Conjugated Verbs

Before we delve into conjugated verbs, let’s begin with what a verb is. A verb is the most important word in the English language. Without it we cannot construct complete sentences. Take. See? I made grammatical correct complete sentences with one word and without verbs, this wouldn’t be possible. Even F. Scott Fitzgerald would have to agree:

All fine prose is based on the verbs carrying the sentence.

There are four types of verbs, but we are going to cover just one today:  conjugated verb. Remember in elementary school during English Language Arts time, your teacher wrote on the board (or gave you worksheets) that looked like this:

Tense: _______

Person                                                    Singular                                             Plural

First Person                                           I ______                                             We ________

Second Person                                     You ________                                      You __________

Third Person                                        He/she/it _______                              They ___________

Then, your teacher would give you various verbs like to make. You’ll simply insert the correct form of the verb in the blank lines yielding the correct finite form for each of the tenses. (Tenses are present, past, future, present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect.)

When conjugating  a verb, all tenses must be factored in and indicate number: singular or plural. Here’s an example for the verb to make.

Verb: make

Tense: Present

Person                                                    Singular                                             Plural

First Person                                           I make                                              We make

Second Person                                     You make                                          You  make

Third Person                                        He/she/it makes                               They make

For the past, change make to made to indicate the past, since make is an irregular verb. Regular verbs, add an -ed at the end (e.g. skipped, tripped). For future, then the word will be added to the front of the verb (will make, will trip). For present perfect, add the word have and add the -ed at the end (have made, have tripped). For past perfect, add had and the -ed ending (had made, had tripped). For the future perfect, add the words will have, plus the -ed ending (will have made, will have tripped).

By practicing various verbs, regular and irregular, pointing them out in daily writing will help you get more familiar with them. But, there is one verb that is the most irregular of them all: to be.

Next week: To be, or not to be?

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