main verb

Main Verbs


Main Verbs

In the previous lessons, we talked about the verb be.

Here we look at main verbs. Main verbs form part of present simple sentences.

Main Verb Forms

Main verbs come in different forms. For now, we will talk about two of them: the base form (or the infinitive without to), and the past simple.

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

Regular Verbs

With regular verbs, the past simple is formed by attaching -d, -ed, or -ied to end of the base form.

Past Simple = (Base Form)-d/-ed/-ied
Verb-2 = (Verb-1)-d/-ed/-ied


Base Form Past Simple
(Verb-1) (Verb-2)
live lived
work worked
study studied


Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs, however, are…irregular

Base Form Past Simple
(Verb-1) (Verb-2)
eat ate
swim swam
sleep slept
read (ri:d) read (red)
have had


The Auxiliary Verbs Be, Do, Have

The verbs be, do, and have have a dual (double) function.

1. They serve as independent verbs:

• I am poor.
• You are right.
• He is an illustrator.
• We have six eggs.
• They do charity work.

2. Be, do and have also serve as auxiliary verbs:

• They do work hard. (affirmative/positive)
• She doesn’t eat pizzas or hamburgers. (negative)
Do you accept credit cards? (question)

• I am cleaning the living room. (present continuous)
• This machinery is made in Germany. (passive)
• We have lived here since 1999. (present perfect)


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