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8.1: Verb Forms

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    36320
  • Verb Forms

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    You must always use a verb in every sentence you write. Verbs are parts of speech that indicate actions or states of being. The most basic sentence structure is a subject followed by a verb. Correct use of verb tenses and forms is very important in English. Verbs carry much of the main meaning of the sentence, and verb suffixes and auxiliaries indicate the time. Verbs are the powerhouses of our language.

    There are two main types of verb errors. Try to distinguish between the two types.

    Verb Form is an error where the tense has been incorrectly formed. Verb Tense is an error where an incorrect tense has been chosen for the meaning. Although the grammar of verbs is very complex in English, every student can easily learn the basic grammar and be able to use verbs correctly.

    English verbs have five forms:

    Base

    Past

    Past Participle

    Progressive/Continuous

    3rd Person Singular

    Regular
    WALK
    WALKED WALKED WALKING WALKS
    Irregular
    EAT
    ATE EATEN EATING EATS

    Some Verb Form Rules to Know

    Verb Form Rules

    Examples

    Infinitive = to + base form

    to run, to hide, to show

    Modal = modal + base form

    can run, could hide, should show

    Do Support = do, does, did + base form

    did run, doesn't hide, did show

    Progressive = "to be" + base + ing

    am running, was hiding, are doing

    Perfect = have, has, had + past participle

    have run, has hidden, had shown

    Passive = "to be" + past participle

    is built, was written, are being done

    Active Forms of the 12 English Tenses of the regular verb "WALK"

    Past Present Future

    SIMPLE

    WALKED

    WALK/S

    WILL WALK

    PROGRESSIVE

    WAS /WERE WALKING

    AM/IS/ARE WALKING

    WILL BE WALKING

    PERFECT

    HAD WALKED

    HAS/HAVE WALKED

    WILL HAVE WALKED

    PERFECT-PROGRESSIVE

    HAD BEEN WALKING

    HAS/HAVE BEEN WALKING

    WILL HAVE BEEN WALKING

    Simple Verbs

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    Simple Verb Tenses

    Verb tenses tell the reader when the action takes place. The action could be in the past, present, or future. These are called Time Frames.

    Past ←Present→ Future

    Yesterday I jumped.

    Today I jump.

    Tomorrow I will jump.

    Simple Present Verbs

    Simple present verbs are used in the following situations:


    When the action takes place now.

    Example: I drink the water greedily.


    When the action is something that happens regularly.

    Example: I always cross my fingers for good luck.


    When describing things that are generally true.

    Example: College tuition is very costly.


    PastedImage_5h0fs2qg50pync4a0uczv7n833wfbjdf001292588691.pngWhen it is he, she, or it doing the present tense action, remember to add -s, or -es to the end of the verb; or to change the y to -ies.

    Simple Past Verbs

    Simple past verbs are used when the action has already taken place and is now finished:

    • I washed my uniform last night.
    • I asked for more pie.
    • I coughed loudly last night.

    PastedImage_5h0fs2qg50pync4a0uczv7n833wfbjdf001292588691.pngWhen the action is something done in the past, remember to add -d or -ed to the end of regular verbs, regardless of the subject.

    Simple Future Verbs

    Simple future verbs are used when the action has not yet taken place:

    • I will work late tomorrow.
    • I will kiss my boyfriend when I see him.
    • I will erase the board after class.

    PastedImage_5h0fs2qg50pync4a0uczv7n833wfbjdf001292588691.png"Going to" can also be added to the main verb to make it future tense: I am going to go to work tomorrow.

    Exercise: Simple Verbs

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    Complete the following sentences by choosing the correct verb in the simple tense:

    1. Please do not (erase, erased, will erase) what I have written on the board.
    2. They (dance, danced, will dance) for hours after the party was over.
    3. Harrison (wash, washed, will wash) his laundry after several weeks had passed.
    4. Yesterday Mom (ask, asked, will ask) me about my plans for college.
    5. I (bake, baked, will bake) several dozen cookies for tomorrow's bake sale.

    PastedImage_cgpem61kq18la1pbuk9iivx6axsv4r2s001292588691.pngIf you have a compound subject like Marie and Jennifer, think of the subject as "they" to determine the correct verb form: Marie and Jennifer (they) have a house on Bainbridge Island.

    Similarly, single names can be thought of as he, she, or it: LeBron (he) has scored thirty points so far.

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