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Forms of Main Verbs

Main verbs are also called "lexical verbs". Main verbs (except the verb "be") have only 4, 5 or 6 forms. "Be" has 9 forms. V1 infinitive regular (to) work (to) sing (to) make (to) cut (to) do* (to) have* infinitive (to) be* base work sing make cut do have base Be V2 past simple worked sang made cut did had past simple was, were 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

irregular

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

Verb Tense Tutorial


Verb tenses are tools that English speakers use to express time in their language. You may find that many English tenses do not have direct translations in your language. That is not a problem. By studying this verb tense tutorial, you will learn to think like a native English speaker. If you prefer to use the verb tense pages as a reference only and do not want to complete the tutorial, Click Here.

The tutorial should be completed as follows:


1. Read this introduction page. 2. Prepare for the exercises by reading: Types of Verbs, Active vs. Passive, and the verb tense descriptions that you want to practice. 3. Complete the exercises below. After each exercise, we have listed the tenses covered. Just click on the name of a tense to learn more about its use. EXERCISES TOPICS COVERED

Verb Tense Exercise 1 Verb Tense Exercise 2 Verb Tense Exercise 3 Verb Tense Exercise 4 Verb Tense Exercise 5 Verb Tense Exercise 6 Verb Tense Exercise 7 Verb Tense Exercise 8 Verb Tense Exercise 9 Verb Tense Exercise 10 Verb Tense Exercise 11 Verb Tense Exercise 12 Verb Tense Exercise 13 Verb Tense Exercise 14 Verb Tense Exercise 15 Verb Tense Exercise 16 Verb Tense Exercise 17 Verb Tense Exercise 18 Verb Tense Exercise 19 Verb Tense Exercise 20 Verb Tense Exercise 21 Verb Tense Exercise 22 Verb Tense Exercise 23 Verb Tense Exercise 24 Verb Tense Exercise 25 Verb Tense Exercise 26 Verb Tense Exercise 27

Simple Present and Present Continuous Simple Present and Present Continuous Simple Past and Past Continuous Simple Past and Past Continuous Simple Past and Present Perfect Simple Past and Present Perfect Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous Present Perfect and Present Perfect Continuous Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous Present Continuous and Present Perfect Continuous Simple Past and Past Perfect Simple Past, Present Perfect, and Past Perfect Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous Present Perfect, Past Perfect, Present Perfect Continuous, and Past Perfect Continuous Present Continuous, Simple Past, Present Perfect Continuous, and Past Perfect Continuous Present and Past Tenses with Non-Continuous Verbs Present and Past Tense Review Will and Be Going to Will and Be Going to Will and Be Going to Simple Present and Simple Future Simple Present and Simple Future Simple Future and Future Continuous Simple Present, Simple Future, Present Continuous, and Future Continuous Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous

Verb Tense Exercise 28

Future Perfect and Future Perfect Continuous

Verb Tense Practice Test Cumulative Verb Tense Review Verb Tense Final Test Cumulative Verb Tense Review

Verb Tense Overview with Examples


Simple Present Simple Past Simple Future

I study English every day.

Two years ago, I studied English in England.

If you are having problems, I will help you study English. I am going to study English next year.

Present Continuous

Past Continuous

Future Continuous I will be studying English when you arrive tonight.

I am studying English now.

I was studying English when you called yesterday.

I am going to be studying English when you arrive tonight. Future Perfect I will have studied every tense by the time I finish this course. I am going to have studied every tense by the time I finish this course. Future Perfect Continuous

Present Perfect

Past Perfect

I have studied English in several different countries.

I had studied a little English before I moved to the U.S.

Present Perfect Continuous

Past Perfect Continuous

I have been studying English for five years.

I will have been studying English for over two hours by I had been studying English for the time you arrive. five years before I moved to the U.S. I am going to have been studying English for over two hours by the time you arrive.

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