main verb forms

Main Verb Forms


Verbs have different conjugations (forms).

Here we will talk about three of them: the base form or the infinitive without to, the past simple and the past participle.

For convenience we can call them “verb-1”, “verb-2” and “verb-3” respectively.

Regular Verb Forms

With regular verbs, the past simple (verb-2) and the past participle (verb-3) are formed by “attaching” the suffix -d, -ed or -ied to end of the base form.

Past Simple = (Base Form)-d/-ed/-ied

Verb-2 = (Verb-1)-d/-ed/-ied


Examples of Regular Verb forms

1. When the base form of a verb ends in -e, add –d to make its past simples and past participles:

Base Form
Past Simple
Past Participle
live lived lived
like liked liked
bake baked baked

2. When a base form verb ends in a consonant, add -ed:

Base Form
Past Simple
Past Participle
play played played
watch watched watched
talk talked talked

3. For base form verbs with one syllable, one vowel and ending in a consonant, double the last letter and add -ed.

Verb-1 Verb-2 Verb-3
mop mopped mopped
slip slipped slipped
ban banned banned

4. For base verbs that end in -y following a consonant, remove the -y, and add -ied.

Verb-1 Verb-2 Verb-3
cry cried cried
dry dried dried
bury buried buried


Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs, on the other hand, are…irregular; they must be learned by rote.

Verb-1 Verb-2 Verb-3
eat ate eaten
swim swam swum
sleep slept slept
fly flew flown
cut cut cut
read (ri:d) read (red) read (red)


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