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

Hello redream

This is a common way of showing that a list will follow. 'verbs like this' means 'verbs that work like this one'. Another way of saying it is 'Some other common verbs like this one are: x, y, z.'

Does that make sense?

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you for your explanations Mr. Kirk
Your entry helped me but I'm confused more with 'Some other common verbs like this one are: x, y, z.'
My logic can't accept the structure.
Are these special structure that i should learn the new version?

Hello redream

Could you please explain to me more specifically what you do or don't undertand? It's not an unusual structure in English, so it's difficult for me to explain without knowing more about how you understand (or don't understand) it.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
I would like to ask which of the following is correct;
Do you need to take the IELTS/GMAT/TOEFL exam?
Do you need to take the IELTS/GMAT test?
Thank you in advance

Hello agie

Those are both correct as far as I know, though I'm not completely certain if the people at ETS or Princeton prefer 'exam' or 'test' to refer to the GMAT and the TOEFL -- you'd have to check with them.

Personally, I'd probably write 'IELTS, GMAT or TOEFL' instead of using slashes, but writing it the way you have is perfectly intelligible and I'm sure others would do the same.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello,
Thank you for your reply.I would like to add something and ask which of the following is correct.
If someone is about to write a TOEFL/IELTS test etc, or he/she is going to write it in about 6 months which of the following form questions is correct
1. Are you taking the IELTS, TOEFL? test OR
2.Do you need to take the IELTS, TOEFL ?etc
Thank you in advance

Have a sentence in my lesson "You guys are no fun! See you later, I’m going to get a takeaway and play video games all night!" I would like to know structure of " You guys". please explain help me. I am looking for hearing from you!
many thanks!

Hello dungnguyen

Since the pronoun 'you' can be used to refer to just one person or many people, sometimes people say 'you guys' to make it clear that they are using 'you' to refer to a group of people. Please note that 'you guys' is not used in formal situations, but is quite common in informal speaking.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Sir,
We ask somebody, How did get interested in this or what interested you in this or what got you interested in this.
different ways to ask the same thing.

I want to know if we can also ask the same thing with same meaning like this:
What makes you interested in this ?

Hello SonuKumar

Probably the most common way to say this is 'How did you get interested in this?' or 'How did you get into this?' ('to get into something' means to become interested in something). You could say 'What makes you interested in cars?' but it's more natural to use one of the other suggestions I made above.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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