English in Use/Verbs

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English in Use
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Parts of speech ArticlesNounsVerbsGerunds and participlesPronounsAdjectivesAdverbsPrepositions, Conjunctions and Interjections
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Verbs are often called action words that show what the subject (a noun or pronoun) is doing. A verb is a word that signifies to be, to act, or to be acted on: as, I am, I rule, I am ruled, I love, you love, he loves. Verbs are so called, from the Latin verbum, a word; because the verb is that word which most essentially contains what is said in any clause or sentence. Although described as "action words", they can describe abstract concepts. They are a requirement of any sentence. Verbs have modifications of four kinds: moods, tenses, persons and numbers.


Contents

Morphological forms[edit]

An English verb has four morphological forms (forms of word formation) ever needful to be ascertained in the first place: the present, the past, the present participle, and the past participle. The third person singular is the fifth morphological form.

The present is that form of the verb, which is the root of all the rest; the verb itself; or that simple term which we should look for in a dictionary: as, be, act, rule, love, defend, terminate.

The past is that simple form of the verb, which denotes time past; and which is always connected with some noun or pronoun, denoting the subject of the assertion: as, I was, I acted, I ruled, I loved, I defended.

The present participle is that form of the verb, which ends commonly in ing, and implies a continuance of the being, action, or passion: as, being, acting, ruling, loving, defending, terminating.

The past participle is that form of the verb, which ends commonly in d or ed, and implies what has taken place: as, been, acted, ruled, loved.

Regularity[edit]

English, like many Germanic languages, contains both strong (or irregular, which is not quite the same as strong) and weak (regular) verbs. Irregular verbs are one of the most difficult aspects of learning English. Each irregular verb must be memorized, because they are not often easy to identify otherwise.

Verbs are divided, with respect to their regularity, into four classes: regular and irregular, redundant and defective.

A regular verb is a verb that forms the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, love, loved, loving, loved.

An irregular verb is a verb that does not form the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, see, saw, seeing, seen.

A redundant verb is a verb that forms the past or the past participle in two or more ways, and so as to be both regular and irregular: as, thrive, thrived or throve, thriving, thrived or thriven.

A defective verb is a verb that forms no participles, and is used in but few of the moods and tenses: as, beware, ought, quoth.

Persons and numbers[edit]

The person and number of a verb are those modifications in which it agrees with its subject. There are three persons and two numbers: thus,

  1. Singular first person. I love.
  2. Singular third person. He loves.
  3. Plural first person. We love.
  4. Plural second person. You love.
  5. Plural third person. They love.

Where the verb is varied, the third person singular in the present tense, is regularly formed by adding s or es: as, I see, he sees; I give, he gives; I go, he goes; I fly, he flies; I vex, he vexes; I lose, he loses.

Where the verb is not varied to denote its person and number, these properties are inferred from its subject: as, if I love, if he love; if we love, if you love, if they love.

Tenses[edit]

Tenses are those modifications of the verb, which distinguish time. There are six tenses; the present, the past, the perfect, the past perfect, the first-future, and the second-future. One could even say there are twelve tenses because each of those comes in simple and in progressive forms, which have different meaning.

The past tense is sometimes called imperfect, but the names perfect and imperfect do not fit their meaning. These names were derived from Latin where they were correct.

The present tense simple is that which expresses what now exists, is normal or correlated to senses. It is used with adverbs like always, generally.

  • "There is a house in New Orleans."
  • "I read a book every week."
  • "I hear a noise."

The present tense continuous is that which expresses what is temporary:

  • "I am reading a letter."
  • "The car is running at high speed."
  • "Someone is always working."

The past tense simple is that which expresses what took place in time fully past. It is used with adverbs like yesterday, last week.

  • "Last week, I read several of Shaw's novels."

The past tense continuous is that which expresses what was taking place when (suddenly) something else occurred.

  • "I saw him yesterday, and hailed him as he was passing."
  • "I was giving a presentation when the microphone broke."

The present perfect tense simple is that which expresses what has taken place, within some period of time not yet fully past, or is still valid. It is used with adverbs like ever, never, today, this week.

  • "I have read several of Shaw's novels."
  • "I have seen him today; something must have detained him."
  • "Have you ever tried fugu fish?"

The present perfect tense continuous is that which which started in the past and has not yet finished.

  • "Since I have been standing here, five planes took off."

The past perfect tense simple is that which expresses what had taken place, at some past time mentioned, before something other happened.

  • "I had seen him, when I met you."
  • "As soon as my car had been repaired, I could continue my trip."

The past perfect tense continuous is that which expresses what had started before and was still going on, when something else occurred.

  • "I had been listening to the radio when she dropped in."

The first-future tense simple is that which expresses what will take place hereafter.

  • "I shall see him again, and I will inform him."

The first-future tense continuous is that which expresses what will be currently taking place at a certain time in future.

  • "I will be swimming in the sea by the time you'll awake."

The second-future tense simple is that which expresses what will have taken place at some future time mentioned.

  • "I shall have seen him by tomorrow noon."

The second-future tense continuous is that which expresses what will have started at some time and will still be ongoing, at some future time mentioned.

  • "I will have been swimming in the sea for four hours by the time you'll awake tomorrow."

Signification[edit]

An active verb is a verb in an active sentence, in which the subject performs the verb: as,

  • "I hit the dog."

An active verb can be transitive or intransitive, but not passive or neuter.

Verbs are divided again, with respect to their signification, into four classes: transitive, intransitive, passive, and neuter.

A transitive verb is a verb that expresses an action which has some person or thing for its object: as,

  • "Cain slew Abel."
  • "Cassius loved Brutus."

An intransitive verb is a verb that expresses an action which has no person or thing for its object: as,

  • "John walks."
  • "Jesus wept."

A passive verb is a verb in a passive sentence (passive voice) that represents its subject, or what the nominative expresses, as being acted on: as,

  • "I am compelled."
  • "Caesar was slain."

In a passive sentence, the action is performed on the subject.

  • "I hit the dog,"
  • "The dog was hit by me."

These sentences have the same denotative meaning, but their connotative meaning is quite different; active verbs are much more powerful and personal.

A neuter verb or impersonal passive verb is a verb that expresses neither action nor passion, but simply being, or a state of being: as,

  • "There was light."
  • "The babe sleeps."

Voice[edit]

Voice of speech can be active or passive. Principally in passive voice the same tenses can be used as in active voice. There are two forms of passive voice (the second form is preferred):

  • "He gave me the book." =>
  • "The book was given to me,"
  • "I was given the book."

There are however some things to note.

  • "They build a house."
  • "The house is built."

Here active and passive do not really have the same meaning. If for example you describe a picture where people build a house, the first sentence is perfectly correct. The second sentence however will be interpreted as the static perfect of the sentence

  • "The house has been built—it is built now."

This is, the house is now ready and not under construction. So the correct passive form is

  • "The house is being built."

Passive voice can be built quite formally by adhering to some rules. You will however not find normally all tenses as in active voice. Formal rules will lead you to monstrosities like the following, you will certainly never hear (already the active sentence is quite monstrous):

  • "The speech will have been being held for four hours when finally you'll arrive."
  • "The president will have been holding a speech for four hours when finally you'll arrive."

Moods[edit]

Moods are different forms of the verb, each of which expresses the being, action, or passion, in some particular manner.

There are five moods; the infinitive, the indicative, the potential, the subjunctive, and the imperative.

The infinitive mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the being, action, or passion, in an unlimited manner, and without person or number: as,

  • "To die,—to sleep;—to sleep!—perchance, to dream!"—from Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

The indicative mood is that form of the verb, which simply indicates or declares a thing: as,

  • "I write,"
  • "You know."

or asks a question: as,

  • "Do you know?"
  • "Know you not?"

The potential mood is that form of the verb which expresses the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity, of the being, action, or passion: as,

  • "I can walk."
  • "He may ride."
  • "We must go."

The subjunctive mood is that form of the verb, which represents the being, action, or passion, as conditional, doubtful, and contingent: as,

  • "If you go, see that you offend not."
  • "See you do it not."—Rev., xix, 10.
  • "God save the queen."
  • "It is a requirement that ... be done."
  • "It's high time you were in bed."
  • "If I were you,..."

The imperative mood is that form of the verb which is used in commanding, exhorting, entreating, or permitting: as,

  • "Depart you."
  • "Be comforted."
  • "Forgive me."
  • "Go in peace."

Conjugation[edit]

The conjugation of a verb is a regular arrangement of its moods, tenses, persons, numbers, and participles.

An auxiliary, or a sign of a verb, is a short verb prefixed to one of the morphological forms of another verb, to express some particular mode and time of the being, action, or passion. The auxiliaries are do, be, have, shall, will, may, can, and must, with their variations. Do, be, and have express the indicative mood.

Most often, the auxiliaries are used in the following way:

  • When talking about actions that take place in the future, add the word will before the verb.
  • To describe an action that is temporary, add the appropriate form of the verb be before the verb and add ing to the end of the verb root.
  • To describe an action that has taken place, put the verb in the past tense and add the appropriate form of the verb have before the verb.
  • You can combine the previous two auxiliaries by putting the appropriate form of have before been, and putting both of them before the verb.

Do[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the present. I do, he does, we do, you do, they do.
  • Past tense, sign of the past. I did, he did, we did, you did, they did.

Be[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the present. I am, he is, we are, you are, they are.
  • Past tense, sign of the past. I was, he was, we were, you were, they were.

Have[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the perfect. I have, he has, we have, you have, they have.
  • Past tense, sign of the past perfect. I had, he had, we had, you had, they had.

Shall and will[edit]

Often confused with each other in modern English. These auxiliaries have distinct meanings, and, as signs of the future, they are interchanged thus:

Present tense, sign of the indicative first-future.

  • Simply to express a future action or event: I shall, he will, we shall, you will, they will.
  • To express a promise, command, or threat: I will, he will, we will, you will, they will.

Past tense, sign of aorist, or indefinite.

  • Used with reference to duty or expediency: I should, he should, we should, you should, they should.
  • Used with reference to volition or desire: I would, he would, we would, you would, they would.

See also: Shall and will by Wikipedia

May[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I may, he may, we may, you may, they may.
  • Past tense, sign of the potential past. I might, he might, we might, you might, they might.

Can[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I can, he can, we can, you can, they can.
  • Past tense, sign of the potential past. I could, he could, we could, you could, they could.

Must[edit]

  • Present tense, sign of the potential present. I must, he must, we must, you must, they must.

If must is ever used in the sense of the past tense, the form is the same as that of the present: this word is entirely invariable.

Is being[edit]

English grammar has changed,

  • "The house is being built."

no longer means the same as

  • "The house is built."

The first sentence refers to an ongoing action, the second to a completed one.

  • "If the expression, 'Is being built,' be a correct form of the present indicative passive, then it must be equally correct to say in the perfect, 'Has been being built;' in the past perfect, 'Had been being built;' in the present infinitive, 'To be being built;' in the perfect infinitive, 'To have been being built;' and in the present participle, 'Being being built;' which all will admit to be expressions as incorrect as they are inelegant, but precisely analogous to that which now begins to prevail."—Bullions's Principles of English Gram., p. 58.

Forms of conjugation[edit]

Verb may be conjugated in four ways:

  • Affirmatively: as, I write, I do write, or, I am writing; and so on.
  • Negatively: as, I write not, I do not write, or, I am not writing.
  • Interrogatively: as, write I? do I write? or, am I writing?
  • Interrogatively and negatively: as, write I not? do I not write? or, am I not writing?

The verbs would be conjugated affirmatively, unless said otherwise.

Love, conjugated in simple form[edit]

The verb love is a regular active verb.

Simple form, active or neuter[edit]

The simplest form of an English conjugation, is that which makes the present and past tenses without auxiliaries; but, even in these, auxiliaries are required for the potential mood, and are often preferred for the indicative.

Morphological forms[edit]

Present Past Present Participle Past Participle
Love Loved Loving Loved

Participles[edit]

Present Past Past Perfect
Loving Loved Having loved.

Infinite mood[edit]

The infinitive mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the being, action, or passion, in an unlimited manner, and without person or number. It is used only in the present and perfect tenses.

Present tense[edit]

This tense is the root, or radical verb; and is usually preceded by the preposition to, which shows its relation to some other word: thus,

  • To love.

Perfect tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary have to the past participle; and, like the infinitive present, is usually preceded by the preposition to: thus,

  • To have loved.

Indicative mood[edit]

The indicative mood is that form of the verb, which simply indicates or declares a thing, or asks a question. It is used in all the tenses.

Present tense[edit]

The present indicative, in its simple form, is essentially the same as the present infinitive, or radical verb; except that the verb be has am in the indicative.

The simple form of the present tense is varied thus:

  • I love, he loves, we love, you love, they love.

This tense may also be formed by prefixing the auxiliary do to the verb: thus,

  • I do love, he does love, we do love, you do love, they do love.

Past tense[edit]

This tense, in its simple form is the past; which, in all regular verbs, adds d or ed to the present, but in others is formed variously.

The simple form of the past tense is varied thus:

  • I loved, he loved, we loved, you loved, they loved,

This tense may also be formed by prefixing the auxiliary did to the present: thus,

  • I did love, he did love, we did love, you did love, they did love.

Perfect tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary have to the past participle: thus,

  • I have loved, he has loved, we have loved, you have loved, they have loved.

Past perfect tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary had to the past participle: thus,

  • I had loved, he had loved, we had loved, you had loved, they had loved.

First-future tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary shall or will to the present: thus,

  • Simply to express a future action or event: I shall love, he will love, we shall love, you will love, they will love.
  • To express a promise, volition, command, or threat: I will love, he shall love, we will love, you shall love, they shall love.

Second-future tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliaries shall have or will have to the past participle: thus,

  • I shall have loved, he will have loved, we shall have loved, you will have loved, they will have loved.

Potential mood[edit]

The potential mood is that form of the verb, which expresses the power, liberty, possibility, or necessity of the being, action, or passion. It is used in the first four tenses; but the potential past is properly an aorist: its time is very indeterminate: as,

  • "He would be devoid of sensibility were he not greatly satisfied."—Lord Kames, El. of Crit., Vol. i, p. 11.

Present tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary may, can, or must, to the radical verb: thus,

  • I may love, he may love, we may love, you may love, they may love.

Past tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliary might, could, would, or should, to the radical verb: thus,

  • I might love, he might love, we might love, you might love, they might love.

Perfect tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliaries, may have, can have, or must have, to the past participle: thus,

  • I may have loved, he may have loved, we may have loved, you may have loved, they may have loved.

Past perfect tense[edit]

This tense prefixes the auxiliaries, might have, could have, would have, or should have, to the past participle: thus,

  • I might have loved, he might have loved, we might have loved, you might have loved, they might have loved.

Subjunctive mood[edit]

The subjunctive mood is that form of the verb, which represents the being, action, or passion, as conditional, doubtful, or contingent. This mood is generally preceded by a conjunction: as, if, that, though, lest, unless, except. But sometimes, especially in poetry, it is formed by a mere placing of the verb before the nominative: as,

  • "Were I," for, "If I were;"
  • "Had he," for, "If he had;"
  • "Fall we" for, "If we fall;"
  • "Knew they," for, "If they knew."

It does not vary its termination at all, in the different persons. It is used in the present, and sometimes in the past tense; rarely, and perhaps never properly, in any other. As this mood can be used only in a dependent clause, the time implied in its tenses is always relative, and generally indefinite: as,

  • "It shall be in eternal restless change, self-fed, and self-consumed: if this fail, the pillared firmament is rottenness."—Milton, Comus, l. 596.

Present tense[edit]

This tense is generally used to express some condition on which a future action or event is affirmed. It is therefore erroneously considered by some grammarians, as an elliptical form of the future.

  • If I love, if he love, if we love, if you love, if they love.

In this tense, the auxiliary do is sometimes employed: as,

  • "If you do prosper my way."—Genesis, xxiv, 42.
  • "If he do not utter it."—Leviticus, v, 1.
  • "If he do but intimate his desire."—Murray's Key, p. 207.
  • "If he do promise, he will certainly perform."—Ib., p. 208.
  • "An event which, if it ever do occur, must occur in some future period."—Hiley's Gram., 3d Ed., Lond., p. 89.
  • "If he do but promise, you are safe."—Ib., 89.
  • "Until old experience do attain to something like prophetic strain."—Milton: Il Penseroso.

Past tense[edit]

  • If I loved, if he loved, if we loved, if you loved, if they loved.

This tense, like the past of the potential mood, with which it is frequently connected, is properly an aorist, or indefinite tense; for it may refer to time past, present, or future: as,

  • "If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, what further need was there that an other priest should rise?"—Heb., vii, 11.
  • "They must be viewed exactly in the same light, as if the intention to purchase now existed."—Murray's Parsing Exercises, p. 24.
  • "If it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."—Matt., xxiv, 24.
  • "If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing?"—1 Corinthians, xii, 17.
  • "If the thankful refrained, it would be pain and grief to them."—Atterbury.

Imperative mood[edit]

The imperative mood is that form of the verb, which is used in commanding, exhorting, entreating, or permitting. It is commonly used only in the second person of the present tense.

  • Love [you,] or do you love.

See, conjugated in simple form[edit]

The verb see is an irregular active verb.

Morphological forms[edit]

Present Past Present Participle Past Participle
See. Saw. Seeing. Seen.

Participles[edit]

Present  Past   Past Perfect
Seeing.  Seen.  Having seen.

Infinitive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. To see.
  • Perfect tense. To have seen.

Indicative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I see, he sees, we see, you see, they see.
  • Past tense. I saw, he saw, we saw, you saw, they saw.
  • Perfect tense. I have seen, he has seen, we have seen, you have seen, they have seen.
  • Past perfect tense. I had seen, he had seen, we had seen, you had seen, they had seen.
  • First-future tense. I shall see, he will see, we shall see, you will see, they will see.
  • Second-future tense. I shall have seen, he will have seen, we shall have seen, you will have seen, they will have seen.

Potential mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I may see, he may see, we may see, you may see, they may see.
  • Past tense. I might see, he might see, we might see, you might see, they might see.
  • Perfect tense. I may have seen, he may have seen, we may have seen, you may have seen, they may have seen.
  • Past perfect tense. I might have seen, he might have seen, we might have seen, you might have seen, they might have seen.

Subjunctive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. If I see, if he see, if we see, if you see, if they see.
  • Past tense. If I saw, if he saw, if we saw, if you saw, if they saw.

Imperative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. See [you,] or do you see.

Be, conjugated in simple form[edit]

The verb be is an irregular neuter verb.

Morphological forms[edit]

Present  Past  Present Participle  Past Participle.
Be.      Was.  Being.              Been.

Participles[edit]

Present  Past   Past Perfect
Being.   Been.  Having been.

Infinitive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. To be.
  • Perfect tense. To have been.

Indicative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I am, he is, we are, you are, they are.
  • Past tense. I was, he was, we were, you were, they were.
  • Perfect tense. I have been, he has been, we have been, you have been, they have been.
  • Past perfect tense. I had been, he had been, we had been, you had been, they had been.
  • First-future tense. I shall be, he will be, we shall be, you will be, they will be.
  • Second-future tense. We shall have been, he will have been, we shall have been, you will have been, they will have been.

Potential mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I may be, he may be, we may be, you may be, they may be.
  • Past tense. I might be, he might be, we might be, you might be, they might be.
  • Perfect tense. I may have been, he may have been, we may have been, you may have been, they may have been.
  • Past perfect tense. I might have been, he might have been, we might have been, you might have been, they might have been.

Subjunctive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. If I be, if he be, if we be, if you be, if they be.
  • Past tense. If I were, if he were, if we were, if you were, if they were.

Imperative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. Be [you,] or do you be.

Read, conjugated in progressive form[edit]

The verb read is an irregular active verb.

Compound or progressive form[edit]

Active and neuter verbs may also be conjugated, by adding the present participle to the auxiliary verb be, through all its changes: as,

  • "I am writing a letter."
  • "He is sitting idle."
  • "They are going."

This form of the verb denotes a continuance of the action or state of being, and is, on many occasions, preferable to the simple form of the verb.

Morphological forms of the simple verb[edit]

Present  Past   Present Participle  Past Participle
Read.    Read.  Reading.            Read.

Participles[edit]

Present         Past      Past Perfect
Being reading.  ————————  Having been reading.

Infinitive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. To be reading.
  • Perfect tense. To have been reading.

Indicative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I am reading, he is reading, we are reading, you are reading, they are reading.
  • Past tense. I was reading, he was reading, we were reading, you were reading, they were reading.
  • Perfect tense. I have been reading, he has been reading, we have been reading, you have been reading, they have been reading.
  • Past perfect tense. I had been reading, he had been reading, we had been reading, you had been reading, they had been reading.
  • First-future tense. I shall be reading, he will be reading, we shall be reading, you will be reading, they will be reading.
  • Second-future tense. I shall have been reading, he will have been reading, we shall have been reading, you will have been reading, they will have been reading.

Potential mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I may be reading, he may be reading, we may be reading, you may be reading, they may be reading.
  • Past tense. I might be reading, he might be reading, we might be reading, you might be reading, they might be reading.
  • Perfect tense. I may have been reading, he may have been reading, we may have been reading, you may have been reading, they may have been reading.
  • Past perfect tense. I might have been reading, he might have been reading, we might have been reading, you might have been reading, they might have been reading.

Subjunctive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. If I be reading, if she be reading, if we be reading, if you be reading, if they be reading.
  • Past tense. If I were reading, if he were reading, if we were reading, if you were reading, if they were reading.

Imperative mood[edit]

  • Be you reading, or do you be reading.

Be loved, conjugated in simple form[edit]

The verb be loved is a regular passive verb.

Form of passive verbs[edit]

Passive verbs, in English, are always of a progressive form; being made from transitive verbs, by adding the past participle to the auxiliary verb be, through all its changes: thus from the active transitive verb love, is formed the passive verb be loved.

Morphological forms of the active verb[edit]

Present Past Present Participle Past Participle
Love Loved Loving Loved Loving

Infinitive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. To be loved.
  • Perfect tense. To have been loved.

Indicative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I am loved, he is loved, we are loved, you are loved, they are loved.
  • Past tense. I was loved, he was loved, we were loved, you were loved, they were loved.
  • Perfect tense. I have been loved, he has been loved, we have been loved, you have been loved, they have been loved.
  • Past perfect tense. I had been loved, he had been loved, we had been loved, you had been loved, they had been loved.
  • First-future tense. I shall be loved, he will be loved, we shall be loved, you will be loved, they will be loved.
  • Second-future tense. I shall have been loved, he will have been loved, we shall have been loved, you will have been loved, they will have been loved.

Potential mood[edit]

  • Present tense. I may be loved, he may be loved, we may be loved, you may be loved, they may be loved.
  • Past tense. I might be loved, he might be loved, we might be loved, you might be loved, they might be loved.
  • Perfect tense. I may have been loved, he may have been loved, we may have been loved, you may have been loved, they may have been loved.
  • Past perfect tense. I might have been loved, he might have been loved, we might have been loved, you might have been loved, they might have been loved.

Subjunctive mood[edit]

  • Present tense. If I be loved, if he be loved, if we be loved, if you be loved, if they be loved.
  • Past tense. If I were loved, if he were loved, if we were loved, if you were loved, if they were loved.

Imperative mood[edit]

  • Present tense. Be you loved, or do you be loved.

Love, conjugated negatively[edit]

Form of negation[edit]

A verb is conjugated negatively, by placing the adverb not and participles take the negative first: as, not to love, not to have loved; not loving, not loved, not having loved.

First person singular[edit]

  • Indicative. I love not, or I do not love; I loved not, or I did not love; I have not loved; I had not loved; I shall not, or will not, love; I shall not, or will not, have loved.
  • Potential. I may, can, or must not love; I might, could, would, or should not love; I may, can, or must not have loved; I might, could, would, or should not have loved,
  • Subjunctive. If I love not, if I loved not, if they loved.

Third person singular[edit]

  • Indicative. He loves not, or he does not love; he loved not, or he did not love; he has not loved; he had not loved; he shall not, or will not, love; he shall not, or will not, have loved.
  • Potential. He may, can, or must not love; he might, could, would, or should not love; he may, can, or must not have loved; he might, could, would, or should not have loved.
  • Subjunctive. If he love not, if he loved not.

Love, conjugated interrogatively[edit]

Form of question[edit]

A verb is conjugated interrogatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative after it, or after the first auxiliary: as,

First person singular[edit]

  • Indicative. Love I? or do I love? loved I? or did I love? have I loved? had I loved? shall I love? shall I have loved?
  • Potential. May, can, or must I love? might, could, would, or should I love? may, can, or must I have loved? might, could, would, or should I have loved?

Third person singular[edit]

  • Indicative. Loves he? or does he love? loved he? or did he love? has he loved? had he loved? shall or will he love? will he have loved?
  • Potential. May, can, or must he love? might, could, would, or should he love? may, can, or must he have loved? might, could, would, or should he have loved?

Love, conjugated interrogatively and negatively[edit]

Form of question with negation[edit]

A verb is conjugated interrogatively and negatively, in the indicative and potential moods, by placing the nominative and the adverb not after the verb, or after the first auxiliary: as,

First person plural[edit]

  • Indicative. Love we not? or do we not love? loved we not? or did we not love? have we not loved? had we not loved? shall we not love? shall we not have loved?
  • Potential. May, can, or must we not love? might, could, would, or should we not love? may, can, or must we not have loved? might, could, would, or should we not have loved?

Third person plural[edit]

  • Indicative. Are they not loved? were they not loved? have they not been loved? had they not been loved? shall or will they not be loved? will they not have been loved?
  • Potential. May, can, or must they not be loved? might, could, would, or should they not be loved? may, can, or must they not have been loved? might, could, would, or should they not have been loved?

Irregular verbs[edit]

An irregular verb is a verb that does not form the past and the past participle by assuming d or ed: as, see, saw, seeing, seen. Of this class of verbs there are about one hundred and ten, beside their several derivatives and compounds.

Methods of learning irregular verbs:

  • To remember verbs:
  1. Learn them by heart.
  2. Write a reference lists of verbs.
  3. Say the verbs aloud (not silently).
  4. Set yourself targets, e.g. learn one verb a day.
  5. Learn these verbs in groups.
  6. Test yourself.
  • To learn how to use them:
  1. Write your own example sentences.
  2. Collect some examples of use for each verb, e.g. from books, magazines or newspapers.
  3. Use an English grammar.

List of the top irregular verbs:

Present Past Present Participle Past Participle
Awake awoke awaking awoken
Arise arose arising arisen
Be was,were being been
Bear bore bearing borne
Begin began beginning begun
Bend bent bending bent
Blow blew blowing blown
Break broke breaking broken
Bring brought bringing brought
Build built building built
Buy bought buying bought
Catch caught catching caught
Choose chose choosing chosen
Come came coming come
Cost cost costing cost
Cut cut cutting cut
Do did doing done
Draw drew drawing drawn
Drink drank drinking drunk
Drive drove driving driven
Eat ate eating eaten
Fall fell falling fallen
Feel felt feeling felt
Fight fought fighting fought
Find found finding found
Fly flew flying flown
Forget forgot forgetting forgotten
Forgive forgave forgiving forgiven
Get got getting gotten
Give gave giving given
Go went going gone
Grow grew growing grown
Have had having had
Hear heard hearing heard
Hide hid hiding hidden or hid
Hit hit hitting hit
Hold held holding held
Keep kept keeping kept
Know knew knowing known
Lay laid laying laid
Lead led leading led
Leave left leaving left
Lend lent lending lent
Let let letting let
Lie lay lying lain
Lose lost losing lost
Make made making made
Mean meant meaning meant
Meet met meeting met
Pay paid paying paid
Put put putting put
Read r~ead reading r~ead
Rend rent rending rent
Ride rode riding ridden
Ring rung or rang ringing rung
Rise rose rising risen
Run ran running run
Say said saying said
See saw seeing seen
Seek sought seeking sought
Sell sold selling sold
Send sent sending sent
Set set setting set
Shake shook shaking shook
Shine shone shining shone
Shoot shot shooting shot
Show showed showing shown
Sing sang singing sung
Sit sat sitting sat
Sleep slept sleeping slept
Speak spoke speaking spoken
Spend spent spending spent
Stand stood standing stood
Steal stole stealing stolen
Strike struck striking struck
Swim swam swimming swum
Take took taking taken
Teach taught teaching taught
Tell told telling told
Think thought thinking thought
Throw threw throwing thrown
Wake woke waking woken
Wear wore wearing worn
Win won winning won
Write wrote writing written

Redundant verbs[edit]

A redundant verb is a verb that forms the past or the past participle in two or more ways, and so as to be both regular and irregular: as, thrive, thrived or throve, thriving, thrived or thriven. Of this class of verbs, there are about ninety-five, beside sundry derivatives and compounds.

List of the redundant verbs:

Present Past Present Participle Past Participle
Abide abode or abided abiding abode or abided
Awake awaked or awoke awaking awaked or awoke
Belay belayed or belaid belaying belayed or belaid
Bend bent or bended bending bent or bended
Bereave bereft or bereaved bereaving bereft or bereaved
Beseech besought or beseeched beseeching besought or beseeched
Bet betted or bet betting betted or bet
Betide betided or betid betiding betided or betid
Bide bode or bided biding bode or bided
Blend blended or blent blending blended or blent
Bless blessed or blest blessing blessed or blest
burn burnt or burned burning burnt or burned
Clothe clothed or clad clothing clothed or clad
Crow crew or crowed crowing crew or crowed
Curse curst or cursed cursing curst or cursed
Dare dared or durst daring dared or durst
Dive dove or dived diving diven or dived
dream dreamt or dreamed dreaming dreamt or dreamed
Dress drest or dressed dressing drest or dressed
Geld gelt or gelded gelding gelt or gelded
Gild gilt or gilded gilding gilt or gilded
Gird girt or girded girding girt or girded
Grave graved graving graven or graved
Hang hung or hanged hanging hung or hanged
Heat het or heated heating het or heated
Heave hove or heaved heaving hoven or heaved
Hew hewed hewing hewn or hewed
Knit knit or knitted knitting knit or knitted
lean leant or leaned leaning leant or leaned
Leap leapt or leaped leaping leapt or leaped
learn learnt or learned learning learnt or learned
light lit or lighted lighting lit or lightied
melt melted melting molten or melted
Mulct mulct or mulcted mulcting mulct or mulcted
Pass past or passed passing past or passed
Pen pent or penned penning pent or penned
Plead pled or pleaded pleading pled or pleaded
Prove proved proving proven or proved
quit quit or quitted quitting quit or quitted
Rap rapt or rapped rapping rapt or rapped
Reave reft or reaved reaving reft or reaved
Roast roasted or roast roasting roasted or roast
rot rotted rotting rotten or rotted
seethe seethed seething sodden
Shape shaped shaping shapen or shaped
Shave shaved shaving shaven or shaved
Shear shore or sheared shearing shorn or sheared
shred shred or shredded shredding shred or shredded
Smell smelt or smelled smelling smelt or smelled
Sow sowed sowing sown or sowed
Speed sped or speeded speeding sped or speeded
spell spelt or spelled spelling spelt or spelled
spill spilt or spilled spilling spilt or spilled
Spoil spoilt or spoiled spoiling spoilt or spoiled
Stave stove or staved staving stove or staved
strew strewed strewing strewn or strewed
Strow strowed strowing, strown or strowed
Sweat sweat or sweated sweating sweat or sweated
Swell swelled swelling swollen or swelled
Thrive throve or thrived thriving thriven or thrived
Wake woke or waked waking woke or waked
Wax waxed waxing waxen or waxed
Wed wed or wedded wedding wed or wedded
Wet wet or wetted wetting wet or wetted
Whet whet or whetted whetting whet or whetted
Wont wont or wonted wonting wont or wonted
Work worked or wrought working worked or wrought

Defective verbs[edit]

A defective verb is a verb that forms no participles, and is used in but few of the moods and tenses: as, beware, ought, quoth.

List of the defective verbs:

Present Past
Beware —————
Can could
May might
Methinks methought
Must must
Ought ought
Shall should
Will would
Quoth quoth
Wis wist
Wit wot

A short syntax[edit]

The finite verb must agree with its subject, as "The birds fly", except the following cases: the conjunction and, as "Rhetoric and logic are allied," one person or thing, as "Flesh and blood has not revealed it," empathy, as "Consanguinity, and not affinity, is the ground," each, every, or no, as "No one is the same," and the conjunction or, as "Fear or jealousy affects him."

References[edit]

See also[edit]

  • English Verbs Fully Conjugated - 665 Regular and Irregular English verb list. Conjugated in various tenses.
  • conjugation.com English Verb Conjugation. 15 000 English verbs conjugated in all 3 forms, affirmative, interrogative, and negative, in all tenses and persons.