The verb is considered the most important part of speech in English. Forming a sentence in English, the verb must be affixed to one of its forms, while there are many nuances that must be considered.

Verb Forms

Verb forms in the English language help to form a particular time of the language. The use of the verb in one of the existing forms, as well as auxiliary verbs are one of the most important indicators of tenses.

There are three main forms of verbs in English, as well as two main groups:


Past indefinite (simple) time


Understanding how verbs are formed is necessary for everyone who studies English. Three forms of the verb begin with the infinitive. Infinitive is the primary form of the verb. Virtually all verbs presented in the dictionary (regardless of whether they are regular or not) are always indicated in the form of an infinitive with the particle to. This form is the simplest, most often it is used without a   in sentences of the present simple time, facts, habits, etc. However, in the present simple time, it has certain exceptions. Also, in the formulation of an auxiliary verb from an infinitive, one can form a future indefinitely.

Forms of verbs in the English language: table and nuances

  • I live   in Paris - I live in Paris (the verb stands in the infinitive, the present tense).
  • I willlive   in Paris in the next year - I will live in Paris next year (the verb is infinitive, the auxiliary verb forms the future time).

Past indefinite

This form of the verb is used exclusively for the formation of the past indefinite (simple) time, but it has its own characteristics. The fact is that all verbs inside this form are divided into two groups: regular (Regular) and irregular (Irregular). Therefore, the formation of the past simple time is different for each specific group.

The algorithm for the formation of the second form for regular verbs is quite simple: you need to add to the infinitive the ending -ed. if the last letter is consonant.

For verbs that end in a vowel –e, you only need to add the letter -d.   For example, the verblive   in the second form it is written aslived.

For verbs that end in the vowel –y, a different rule applies. If the letter -y is a consonant, -y changes to -i   and the ending is added to the word -ed   (eg,cry - cried   ). If before a vowel stands, you just need to add to the word ending -ed   (eg,play - played ).

Verbs consisting of one word and ending in a consonant, also have their own peculiarities. In this case, when adding the ending -ed. the last letter will double (stop - stopped ).

English verb form table

If Regular Verbs can be easily formed from an infinitive, then the forms of irregular verbs of the English language can be seen only in a special table. It is called the table of irregular verbs, and it contains three columns. In the first column, the verb is in the form of an infinitive, in the second - in the form of an indefinite past (or Past Simple), and in the third - the past participle.

In order to find out how to spell the necessary irregular verb in the form of Past Indefinite, you need to look in the second column of the table. The table of forms of English verbs is, as a rule, the only place where you can look at the form of the irregular verb. Usually, only the infinitive is indicated in the dictionaries, and there is no rule explaining the formation of the 2nd form. That is why this form is necessary to know by heart, or to look in the table in order to avoid mistakes in word formation.

  • I lived   in England 2 years ago - I lived in England two years ago (the correct verb live in the second form, the past tense).
  • I went   in England 2 years ago - I traveled to England two years ago (irregular go verb in the second form, past tense).

Past Participle (third form)

The past participle is also included in English verb forms. It helps to form perfect forms of the tentative forms of the verbs with the help of the auxiliary verbto have. as well as verbs of the passive voice in various tenses thanks to the auxiliary verbto be .

Verbs in this third form are formed depending on whether they are correct or irregular. So, for example, verbs from the correct group will be absolutely identical with the verbs of the second group. They just add the ending -ed   (except for the exceptions mentioned earlier). But the irregular verbs can only be seen in the table (in the third column). These irregular verbs are often completely different from either the infinitive or the past form. Such verbs should also be learned by heart.

  • I havelived   in England for 2 years - I have been living in England for 2 years (the correct verb live in the third form, the auxiliary verb forms the present perfect time).
  • I havegone   in England three times - I traveled to England three times (irregular verb go in the third form, the auxiliary verb forms the present perfect time)
  • I hadlived   in England for 2 years - I lived in England for 2 years (the correct verb live in the third form, the auxiliary verb forms the past perfect time).
  • The door wasopened   - The door was open (the correct verb is open in the third form, the auxiliary verb forms a passive voice).

English language: 3 forms of the verb or 4

Recently, linguists began to identify not 3, but 4 forms of verbs in English. The fourth form is considered to be the present participle. It is formed by the ending–Ing,   which must be attached to the infinitive of the verb (go - going   ). Some scholars classify this form as the main form, some do not, however, it occupies a very important place in the formation of English language times. This form is used to form sentences in Continuous.

In the formation of the fourth form also has its own nuances. For example, verbs ending in the letter -e, lose it and the ending is added to them -ing (write - writing ).

For verbs ending in the letter combination –ie, it is necessary to change it to –y and add the ending -ing (die - dying ).

The final letter l will always double when the fourth form is formed (travel - travelling ).

In the stressed syllable, the consonant letter will double, provided that it has a single vowel (win - winning ).

  • I amdoing my exercise right now - I do my exercises right now (the irregular verb do is in the fourth form, the auxiliary verb forms a real long time)
  • I amplaying   the piano at the moment - At the moment I play the piano (the correct verb is play in the fourth form, the auxiliary verb forms a real long time).

Learning English is impossible without coverage of this topic.