This is part 8 of Rules of Grammar: Verb Forms.
I recommend starting with lesson one of this series if you’ve missed any of the previous lessons.
Let’s dig in:
There are up to five different verb forms for each verb. They are:
1. Root – is the easiest form to learn because it’s small, it has nothing in front of it (for example, the word to), and it has no ending.
*To laugh – laugh
*To hear – hear
*To get – get
*To learn – learn
Since the root serves as a base, it’s used to form other verbs.
We are going to the beauty shop.
I relayed the description about the painting I saw at the art gallery to interested buyers.
What did you eat this morning?
Their team was beaten badly by our team.
2. Third person singular – (He/she/it/one) is irregular, meaning it follows a different set of rules compared to other verb forms, nor does it contain an -ed ending in the past tense. Instead it contains an ending of -s or -es.
3. Present Participle - is recognized as the root word + -ing. Past, present, and future progressive tenses are used to form these verbs.
*Win – winning
*Rock – rocking
*Dance – dancing
*Post – posting
When are we posting comments to her websites?
His eyes began dancing when he heard about the promotion.
Are Amy and Josh rocking the twins to sleep?
You’re on a winning team.
4. Past and Past Participle – is only used with the past tense and is formed using the root word + -ed.
*Heap – heaped
*Drop – dropped
*Corral – Corralled
*Jump – jumped
We jumped for joy when we found our lost pet.
The ranchers corralled the horses in the barns masterfully.
I dropped all of my pencils on the floor.
Grandma heaped tons of holiday treats on our plates.
Regarding irregular verbs, it’s sometimes difficult to figure out the past participle. A dictionary comes in quite handy for looking up verb forms you’re unsure about. Some examples of irregular verbs are:
Root Simple Past Past Participle
Give Gave Given
Fall Fell Fallen
Write Wrote Written
Ring Rang Rung
Begin Began Begun
We had begun a circular route around the plaza.
I gave up all hope of finding my chosen career path.
They will write a 50 page letter to the PTA.
Tense structure for regular and irregular verbs are identical. Differences are noticed between the two in the past and past participles when regular verbs (looked, looked) stay the same while irregular verbs, which don’t contain -ed as endings (given, gave), are not always the same. To be, an irregular verb, is the exception because it constantly changes form and its pattern of usage is difficult to determine. If you can grasp these concepts, they will help you tremendously.
Next is part 9 of Rules of Grammar: Verb Conjugation.