Using Verbs Correctly

Rule 1:
Use the correct verb form
Verbs have four basic forms:

1. Present (also called the infinitive)
2. Past
3. Past participle (the have, has, or had form)
4. Progressive or ongoing (-ing form)

We can put each verb on a chart to show its present, past, past participle, and progressive forms.

Infinitive or Present Past Past Participle Present Participle or Progressive
run ran run running
think thought thought thinking
go went gone going
do did done doing
lay laid laid laying
lie lay lain lying
sit sat sat sitting
set set set setting
watch watched watched watching

We form present and past verbs by simply choosing the present or past forms. We form perfect tenses by choosing the past participle form and using it with have, has, or had (have run, has run, had run). Progressive verbs are formed by choosing the present participle form and using it with a being verb (was running, is running, will be running). We form perfect progressive verbs by combining have, has, or had with a being verb and the progressive form of the verb (had been running, has been running, will have been running).

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