This section discusses all the English verbs, including the conjugation of the verbs in different tenses, modal verbs, infinitives, regular and irregular verbs and many more. This chapter will give you a general overview of the topics discussed in the subchapters of this course.
- 1.The 12 verb tenses of the English language
- 1.1.Uses of verb tenses in English
- 2.Auxiliary verbs in English
- 3.English participles
- 4.Modal verbs
- 5.Phrasal verbs
- 6.English regular verbs
- 7.English irregular verbs
- 8.The gerund (-ing form)
- 9.English infinitives
- 10.English imperatives
- 11.Reported speech
- 12.Active and passive voice
The 12 verb tenses of the English language
Verbs are words that describe what happens during an action and when (present, past or future) this action happened. A verb can also suggest something, express a possibility or obligation using modal verbs.
The English language consists of 12 tenses, all having a different conjugation. Take a look at the table below to see an overview of the 12 tenses.
|Simple||I study in Spain.||I lived in England.||I will come to the party.|
|Continuous||I am studying in Spain.||I was living in England.||I will be coming to the party.|
|Perfect||I have studied in Spain.||I had lived in England.||I will have come to the party.|
|Perfect continuous||I have been studying in Spain.||I had been living in England.||I will have been coming to the party.|
Uses of verb tenses in English
- Present simple: to describe habits and routines.
- Present continuous: to describe an action or event that is taking place in that moment.
- Present perfect: to describe an action or event that happened in the past and continues in the present.
- Present perfect continuous: for actions that have started in the past, but continue in the present.
- Past simple: for describing a completed action that took place in the past.
- Past continuous: to describe actions starting in the past and are still continuing in the present.
- Past perfect: to indicate that an action in the past occurred before another action also in the past.
- Past perfect continuous: to describe actions that were going on in the past until another action in the past occurred.
- Future simple: to refer to a time later than now, and can express facts.
- Future continuous: to describe an action that will be happening in the future.
- Future perfect: to refer to an action that is completed in the future.
- Future perfect continuous: to refer to actions that are currently unfinished but will be finished in the future.
Auxiliary verbs in English
The English auxiliary verbs are used for the different verb tenses. The three auxiliary verbs are 'to be', 'to have', and 'to do'. The auxiliary verbs 'will' and 'would' are also modal verbs, and will be discussed in that chapter.
|Verb 'to be'||
|Verb 'to have'||
|Verb 'to do'||
The English participles are used for the different tenses. The present participle is used to show a continuous action. The past participle is used to form the present perfect, past perfect and future perfect.
I was talking to her.
|Present participle||She has played soccer.|
Modal verbs are used to give a certain attitude towards another verb in English. These modal verbs are not conjugated.
|Can||Ability, permission, possibility||She can come tonight.|
|Could||Ability, permission, possibility||They could help you later.|
|May||Permission, possibility||The customers may use the staff bathroom.|
|Might||Permission, possibility, probablity||It might snow next weekend.|
|Will||Prediction, promise, habits||I will finish the assignment.|
|Would||Wish, habits in the past||They wish you would study with them.|
|Shall||Suggestion||Shall I carry that for you?|
|Should||Advice, obligation||You should stop smoking.|
|Must||Obligation, prohibition||You must clean your room.|
The phrasal verbs are made up of a main verb and a proposition or an adverb. The English phrasal verbs have different meanings than the verb on its own.
- We broke up two months ago.
- He is always showing off with his grades.
English regular verbs
The English regular verbs are all conjugated with the same structure for the present and past tense.
- He plays the piano.
- He played the piano.
English irregular verbs
The English irregular verbs all have their own form in the present and past tense.
- He buys a new bike.
- He bought a new bike.
The gerund (-ing form)
The gerund in English is a verb used as a noun. It looks the same as the present participle, but the function is different.
- Brushing your teeth is important.
- He wears running shoes.
The infinitives in English are the base forms of the verbs, with 'to' in front of them.
- To work - He wants to work in a small company.
- To clean - He needs to clean the kitchen.
The English imperative is used to give orders and instructions. The imperative is formed with the infinitive of the verb.
- Sit down!
- Be quiet!
The reported speech in English is used to talk about what someone said in the past.
- He said that he read the book.
- I asked what time she would arrive.
Active and passive voice
The English active and passive voice are not tenses, but are about the structure of the sentence and differ in who performs the action.
- She reads a book. (Active)
- The book is read by her. (Passive)
If you study these chapters, you will improve your English speaking and writing skills. There are exercises in every chapter to practice what you have learned in that chapter.
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