Level: beginner

Verbs in English have four basic parts:

 Base form   -ing form    Past tense   Past participle 
work working worked worked
play playing played played
listen listening listened listened

Most verbs are regular: they have a past tense and past participle with –ed (worked, played, listened). But many of the most frequent verbs are irregular.

Level: beginner

Basic parts

Verbs in English have four basic parts:

 Base form   -ing form    Past tense   Past participle 
work working worked worked
play playing played played
listen listening listened listened

Most verbs are regular: they have a past tense and past participle with –ed (worked, played, listened). But many of the most frequent verbs are irregular.

Verb phrases

Verb phrases in English have the following forms:

  1. main verb:
  main verb  
We are here.
I like it.
Everybody saw the accident.
We laughed.  

The verb can be in the present tense (are, like) or the past tense (saw, laughed).

  1. the auxiliary verb be and a main verb in the –ing form:
  auxiliary be -ing form
Everybody is watching.
We were laughing.

A verb phrase with be and –ing expresses continuous aspect. A verb with am/is/are expresses present continuous and a verb with was/were expresses past continuous.

  1. the auxiliary verb have and a main verb in the past participle form:
  auxiliary have past participle  
They have enjoyed themselves.
Everybody has worked hard.
He had finished work.

A verb phrase with have and the past participle expresses perfect aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect and a verb with had expresses past perfect.

  1. modal verb (can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, would) and a main verb:
  modal verb main verb
They will come.
He might come.
The verb phrase 1

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The verb phrase 2

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Level: intermediate

  1. the auxiliary verbs have and been and a main verb in the –ing form:
  auxiliary have been -ing form  
Everybody has been working hard.
He had been singing.  

A verb phrase with have been and the -ing form expresses both perfect aspect and continuous aspect. A verb with have/has expresses present perfect continuous and a verb with had expresses past perfect continuous.

  1. a modal verb and the auxiliaries be, have and have been:
  modal auxiliary verb
They will be listening.
He might have arrived.
She must have been listening.
  1. the auxiliary verb be and a main verb in the past participle form:
  auxiliary be past participle  
English is spoken all over the world.
The windows have been cleaned.  
Lunch was being served.  
The work will be finished soon.
They might have been invited to the party.

A verb phrase with be and the past participle expresses passive voice.

The verb phrase 3

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The verb phrase 4

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Level: advanced

We can use the auxiliaries do and did with the infinitive for emphasis:

It was a wonderful party. I did enjoy it.
I do agree with you. I think you are absolutely right.

We can also use do for polite invitations:

Do come and see us some time.
There will be lots of people there. Do bring your friends.

Comments

Dear birds,
If you'd like, you could write sentences with these verbs in the tenses you mention, and then we can point out any errors you make. I would recommend that you look at our irregular verbs page, where you can see a chart with all the different forms and do a practice exercise, as well as our page on talking about the future.
And by the way, ate is the simple past form of the verb eat.
Good luck!
Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hello  every people and all the admins ! it's me again ! first of all, i want to say thank you so much to all the helps ,that is, all the answers you replied me all the time ! :)  in the moment, i have a question  for this sentence :
" Hold on ! Let me go get change "
i don't know the structure go + get!  i'm wondering why it's not " go to get !  i think V + V with this case . could you explain it for me ? it's informal , isn't it ? how can i understand the difference between these structures ? Thank you a lot !
the best wishes !

Hello louder!
 
Thanks for your kind words! Glad you appreciate our help!
 
In answer to your question, go get changed is spoken and informal, and more common in American English than British English. It is not really grammatical, but a shorter form of go and get changed, which just a normal V and V structure. In British English, we would normally say go and get changed.
 
Hope that helps!
 
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team
 

thank you ! by the way, i think "change " here is a noun !is it ok ?  the whole sentences :
A : come on ! let's go out and do some shoping
B : ok ! hold on ! let me go get change !
the best wishes !

Hi, now I have a doubt here. 
I don't understood how to use the modal verbs as "have been". Also, I didn't manage understand the mean of the phrase "She must have been listening". It is the same that "She did would be listening"?
In the phrase "He has been working very hard lately.", why the auxiliary verb  is "has" and not "been"?
I am thankfull for your replies! ;)

hi
i have a big problem of read and write in English could you please tell me the best way to improve my skills in English
thinks  

Hello dakdoka03!

Well, you've come to the right place for help! You should see this website as a library – just borrow whatever interests you! A good place to start is our Elementary Podcasts. These are short radio shows about different topics. To help your listening, vocabulary and grammar, you can listen to them, read the transcripts, and do the exercises. You can talk to other learners in the comments, too. This will help your writing.
 
Don't forget that we also have a search box. Put a topic you're interested in into the box – like 'meeting people' or 'the present simple' - and you'll get a list of pages about that topic.
 
We have a lot of different levels on the site, so don't worry if something is too hard – find something easier, and come back to it later. Just try to look at something every day!
 
Hope that helps,
Jeremy Bee

hi
The use of pharse in english i think its showing the qulity of strongness of the sentense so please you tell me the more skill how to use pharse

Like this 
very helpful me 
 

Hi The LearnEnglish Team!
I've been studying English since I was in grade school. I came to the UK nine years ago, went to school and improved my English even more. However, I'm still confused about some aspects of the language. Like if you use the phrase "must have heard" in a sentence to make a deduction or a logical conclusion, what then is the inverse or negative of this? "Musn't have heard" doesn't sound grammatical. Do we use "can't have heard" in this instance? Also, how do you ask the question to verify that somebody "must have heard" something? 
Thanks.

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