs have no meaning on their own. They are necessary for the Helping verbs are also called "auxiliary grammatical structure of a sentence, but verbs". they do not tell us very much alone. We usually use helping verbs with main verbs. They "help" the main verb (which has the real meaning). There are only about 15 helping verbs in English, and we divide them into two basic groups:

Primary helping verbs (3 verbs)
These are the verbs be, do, and have. Note that we can use these three verbs as helping verbs or as main verbs. On this page we talk about them as helping verbs. We use them in the following cases:

be
o o

to make continuous tenses (He is watching TV.) to make the passive (Small fish are eaten by big fish.)

have
o

to make perfect tenses (I have finished my homework.)

do
o o o o

to make negatives (I do not like you.) to ask questions (Do you want some coffee?) to show emphasis (I do want you to pass your exam.) to stand for a main verb in some constructions (He speaks faster than she does.)

Modal helping verbs (10 verbs)
We use modal helping verbs to "modify" the meaning of the main verb in some way. A modal helping verb expresses necessity or possibility, and changes the main verb in that sense. These are the modal verbs:
• • •

can, could may, might will, would,

• • •

shall, should must ought to

Here are examples using modal verbs:
• • • • •

I can't speak Chinese. John may arrive late. Would you like a cup of coffee? You should see a doctor. I really must go now.

Main Verbs » Semi-modal verbs (3 verbs) The following verbs are often called "semimodals" because they are partly like modal helping verbs and partly like main verbs:
• • •

need dare used to

Main Verbs
Main verbs are also called "lexical verbs".

Main verbs have meaning on their own (unlike helping verbs). There are thousands of main verbs, and we can classify them in several ways:

Transitive and intransitive verbs
A transitive verb takes a direct object: Somebody killed the President. An intransitive verb does not have a direct object: He died. Many verbs, like speak, can be transitive or intransitive. Look at these examples: transitive:
• • •

I saw an elephant. We are watching TV. He speaks English.

intransitive:
• • •

He has arrived. John goes to school. She speaks fast.

Linking verbs
A linking verb does not have much meaning in itself. It "links" the subject to what is said about the subject. Usually, a linking verb shows equality (=) or a change to a different state or place (>). Linking verbs are always intransitive (but not all intransitive verbs are linking verbs).
• • • • •

Mary is a teacher. (mary = teacher) Tara is beautiful. (tara = beautiful) That sounds interesting. (that = interesting) The sky became dark. (the sky > dark) The bread has gone bad. (bread > bad)

Dynamic and stative verbs
Some verbs describe action. They are called "dynamic", and can be used with continuous tenses. Other verbs describe state (non-action, a situation). They are called "stative", and cannot normally be used with continuous tenses (though some of them can be used with continuous tenses with a change in meaning). dynamic verbs (examples):

hit, explode, fight, run, go

stative verbs (examples):
• • • • • •

be like, love, prefer, wish impress, please, surprise hear, see, sound belong to, consist of, contain, include, need appear, resemble, seem

Regular and irregular verbs
This is more a question of vocabulary than of grammar. The only real difference between regular and irregular verbs is that they have different endings for their past tense and past participle forms. For regular verbs, the past tense ending and past participle ending is always the same: -ed. For irregular verbs, the past tense ending and the past participle ending is variable, so it is necessary to learn them by heart. regular verbs: base, past tense, past participle
• •

look, looked, looked work, worked, worked

irregular verbs: base, past tense, past participle
• • •

buy, bought, bought cut, cut, cut do, did, done

Here are lists of regular verbs and irregular verbs.

One way to think of regular and irregular verbs is like this: all verbs are irregular and the so-called regular verbs are simply one very large group of irregular verbs. Often the above divisions can be mixed. For example, one verb could be irregular, transitive and dynamic; another verb could be regular, transitive and stative.

Verb Forms
English verbs come in several forms. For example, the verb to sing can be: to sing, sing, sang, sung, singing or sings. This is a total of 6 forms. Not many, considering that some languages (French, for example) have more than 30 forms for an individual verb. English tenses may be quite complicated, but the forms that we use to make the tenses are actually very simple! With the exception of the verb to be, English main verbs have only 4, 5 or 6 forms. To be has 9 forms. Do not confuse verb forms with tenses. We use the different verb forms to make the tenses, but they are not the same thing. In this lesson we look at the forms of main verbs and helping (auxiliary) verbs, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:
• •

Forms of Main Verbs Forms of Helping Verbs

Forms of Main Verbs
Main verbs (except the verb "be") have only 4, 5 or 6 forms. "Be" has 9 forms. V1 infinitive base V2 past simple worked Main verbs are also called "lexical verbs". V3 past participle worked sung made cut done had past participle been present participle working singing making cutting doing having present participle being present simple, 3rd person singular works sings makes cuts does has present simple am, are, is

regular

(to) work (to) sing (to) make (to) cut

work

sing sang make made cut cut did had past simple was, were

irregular

(to) do* do (to) have* have infinitive (to) be* base be

In the above examples:
• • • •

to cut has 4 forms: to cut, cut, cutting, cuts to work has 5 forms: to work, work, worked, working, works to sing has 6 forms: to sing, sing, sang, sung, singing, sings to be has 9 forms: to be, be, was, were, been, being, am, is, are

The infinitive can be with or without to. For example, to sing and sing are both infinitives. We often call the infinitive without to the "bare infinitive". At school, students usually learn by heart the base, past simple and past participle (sometimes called V1, V2, V3, meaning Verb 1, Verb 2, Verb 3) for the irregular verbs. They may spend many hours chanting: sing, sang, sung; go, went, gone; have, had, had; etc. They do not learn these for the regular verbs because the past simple and past participle are always the same: they are formed by adding "-ed" to the base. They do not learn the present participle and 3rd person singular present simple by heart—for another very simple reason: they never change. The present participle is always made by adding "-ing" to the base, and the 3rd person singular present simple is always made by adding "s" to the base (though there are some variations in spelling). * Note that "do", "have" and "be" also function as helping or auxiliary verbs, with exactly the same forms (except that as helping verbs they are never in infinitive form).

Example Sentences
These example sentences use main verbs in different forms.

Infinitive
• • • • •

I want to work He has to sing. This exercise is easy to do. Let him have one. To be, or not to be, that is the question:

Base - Imperative
• • • •

Work well! Make this. Have a nice day. Be quiet!

Base - Present simple (except 3rd person singular)
• • •

I work in London. You sing well. They have a lot of money.

Base - After modal auxiliary verbs
• • • •

I can work tomorrow. You must sing louder. They might do it. You could be right.

Past simple
• • • •

I worked yesterday. She cut his hair last week. They had a good time. They were surprised, but I was not.

Past participle
• • • •

I have worked here for five years. He needs a folder made of plastic. It is done like this. I have never been so happy.

Present participle
• • • •

I am working. Singing well is not easy. Having finished, he went home. You are being silly!

3rd person singular, present simple
• • • •

He works in London. She sings well. She has a lot of money. It is Vietnamese.

Forms of Helping Verbs »

Forms of Helping Verbs
All helping verbs are used with a main verb (either expressed or understood*). There are 2 groups of helping verbs:
• •

Helping verbs are also called "auxiliary verbs".

Primary helping verbs, used mainly to change the tense or voice of the main verb, and in making questions and negatives. Modal helping verbs, used to change the "mood" of the main verb.

Study the table below. It shows the prinicipal forms and uses of helping verbs, and explains the differences between primary and modal helping verbs. * Sometimes we make a sentence that has a helping verb and seems to have no main verb. In fact, the main verb is "understood". Look at the following examples:
• •

Question: Can you speak English? (The main verb speak is "expressed".) Answer: Yes, I can. (The main verb speak is not expressed. It is "understood" from the context. We understand: Yes, I can speak English.

But if somebody walked into the room and said "Hello. I can", we would understand nothing! Helping Verbs Primary do (to make simple tenses, and questions and negatives) Modal can could

be have

(to make continuous tenses, and the passive voice) (to make perfect tenses)

may will shall must ought (to)

might would should

"Do", "be" and "have" as helping verbs have exactly the same forms as when they are main verbs (except that as helping verbs they are never used in infinitive forms). Primary helping verbs are followed by the main verb in a particular form:
• • •

Modal helping verbs are invariable. They always have the same form.

do + V1 (base verb) be + -ing (present participle) have + V3 (past participle)

"Ought" is followed by the main verb in infinitive form. Other modal helping verbs are followed by the main verb in its base form (V1).
• •

ought + to... (infinitive) other modals + V1 (base verb)

"Do", "be" and "have" can also function as main Modal helping verbs cannot function as verbs. main verbs

What is Tense?
tense (noun): a form of a verb used to indicate the time, and sometimes the continuation or completeness, of an action in relation to the time of speaking. (From Latin tempus = time).

Tense is a method that we use in English to refer to time—past, present and future. Many languages use tenses to talk about time. Other languages have no tenses, but of course they can still talk about time, using different methods. So, we talk about time in English with tenses. But, and this is a very big but:
• •

we can also talk about time without using tenses (for example, going to is a special construction to talk about the future, it is not a tense) one tense does not always talk about one time (see Tense & Time for more about this)

Here are some of the terms used in discussing verbs and tenses.

Mood
indicative mood expresses a simple statement of fact, which can be positive (affirmative) or negative
• •

I like coffee. I do not like coffee.

interrogative mood expresses a question

Why do you like coffee?

imperative mood expresses a command

Sit down!

subjunctive mood expresses what is imagined or wished or possible

The President ordered that he attend the meeting.

Voice
Voice shows the relationship of the subject to the action. In the active voice, the subject does the action (cats eat mice). In the passive voice, the subject receives the action (mice are eaten by cats). Among other things, we can use voice to help us change the focus of attention.

Aspect
Aspect expresses a feature of the action related to time, such as completion or duration. Present simple and past simple tenses have no aspect, but if we wish we can stress with other tenses that:

the action or state referred to by the verb is completed (and often still relevant), for example: I have emailed the report to Jane. (so now she has the report) (This is called perfective aspect, using perfect tenses.) the action or state referred to by the verb is in progress or continuing (that is, uncompleted), for example: We are eating. (This is called progressive aspect, using progressive [continuous] tenses.)

Tense & Time »

Tense & Time
It is important not to confuse the name of a verb tense with the way we use it to talk about time. For example, a present tense does not always refer to present time:

I hope it rains tomorrow. "rains" is present simple, but it refers here to future time (tomorrow)

Or a past tense does not always refer to past time:

If I had some money now, I could buy it. "had" is past simple but it refers here to present time (now)

The following examples show how different tenses can be used to talk about different times. TIME TENSE past Present Simple She likes coffee. present I want a coffee. future I leave tomorrow.

I am having dinner. Present Continuous They Present Perfect Simple Present Perfect Continuous I have seen ET. I have been playing tennis. We have been working for four hours. Past Simple I finished one hour ago. I was working at 2am this morning. I had not eaten for 24 hours. We had been working for 3 hours. If I had been working now, I would have missed you. Hold on. I'll do it now. If she loved you now, she would marry you. are living I have finished. in

I am taking my exam next month. London.

If you came tomorrow, you would see her.

Past Continuous Past Perfect Simple

Past Perfect Continuous

If I had been working tomorrow, I could not have agreed. I'll see you tomorrow. I will be working at 9pm tonight. I will have finished by 9pm tonight.

Future Simple Future Continuous

Future Perfect Simple

We will have been married for ten years next month. They may be tired when you arrive because they will have been working. In 30 minutes, we will have been working for four hours.

Future Perfect Continuous

Basic Tenses »

Basic Tenses
For past and present, there are 2 simple tenses + 6 complex tenses (using auxiliary verbs). To these, we can add 4 "modal tenses" for the future (using modal auxiliary verbs will/shall). This makes a total of 12 tenses in the active voice. Another 12 tenses are available in the passive voice. So now we have 24 tenses. 24 Tenses simple tenses complex tenses formed with auxiliary verbs ACTIVE past continuous past perfect continuous present continuous present perfect continuous future continuous future perfect continuous past past past perfect present present present perfect future* future future perfect

past past perfect PASSIVE past continuous past perfect continuous

present present perfect present continuous present perfect continuous

future future perfect future continuous future perfect continuous

Some grammar books use the word progressive instead of continuous. They are exactly the same. The use of tenses in English may be quite complicated, but the structure of English tenses is actually very simple. The basic structure for a positive sentence is:

subject + auxiliary verb + main verb
An auxiliary verb is used in all tenses. (In the simple present and simple past tenses, the auxiliary verb is usually suppressed for the affirmative, but it does exist for intensification.) The following table shows the 12 tenses for the verb to work in the active voice. structure past auxiliary normal simple intensive perfect do have base past participle present participle -ing present participle -ing I did work I had worked I was working I had been working I do work I have worked I am working I have been working I will have worked I will be working I will have been working main verb I worked I work I will work present future*

continuous

be

continuous perfect

have been

* Technically, there are no future tenses in English. The word will is a modal auxiliary verb and future tenses are sometimes called "modal tenses". The examples are included here for convenience and comparison. Regular Verbs »

Basic Tenses: Regular Verb
Regular verbs list This page shows the basic tenses with the regular verb work. It includes the affirmative or positive form (+), the negative form (-) and the interrogative or question form (?). The basic structure is:
positive: negative: question:

+ subject + auxiliary verb + main verb - subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb ? auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

These are the forms of the main verb that we use to construct the tenses:

base verb past work worked

past participle worked

present participle -ing working

past SIMPLE do + base verb (except future: will + base verb)

present I do work I work I do not work Do I work? I have worked I have not worked Have I worked? I am working I am not working Am I working? I have been working I have not been working Have I been working?

future I will work I will not work Will I work? I will have worked I will not have worked Will I have worked? I will be working I will not be working Will I be working? I will have been working I will not have been working Will I have been working?

+ ?

I did work I worked I did not work Did I work? I had worked I had not worked Had I worked? I was working I was not working Was I working? I had been working I had not been working Had I been working?

SIMPLE PERFECT have + past participle

+ ?

CONTINUOUS be + ing

+ ?

CONTINUOUS PERFECT have been + ing

+ ?

Irregular Verbs »

Regular Verbs List
There are thousands of regular verbs in English. This is a list of 600 of the more common regular verbs. Note that there are some spelling variations in American English (for example, "practise" becomes "practice" in American English).
• • • • • • • • • • •

accept add admire admit advise afford agree alert back bake balance

• • • • • • • • • • •

allow amuse analyse announce annoy answer apologise appear beg behave belong

• • • • • • • • • • •

applaud appreciate approve argue arrange arrest arrive ask boil bolt bomb

• • • • • •

attach attack attempt attend attract avoid

• • •

brake branch breathe

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

ban bang bare bat bathe battle beam calculate call camp care carry carve cause challenge change charge chase cheat check cheer chew dam damage dance dare decay deceive decide decorate delay delight earn educate embarrass employ empty encourage face fade fail

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

bleach bless blind blink blot blush boast choke chop claim clap clean clear clip close coach coil collect colour comb command communicate deliver depend describe desert deserve destroy detect develop disagree disappear end enjoy enter entertain escape examine fetch file fill

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

book bore borrow bounce bow box brake compare compete complain complete concentrate concern confess confuse connect consider consist contain continue copy correct disapprove disarm discover dislike divide double doubt drag drain dream excite excuse exercise exist expand expect flash float flood

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

bruise brush bubble bump burn bury buzz cough count cover crack crash crawl cross crush cry cure curl curve cycle

• • • • • • •

dress drip drop drown drum dry dust

• • •

explain explode extend

• • •

force form found

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

fancy fasten fax fear fence gather gaze glow glue hammer hand handle hang happen harass identify ignore imagine impress improve include jail jam kick kill label land last laugh launch man manage march mark marry match mate

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

film fire fit fix flap grab grate grease greet harm hate haunt head heal heap increase influence inform inject injure instruct jog join kiss kneel learn level license lick lie matter measure meddle melt memorise mend mess up

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

flow flower fold follow fool grin grip groan guarantee heat help hook hop hope hover intend interest interfere interrupt introduce invent joke judge knit knock lighten like list listen live milk mine miss mix moan moor mourn

• • •

frame frighten fry

• • • • • • •

guard guess guide hug hum hunt hurry

• • •

invite irritate itch

• • •

juggle jump knot

• • • • • • • • • •

load lock long look love move muddle mug multiply murder

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

nail name obey object observe pack paddle paint park part pass paste pat pause peck pedal peel peep perform question race radiate rain raise reach realise receive recognise record reduce reflect sack sail satisfy save saw scare scatter scold scorch scrape

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

need nest obtain occur offend permit phone pick pinch pine place plan plant play please plug point poke polish queue refuse regret reign reject rejoice relax release rely remain remember remind shiver shock shop shrug sigh sign signal sin sip ski

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nod note offer open order pop possess post pour practise pray preach precede prefer prepare present preserve press pretend remove repair repeat replace reply report reproduce request rescue retire return soothe sound spare spark sparkle spell spill spoil spot spray

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notice number overflow owe own prevent prick print produce program promise protect provide pull pump punch puncture punish push rhyme rinse risk rob rock roll rot rub ruin rule rush stop store strap strengthen stretch strip stroke stuff subtract succeed

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scratch scream screw scribble scrub seal search separate serve settle shade share shave shelter talk tame tap taste tease telephone tempt terrify test thank undress unfasten vanish wail wait walk wander want warm warn wash x-ray yawn zip

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skip slap slip slow smash smell smile smoke snatch sneeze sniff snore snow soak thaw tick tickle tie time tip tire touch tour tow unite unlock visit waste watch water wave weigh welcome whine whip yell

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sprout squash squeak squeal squeeze stain stamp stare start stay steer step stir stitch trace trade train transport trap travel treat tremble trick trip unpack untidy whirl whisper whistle wink wipe wish wobble wonder

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suck suffer suggest suit supply support suppose surprise surround suspect suspend switch

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trot trouble trust try tug tumble turn twist type use

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work worry wrap wreck wrestle wriggle

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Basic Tenses: Irregular Verb
Irregular verbs list This page shows the basic tenses with the irregular verb sing. It includes the affirmative or positive form (+), the negative form (-) and the interrogative or question form (?). The basic structure is:
positive: negative: question:

+ subject + auxiliary verb + main verb - subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb ? auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

These are the forms of the main verb that we use to construct the tenses: base verb past sing sang past participle present participle -ing sung singing

past

present

future

SIMPLE do + base verb (except future: will + base verb)

+ ?

I did sing I sang I did not sing Did I sing? I had sung I had not sung Had I sung? I was singing I was not singing Was I singing? I had been singing I had not been singing Had I been singing?

I do sing I sing I do not sing Do I sing? I have sung I have not sung Have I sung? I am singing I am not singing Am I singing? I have been singing I have not been singing Have I been singing?

I will sing I will not sing Will I sing? I will have sung I will not have sung Will I have sung? I will be singing I will not be singing Will I be singing? I will have been singing I will not have been singing Will I have been singing?

SIMPLE PERFECT have + past participle

+ ?

CONTINUOUS be + -ing

+ ?

CONTINUOUS PERFECT have been + -ing

+ ?

The basic structure of tenses for regular verbs and irregular verbs is exactly the same (except to be). The only difference is that with regular verbs the past and past participle are always the same (worked, worked), while with irregular verbs the past and past participle are not always the same (sang, sung). But the structure is the same! It will help you a great deal to really understand that. Be »

Irregular Verbs List
This is a list of some irregular verbs in English. Of course, there are many others, but these are the more common irregular verbs. Base Form awake be beat become begin bend bet bid bite blow Past Simple awoke was, were beat became began bent bet bid bit blew Past Participle awoken been beaten become begun bent bet bid bitten blown

break bring broadcast build burn buy catch choose come cost cut dig do draw dream drive drink eat fall feel fight find fly

broke brought broadcast built burned/burnt bought caught chose came cost cut dug did drew dreamed/dreamt drove drank ate fell felt fought found flew

broken brought broadcast built burned/burnt bought caught chosen come cost cut dug done drawn dreamed/dreamt driven drunk eaten fallen felt fought found flown

forget forgive freeze get give go grow hang have hear hide hit hold hurt keep know lay lead learn leave lend let lie

forgot forgave froze got gave went grew hung had heard hid hit held hurt kept knew laid led learned/learnt left lent let lay

forgotten forgiven frozen gotten given gone grown hung had heard hidden hit held hurt kept known laid led learned/learnt left lent let lain

lose make mean meet pay put read ride ring rise run say see sell send show shut sing sit sleep speak spend stand

lost made meant met paid put read rode rang rose ran said saw sold sent showed shut sang sat slept spoke spent stood

lost made meant met paid put read ridden rung risen run said seen sold sent showed/shown shut sung sat slept spoken spent stood

swim take teach tear tell think throw understand wake wear win write

swam took taught tore told thought threw understood woke wore won wrote

swum taken taught torn told thought thrown understood woken worn won written

Basic Tenses: Be
This page shows the basic tenses with the verb be. It includes the affirmative or positive form (+), the negative form (-) and the interrogative or question form (?). The basic structure is:
positive: negative: question:

+ subject + auxiliary verb + main verb - subject + auxiliary verb + not + main verb ? auxiliary verb + subject + main verb

But for simple past and simple present tenses, the structure is not the same. In fact, it's even easier. There is no auxiliary verb. Here is the structure:

positive: negative: question:

+ subject + main verb - subject + main verb + not ? main verb + subject

These are the forms of the main verb be that we use to construct the tenses: base past simple be was, were past participle present participle been being present simple am, are, is

past SIMPLE present simple or past simple (except future: will + be)

present I am I am not Am I? I have been I have not been Have I been? I am being I am not being Am I being? I have been being I have not been being Have I been being?

future I will be I will not be Will I be? I will have been I will not have been Will I have been? I will be being I will not be being Will I be being? I will have been being I will not have been being Will I have been being?

+ ? +

I was I was not Was I? I had been I had not been Had I been? I was being I was not being Was I being? I had been being I had not been being Had I been being?

SIMPLE PERFECT have + been

? +

CONTINUOUS be + being

?

CONTINUOUS PERFECT have been + being

+ ?

In the following table, we see be conjugated for 12 basic tenses.

SIMPLE I singular you he/she/it we plural you they PERFECT I singular you he/she/it we plural you they CONTINUOUS I singular you he/she/it we plural you they CONTINUOUS PERFECT

past was were was were were were past had been had been had been had been had been had been past was being were being was being were being were being were being past

present am are is are are are present have been have been has been have been have been have been present am being are being is being are being are being are being present

future will be will be will be will be will be will be future will have been will have been will have been will have been will have been will have been future will be being will be being will be being will be being will be being will be being future

I singular you he/she/it we plural you they

had been being had been being had been being had been being had been being had been being

have been being have been being has been being have been being have been being have been being

will have been being will have been being will have been being will have been being will have been being will have been being

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