Center for Writers - Resources

VERB FORMS


A Verb conveys information about what is happening, what has happened, and what will happen.

        action verbs: eat, wrestle, argue, . . .
        occurrence verbs:  become, change, happen, . . .
        state of being verbs:  be, seem, feel, exist, . . .

Verb Forms:

        simple form or infinitive form
                shows action, occurrence, or state of being that is taking place in the present, and is the basis for future tense.

        past-tense form
                indicates action, occurrence, or state of being completed in the past.

        past participle
                in regular verbs, uses the same form as the past tense
                in irregular verbs, uses differing forms and is used with an auxiliary / helper verb. (e.g., They were startled.)

        present participle
                is formed by adding -ing to the simple form - is used with an auxiliary / helper verb. (The sun was setting.)

        - s form
                is used when the verb's action occurs in the present and the subject is third-person singular. (The dog begs. Harry
                lives in town.)

Helping Verbs, also called auxiliary verbs, combine with a verb's infinitive, present participle, or past participle to indicate time and other kinds of meaning. (can run, was sleeping, had been eaten, . . .)

Regular and Irregular Verbs

        Regular verbs form their past tense and past participle by adding -d or -ed to the infinitive. (live - lived, act - acted, . . .)

        Irregular verbs form their past tense and past participle in some irregular way. Most irregular verbs form the past tense
                and the past participle by changing an internal vowel. (begin - began - begun, come - came - come, . . .)

                Some irregular verbs change an internal vowel and add an -n in the past participle. (break - broke - broken, draw -
                        drew - drawn, . . .)

                Some irregular verbs have the same form in both the past tense and the past participle or in all three forms. (Sleep -
                        slept - slept, let - let - let, . . .)