Verbs, The English Learners Guide to Mastering Verb Usage

Achieving success in learning English requires dedication and persistence. It also involves supplementing traditional classroom education with self-directed learning. Attending regular classes at schools or language centers can provide students with opportunities to practice with their peers, receive immediate feedback, and benefit from the expertise of their teachers. On the other hand, self-study allows learners to acquire primary knowledge, expand their vocabulary, develop reading habits, and enhance their skills. However, one of the biggest challenges of self-studying is the lack of supervision. Finding appropriate resources can be difficult or result in wasted effort, particularly when study materials are not suitable for the student’s language level and learning style. To overcome this obstacle, we have developed this grammar hub as a comprehensive guide to English grammar, with this particular page focusing on the various forms of verbs.

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Verbs Reference Guide for ESL and English Language Students

This massive reference guide on Verbs is a comprehensive resource suitable for English Language learners at all levels of proficiency. It covers an extensive and thorough range of information, from the basics to more technical topics. The guide contains practical examples for everyday language use, rules, and exercises for practice. While Beginner and Intermediate learners will find it especially beneficial, the in-depth sections also offer value to Advanced students. Besides that, the resource provides links to pages covering more complex topics, tailored to learners with a higher aptitude. It is designed to be a convenient source of instruction that can be revisited at any time. As English is a constantly evolving language, the content is regularly updated, and it is advisable to save or bookmark it for future use.

Verbs Definition and Examples

Verbs are the second most important part of speech after nouns, as they are essential to complete a sentence. A single verb in its imperative form can even serve as a complete sentence in simple English grammar, such as the command “Stop!” In addition, a phrase can only be considered a clause if it includes a verb. Verbs serve multiple functions, such as describing how a subject is or what it does. They can refer to actions, events, conditions, and states of being. In essence, they are vital for conveying the meaning of a sentence. This page is a directory of all verb types, forms, and functions.

Types of Verbs

It’s vital to know that different sources may categorize verbs in various ways, taking into account their nature and functions, which may overlap. For instance, a single verb may be considered a main, linking, action, transitive, and active-voice verb all at once.

There is debate regarding the classification of gerunds, as they do not operate in the same manner as conventional verbs. Likewise, some sources omit infinitives for the same reason. Tenses and voice may also be regarded as distinct types of verbs by some.

But as a comprehensive handbook, we’ve included them all here for ease of reference. We have included 12 Types of Verbs in our grammar hub: linking verbs, auxiliary verbs, dynamic or action verbs, stative verbs, transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, participial verbs, regular verbs, irregular verbs, modal verbs, phrasal verbs, and infinitives.

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Intransitive Verbs

Verbs that do not require direct objects to complete a sentence are known as Intransitive Verbs. Unlike transitive verbs, which require a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase to receive the action, intransitive verbs cannot be used in the passive voice since there is no subject to receive the action. This page provides comprehensive information about intransitive verbs for learners of all levels. It covers basic topics such as meaning, rules, and usage, and also includes advanced sections such as practice exercises, learning strategies, and a table of common errors that learners should avoid.

Be Verbs

Mastering the use of Be Verbs can be a challenging task due to their diverse meanings and applications. This page provides a detailed discussion of the various forms and uses of Be verbs, as well as helpful tips for English language learners to enhance their proficiency in using them correctly. Be verbs, also referred to as Being verbs or To-Be verbs, are considered irregular verbs that convey states of being or conditions. There are 7 different forms of Be verbs: are, am, is, are, was, were, been, and being. Despite not having inherent meanings, Be verbs play a significant role in several grammatical functions, including serving as main verbs, auxiliary verbs, and linking verbs. The participial forms of verbs cannot function independently without the aid of Be verbs. Likewise, Be verbs are frequently utilized with modal expressions.

Linking Verbs

Specific verbs that don’t express actions are called Linking Verbs; rather, they describe a subject’s state of being, nature, condition, or appearance. Their role is to link the subject to its complement, which can be a noun, pronoun, or adjective. Developing proficiency in using linking verbs is key to improving the cohesion and coherence of one’s speech and writing. This page provides guidance for English learners to achieve higher levels of mastery in using linking verbs, including examples and tips for usage.

Auxiliary Verbs or Helping Verbs

The use of Auxiliary Verbs or Helping Verbs in English grammar is a key aspect of sentence construction. These verbs serve the purpose of adding meaning before the main verb and indicating tense, aspect, or mood. Common helping verbs include “be” (am, is, are), “have” (has, had), “do” (does, did), and “will” (shall, should). All levels of English learners encounter difficulties with verb aspects, which indicate whether an action is completed or perfected (perfective) or in progress or repeated (imperfective). The four aspects of verbs are simple, progressive or continuous, perfect, and perfect progressive or continuous. The use of auxiliary verbs is necessary to express these aspects. This page provides a comprehensive guide to understanding auxiliary verbs, including learning techniques, sample sentences, and rules.

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Modal Verbs

It is possible to convey necessity or possibility using Modal Verbs. Examples of such verbs include can, could, may, might, would, must, shall, should, and will. Their usage can add precision and depth to both written and spoken communication. Improving one’s aptitude in modal verbs is crucial for mastering English grammar, as modals can express obligation, possibility, and necessity. This page provides an overview of how they function in sentences and their impact on word meanings. It serves as a valuable starting point for beginners and intermediate learners, as well as a helpful review for advanced students.

Phrasal Verbs

A type of idiomatic expression formed by combining two or more words that take on a new meaning beyond their individual definitions is called Phrasal verbs. They typically consist of a verb plus a preposition, adverb, or both. Learning phrasal verbs can be challenging as they often have different rules and meanings compared to their individual words. This page provides comprehensive information on the subject, including rules, example sentences, frequently asked questions, a learning guide, and more. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner of English, this page can be a valuable resource for improving your understanding and usage of phrasal verbs.


Infinitives are a fundamental grammatical structure in the English language, composed of the base form of a verb preceded by the word ‘to.’ The formula for infinitives is “to + base form of a verb.” Infinitives serve various purposes in sentences and can be used in three different ways: as a subject, direct object, or subject complement. It is noteworthy for learners to have a solid understanding of the functions of infinitives and how to use them correctly in sentences. They are a versatile and instrumental part of language expression. This page provides numerous examples and exercises to aid learners in comprehending the uses of infinitives, along with tips to avoid common language errors. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced learner, this page can serve as a valuable resource for improving your proficiency with infinitives.

Transitive Verbs

In English, verbs can be classified into several types based on their voice, mood, form, and phrasal usage. One of these types is the transitive verb, which requires a direct object to form a complete sentence. Direct objects, which can be nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases, come after the verb and receive the action. To identify direct objects, you can ask questions such as “What?” or “What did the subject (verb)?” or “Who/Whom?” or “Who/Whom did the subject (verb)?” This page is dedicated to exploring various aspects of Transitive Verbs, fit to accommodate learners of all levels. It covers central topics such as the meaning, rules, and usage of transitive verbs, as well as more advanced concepts. Even more, the page includes a practice exercise, learning strategies, and a table of common errors that learners should avoid. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner of English, this page can serve as a useful resource for improving your understanding and usage of transitive verbs.

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Stative Verbs

The type of verb that expresses a condition or state of being is called the Stative Verb. They can also refer to feelings or opinions. When comparing verbs grammatically, three types are usually examined: stative verbs, action verbs, and linking verbs. Action verbs describe physical movement while linking verbs connect subjects to their subject complements. However, one significant challenge for students is that many verbs have multiple meanings and uses. Some verbs can function as both action and stative verbs, while others can also act as linking verbs. This intersection can create confusion for English language learners. This page aims to simplify the distinctions between these types of verbs, providing sample sentences, vocabulary lists, and frequently asked questions. Whether you are a beginner or a higher-level student, this resource can help you better understand stative verbs and their functions in English sentences.

Action or Dynamic Verbs

When novice language learners think about verbs, they refer to Action or Dynamic Verbs, which signify physical activity or action, hence the name. They are distinct from stative verbs that indicate a state of being and linking verbs that connect subjects to subject complements. This grammar page clarifies the differences between these types of verbs through examples, vocabulary lists, and frequently asked questions. Learning strategies and advice are valuable to all English learners. This page will aid students in becoming competent at recognizing, understanding, and using action verbs.

Regular Verbs

Understanding Regular Verbs is a focal point to mastering any language. The ability to conjugate regular verbs correctly, by following a specific pattern, is a critical grammar skill that enables effective articulation. Regular verbs are recognizable by their base form, typically ending with -ed or -d, and do not undergo any spelling changes when conjugated. This page includes the various forms of regular verbs and provides examples to demonstrate their correct usage in sentences.

Irregular Verbs

This page examines the topic of Irregular Verbs, which unlike regular verbs do not conform to the standard rules of tense formation, which can make them tricky to learn for students of English. This is because irregular verbs have unique past tense forms, such as “went” for the verb “go” and “did” for “do”, that deviate from the regular pattern of adding “-ed“.

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Basic Verb Forms

Knowledge about the different forms of verbs is indispensable. This page on Basic Verb Forms is a list of all the baseline forms of verbs in English, which comprise the participial forms of verbs, and the present simple and past simple tenses. The dedicated pages are wide-ranging in their study and will benefit learners significantly. It is recommended to save and bookmark this page to go back to for use in the future.

Past Participle

Past Participles are a verb form that represents the past tense and serves various purposes, such as in passive voice, past progressive construction, and perfect tenses. Examples of past participles include “spoken,” “run,” and “eaten.” Moreover, there are irregular past participles that have unique spellings based on the past tense they signify. Recognizing these can be challenging, but it is essential to comprehend the rules of past participle verbs to use verb tenses accurately. By using past participles correctly in sentence construction, English learners can enhance their understanding of grammar concepts and communicate effectively with others. This page offers learning tips, formulas, and sentence examples to assist learners in achieving this goal.

Present Participle

Verbs ending in -ing have two main functions: modifying nouns as adjectives and describing ongoing actions in present continuous tenses. These are known as Present Participles. For example, “singing” refers to something related to the performance of a song, while “cooking” implies the activity of preparing a meal. What’s more, present participle verbs can be used in perfect progressive tenses to emphasize an action or habit that has continued over an extended period. By adding depth and detail to sentences, present participle verbs improve readers’ comprehension and play a vital role in enriching the English language. This page serves as a comprehensive guide to present participle verbs and covers everything related to their proper usage.

Simple Past

The use of tenses is necessary when discussing actions or events in relation to time. Simple Past verbs are an elementary component of the English language, used to describe actions that have already been completed by the time of speaking or writing. Due to their various applications and functions in both written and spoken language, simple past verbs will always be a vital aspect of English grammar and communication. In essence, they are easy for English learners to master. This page provides comprehensive details on their fundamental rules, sample sentences, and FAQs. Furthermore, learners will discover how the simple past tense relates to other tenses and learn how to distinguish which tense to use when communicating.

Simple Present

Simple Present verbs are used to describe actions that occur habitually, regularly, or continuously. They are employed to discuss things that are generally true or occurring in the present moment. Examples of simple present verbs include “write,” “eat,” and “sleep.” This page provides a comprehensive guide to simple present verbs, including their rules, such as subject-verb agreement and spelling. Understanding and recognizing simple present verbs is crucial for acquiring a good understanding of English grammar. In addition, this resource contains sections on common errors and learning tips to assist and guide learners in mastering the tenses.

Simple or Base Form

Distinguishing between simple/base forms, past participles, and future participles can be difficult for English learners. These verb forms modify the tense or transform the verb into an adjective. The Simple or Base Form is the most basic version of a verb that usually lacks temporal information. This page provides a comprehensive reference for simple/base forms. Since it is the foundation for all other verb forms, mastering the simple/base form is meaningful. This page includes sentence examples, tables outlining usage rules and functions, frequently asked questions, and more.

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Tenses of Verbs

To become proficient in English verbs, it’s important to go beyond their definitions in a dictionary and learn their conjugations as well as their proper usage in each form. English language learners typically begin by memorizing these forms for both regular and irregular verbs. For instance, if you want to use the word “walk” to refer to a future event, you need to understand your options. You could use “walk” in any of the following ways:

  • I’ll walk in the garden later.
  • I’m going to walk in the garden later.
  • I’m walking in the garden later.

Although tenses in English usually refer to defined time for actions or states of being in the present, past, and future, this isn’t always the case.

Each tense in English has different aspects or forms that convey distinct information. These aspects indicate whether an action, state, or event is completed, and how a verb relates to other verbs within a specific time period. For instance, “I learn English” and “I’m learning English” are both in the present tense, but they have different aspects. The first sentence refers to a habitual or recurring action, while the second sentence describes an ongoing action in progress.

This page serves as a complete list of all the Tenses of Verbs and their respective aspects, written extensively and in useful detail. A valuable resource for all language learners that includes rules, formulas, sample sentences, and learning techniques.

Future Perfect

The Future Perfect tense is a valuable tool for expressing ideas about the timeline of events, allowing you to describe actions that will occur before a specific time in the future. This tense shows that an action or event will be completed before a particular point in the future. Its verb phrase takes the form of “will have + past participle.” To construct sentences in the future perfect tense, time expressions are necessary to indicate the end of a timeline for the completion of an action. As such, being proficient in using this tense is an essential part of any language learner’s toolkit.

Past Perfect Progressive

Learning and understanding the various tenses in English may seem daunting, but doing so is crucial for improving your language skills. On this page, we’ll explore the Past Perfect Progressive tense, including what it is, how it’s formed, and when it’s used. By the end, you should feel confident in your ability to use this essential tense in your writing and conversations. The past perfect progressive tense is used to describe an action that started and continued up until a specific point in the past.

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Past Perfect

Verbs that describe events that occurred prior to another past event or situation use the Past Perfect tense. These verbs are formed using the past participle of regular and irregular verbs, connected by the auxiliary verb “had”, which follows the structure of “had + past participle” in general. The past perfect tense is commonly used when describing two past events, with the first event expressed in the past perfect tense and the second event in the simple past tense. This page is assigned for it, including its definition, common errors, and examples.

Present Perfect Progressive

The tense that represents an ongoing action that started in the past and continues up to the present is called the Present Perfect Progressive. It is formed by combining two elements: the present participle, which indicates an ongoing action, and is created by combining “being” with the present participle, i.e. “been + present participle.” The present perfect progressive tense is used to describe actions that commenced in the past and are currently ongoing or have just concluded. This dedicated page covers its definition, uses, learning strategies, and dozens of sample sentences.

Present Perfect

English learners may find it challenging to use the Present Perfect Tense correctly. This page aims to provide a thorough understanding of its appropriate usage. The present perfect tense indicates actions that were completed at an unspecified time in the past. It is frequently used to depict past experiences or states of being, particularly when discussing contextual information. It conveys that something has already occurred, even if the exact time frame is unspecified. By utilizing present-perfect verbs, storytellers can efficiently and accurately communicate certain aspects of a narrative without needing to offer excessive details regarding the precise time period.

Future Progressive

We use the Future Progressive tense to describe future actions that will occur at a specific time. It is an excellent way to convey events that will take place over a duration of time in the future, as it signifies forthcoming occurrences that are already in progress. This tense can be employed in place of the future perfect or future simple to express anticipated events. Know how this tense is correctly applied through tables of rules and uses, frequently asked questions, and sentence structures.

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Simple Future

Gain a comprehensive understanding of the proper usage of this tense through informative tables detailing rules and applications, a compilation of frequently asked questions, and examples of sentence structures. The future tense signifies events and actions that will occur at some point in time. We use it to refer to planned or predicted occurrences. The Simple Future tense denotes actions and events that are yet to happen. It is created by utilizing the auxiliary or helping verbs will or shall. Additionally, it can be used to inquire about future happenings or to indicate that one future action will occur before another.

Past Progressive

The Past Progressive or Past Continuous tense expresses an ongoing action or occurrence that was transpiring during a specific period in the past. This tense can also be employed to indicate that an action was in progress before being interrupted by another action, or when two actions were transpiring simultaneously during a past time. This page contains an in-depth study regarding this tense, complete with segments that can enhance your grasp of how to use it accurately.

Simple Past

The Simple Past tense is utilized to recount events that occurred in the near or far past. However, this tense does not apply to unfinished time periods and the duration of the action is not substantial. Adverbs of frequency such as “sometimes”, “often”, and “never” can be used in conjunction with the simple past tense. Additionally, specific time references such as “last week,” “when I was a child,” and “2 days ago” can be utilized, as well as expressions of indefinite time such as “some time ago,” and “once upon a time.” It’s advantageous for language learners to have some level of expertise with all tenses, and one of the most commonly used tenses in general communication is the simple past tense.

Present Progressive

It’s advisable to save and bookmark this page for future basis as it is one of the most common verbs utilized in English usage. The present progressive or present continuous tense signifies actions and events that are presently occurring. This page post will provide an overview of the rules, applications, and principles regarding the present progressive tense, accompanied by numerous examples and verb conjugations in various sentence structures.

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Simple Present

The Simple Present tense is used to describe actions that occur habitually, regularly, or continually. It is also used to talk about things that are true in general. Verbs that are used in the simple present include everyday actions like ‘write’, ‘eat’, and ‘sleep’. Use this page to identify the simple present exactly by studying its conjugation and rules tables, sentence examples, and FAQs. It’s the most basic of tenses, the most structural, and the reference point to all verb conjugations.

Future Perfect Progressive

In English grammar, the Future Perfect Progressive tense, also known as the future perfect continuous tense, is used to describe an action that will be ongoing at a certain point in the future. This tense combines the perfect aspect with the continuous or progressive aspect. This page provides an overview of the future perfect progressive tense and offers examples of how it can be used. The aim is to simplify the rules surrounding this complex grammatical form and provide practical tips for using it in everyday conversations.

Conditional Mood

By gaining an understanding of the different verb moods and when to use them, we can improve our communication skills in English. The use of verb moods can add emphasis to a sentence, reflecting the speaker’s attitude towards the action or state expressed by the verb. Among the five verb moods, the Conditional Mood is used to explain potential outcomes rather than actual ones.This page focuses on the conditional verb mood, providing clear examples and exercises to help strengthen your understanding of it.

Subjunctive Mood

Verbs can provide emphasis to a sentence through their use of moods, which reflect the speaker’s attitude towards the action or state expressed by the verb. One of the five verb moods, the Subjunctive Mood, is used to describe hypothetical situations or express wishes, demands, or suggestions. Improving our communication skills in language involves understanding the different verb moods and their appropriate usage. The subjunctive verb mood is the focus of this page, which aims to enhance your knowledge and usage through clear examples and exercises.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Verbs have multiple classifications based on their functions, which are often interlinked. Some verbs can simultaneously be main, linking, action, transitive, active-voice, and regular verbs. The primary classifications include main, auxiliary, and linking verbs.

Additionally, there are other types such as stative and action, intransitive and transitive, passive voice and active voice, irregular and regular verbs, modal verbs, and phrasal verbs. Tenses, infinitives, and verbals are considered sub-types or distinct subjects.

Assuming we already understand that dynamic verbs express actions or physical activities, while stative verbs express states of being, we can also view them as deliberate and non-deliberate actions.

For instance, in the sentences “Lock is funny” and “Lock is being funny,” the verb “is” describes the subject’s inherent quality, making it a stative verb. However, “is being” indicates a deliberate action, classifying it as a dynamic or action verb. Another example is “She looked strange” versus “She looked at the painting.” The former sentence involves no action, while the latter depicts physical activity.

While this technique may not always apply, it is generally helpful in differentiating between dynamic and stative verbs.

Here’s a list of the 10 most commonly used irregular verbs and their conjugations: present, past, and past participle.
1. Become – Became – Become
2. Come – Came – Come
3. Find – Found – Found
4. Get – Got – Gotten
5. Give – Gave – Given
6. Go – Went – Gone
7. Know – Knew – Known
8. Say – Said – Said
9. See – Saw – Seen
10. Think – Thought – Thought

There are 3 primary tenses in the English language: present, past, and future. Each tense has four forms: simple, perfect, continuous, and perfect continuous, making a total of 12 different tense constructions.

The 12 types of tenses are as follows: Simple Present, Present Perfect, Present Continuous, Present Perfect Continuous, Simple Past, Past Perfect, Past Continuous, Past Perfect Continuous, Simple Future, Future Perfect, Future Continuous, and Future Perfect Continuous.

In English, the most frequently used form of a word is its simple or base form, devoid of any prefixes, suffixes, or other additions. For example, “jump” is the simple form of a verb, while “bad” and “badly” are the simple forms of an adjective and adverb, respectively. While the simple form may suffice in some cases, modifying a word is often necessary for proper grammatical construction in a given context.

To ensure accuracy, one must have a solid understanding of content sets and the complex rules governing verb tenses. English features both strong and weak verbs, enabling the construction of various sentence types, such as positive statements, negative statements, and questions.

Participial forms are words derived from verbs that serve various functions, including their use in passive voice construction and in different tenses.

There are two types of participles: present and past. Present participles are used in progressive tenses, while past participles are used in perfect tenses, and they should be accompanied by their appropriate auxiliary or helping verbs. Moreover, participial forms can also function as adjectives and nouns.

For a more in-depth discussion of this topic, please refer to our grammar hub page.

According to Oxford English Dictionary, the following are the most common verbs:

1. behave
2. do
3. say
4. get
5. make
6. go
7. know
8. take
9. see
10. come
11. think
12. look
13. want
14. give
15. use
16. find
17. tell
18. ask
19. work
20. seem

Note that this list may change over time.

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