Spelling Regular Verbs Study Guide (page 2)
This lesson will explain the various verb tenses and show you how to conjugate verbs properly.
VERBS ARE EXTREMELY important in the English language. Defined as the part of speech that expresses existence, action, or occurrence, verbs allow us to communicate clearly about the past, the present, and the future. If our language didn't have verbs, we wouldn't be able to say where we have been, what we are doing, what we are thinking, or where we will be going. We could point to objects and say their names, but we wouldn't be able to express any action.
The rules for conjugating verbs can be confusing. Most of the confusion, however, surrounds what we call irregular verbs, which are covered in Lesson 10. For regular verbs, the rules are more straightforward. Once you begin to understand the various tenses and forms, you will see some spelling patterns emerge that will reduce your confusion.
Every verb in the English language has three basic tenses that help us to understand when something is going to happen or has happened: in the present, the past, or the future. The tenses can be subdivided into three categories: simple, progressive, and perfect. The following chart gives an example of the categories and tenses of the verb to hike.
We'll work through each of the tenses to describe how verbs are conjugated.
The simple category is comprised of the present tense, the past tense, and the future tense.
The present tense indicates present action (action that is happening now) or action that happens on a regular basis.
I walk four miles three times a week.
This tense is fairly easy. The basic form of a verb is known as the infinitive form. To bathe and to imagine are two examples of the infinitive form. The present-tense form is the infinitive of the verb, minus the word to. So, bathe is the present-tense form of to bathe and imagine is the present-tense form of to imagine.
The past tense indicates action that has already happened (action that occurred in the past).
Henry called when he arrived at Connor's house.
The past tense is formed by taking the infinitive form of the verb, minus the word to, and adding -d or -ed. For example, grill becomes grilled and sway becomes swayed. Some verbs change forms when taking the past tense. Imply, for example, drops the final y and adds -ied to make implied, and for repel the final consonant is doubled before adding -ed to make repelled.
TIP: Here are some tips to keep in mind when adding endings (suffixes) to verbs.
- If an ending begins with a consonant, it can usually be attached to the base word that ends in a consonant or a silent e with no change to the base word or the ending. For example, ail does not change when you add the ending -ment to make ailment.
If a base word ends in a silent e and the ending begins with a vowel, drop the silent e when adding the ending. With the word strive, for example, you would drop the silent e before adding the ending -ing to make striving. When base words end in a consonant plus -y combination, change the -y to an -i when adding endings. The word silly, for instance, would become sillier and silliest. If the base word ends in a vowelplus-y combination, keep the final y. For example, you would keep the final y when adding endings to the word play. In this case play would become playing, played, plays. When a one-syllable base word ends in a consonant-plus-vowelplus- consonant combination, double the final consonant when adding an ending that begins with a vowel. An example of this type of word is span. When adding endings such as -ing or -ed, you would double the final consonant to make spanning and spanned. When a base word of more than one syllable ends in a consonantplus- vowel-plus-consonant combination and the accent is on the final syllable, double the final consonant when adding an ending that begins with a vowel. This tip may sound a little confusing! An example of a multiple-syllable word ending in the consonantplus- vowel-plus-consonant combination is prefer. You would double the final consonant when adding endings to prefer to make preferring and preferred. When a base word ends in any other combination of vowels and consonants, do not double the final consonant when adding an ending. For example, you would not double the final consonant when adding endings to the word ring.
The future tense indicates future action (action that hasn't happened yet, but will).
Brady will ski with us this week.
The future tense is formed by combining will with the present tense of the verb.
The progressive category is comprised of the present progressive tense, the past progressive tense, and the future progressive tense.
Present Progressive Tense
The present progressive tense indicates action that is in progress (action that is happening). The present progressive is formed by combining am, is, or are with the -ing form of the verb.
They are watching "American Idol."
Keep the rules for adding endings to words in mind when forming the progressive tenses. It is important to note that you must drop a final -e before adding -ing to form the present participle (a present participle is used with the verb to be, to indicate an action that is ongoing; for example, shine becomes is shining).
Past Progressive Tense
The past progressive tense indicates action that was occurring at some specific time in the past.
Abbie was ordering a milk shake.
The past progressive is formed by combining was or were with the -ing form of the verb.
Future Progressive Tense
The future progressive tense indicates action that is continuous or will occur in the future.
Claire will be playing lacrosse this spring.
The future progressive is formed by combining will be with the -ing form of the verb.
TIP: The past-participle form of a verb is usually the simple past form of the verb: verb + -ed. This is the case with regular verbs. For example, stop becomes stopped, talk becomes talked, and wash becomes washed. With irregular verbs, however, this is not always the case. For example, run becomes ran (not runned) and drink becomes drank (not drinked).
Remember, some verbs double the final consonant or drop a final y or e when endings like -d and -ed are added.
The perfect category is comprised of the present perfect tense, the past perfect tense, and the future perfect tense.
Present Perfect Tense
The present perfect tense indicates that the action started some time in the past and is still going on.
Hannah has cleaned her room all day.
The present perfect is formed by combining the helping verb have or has with the past-participle form of the verb. Keep the rules for adding endings to verbs in mind when forming this tense!
Past Perfect Tense
The past perfect tense indicates action that occurred some time in the past before another action began.
Katie had returned her books to the library before Ashley asked to borrow them.
Much like the present-perfect form, the past perfect is formed by combining the helping verb had with the past participle form of the verb. Helping verbs let you know when the action of a verb takes place.
Future Perfect Tense
The future perfect tense indicates action that will occur and finish in the future before another action begins.
Ethan will have attended soccer camp before the start of the fall season.
The future perfect tense is formed by combining the helping verbs will have, would have, or will have been with the past-participle form of the verb.
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