Forms of Verbs

Principal or main verbs have five forms. They are:


BASE FORM (or, Present Form):

The base form of verbs is mentioned in dictonary entry. So, it is also called dictionary form. Its another name is present form, as it is used in simple present tense after all subjects except third personal singular.

The present forms of verbs are mentioned in the first column of grammar books. So, many people call them V1.

  • I love cricket. 
  • Open the door. 

USE OF BASE FORMS

The Base Form is used: 

(i) After Modal Verbs: 

  • I shall go.
  • He will come.

(ii) After the infinitive sign to:

  • You ought to go there.
  • They came to see you.

(iii) After Let in both active and passive voices: 

  • The boys were let use calculators.
  • Let me go now.

(iv) After ‘make, get, have, hear’ following an object:

  • He made me do the work. 
  • I heard him sing.

(v) After cannot but: 

  • I cannot but shed tears.
  • You cannot but help your brother.

(vi) After plural subject and I in present simple tense. This is called Present Form:

  • I go to school every day.
  • Babu and his brothers live in this town. 

(vii) After dare not and need not: 

  • He need not go there.
  • She dare not tell the truth.

(viii) In imperative mood: 

  • Open the door. 
  • Help me, please. 

(ix) To form subjunctive mood after all subjects including third person singular:

  • I suggest that he stay at home. 
  • Lina proposes that Bob live with her. 


PAST FORM:

Most past forms end in -ED. They are called regular verbs. But there are many irregular forms which you need to learn with care. The past forms of verbs are mentioned in the second column in grammar books. So, many people call them V2. 

USE OF PAST FORM:

The past form of verb is used:

(i) In past simple tense after all subjects:

  • They lived in Canada. 
  • He lived in Canada. 

(ii) In unreal past: 

  • I wish I knew her name.
  • It is time we leaved the place. 


PAST PARTICIPLE

Most past participle forms end in -ED. They are called regular verbs. But there are many irregular forms which you need to learn with care. The past participle forms of verbs are mentioned in the third column in grammar books. So, many people call them V3.

USE OF PAST PARTICIPLE:

The past participle is used- 

(1) After Have, has & had to form perfect aspect. 

  • The man has reached home.
  • I have seen the man.

(2) After Be Verb to form Passive Voice. 

  • Rome was not built in a day. 
  • Rice is eaten mainly in Asia.

(3) As Past Participle = Adjective after or before its object. 

  • There is a broken chair in the room. 
  • The police found out the stolen chain. 

(4) In Causative Structure.

  • I got the sums done by my brother. 
  • She had her shoes repaired.  


-ING FORM:

The -ING forms of verbs are formed by adding -ING to the base form of verbs. 

USE OF -ING FORM:

The -ing form of the verb is used: 

(i) After Be Verb in all continuous tenses: 

  • Shiuli is singing a song.
  • I am reading a book.
  • They will be sleeping.

(ii) As adjectives to modify nouns.

  • Don't call the sleeping child. 
  • A rolling stone gathers no moss. 

(iii) As nouns (gerunds) as subject of verb or object of verb and preposition: 

  • Walking is a good exercise. 
  • She likes sleeping.
  • I am fond of fishing. 


-S/-ES FORM:

The -S/-ES forms are formed by adding -S/ES to the base form of verbs.  

  • Kitty lives in Canada. 
  • He likes milk. 

USE OF -S/-ES FORM:

The -S/-ES forms are used only after third person singular subjects in simple present tense.

  • She goes to school regularly.
  • He comes here every day. 

REMEMBER!

You need to learn the first three forms separately as their formation can be both regular and irregular. These regular and irregular forms are mentioned in most grammar books.