The four principal parts of a verb are as follows: Infinitive (base form) Present Participle Past Past Participle
Infinitive: to work Present participle: (is) working Past: worked Past participle: (have) worked Helping verbs are used with the present participle and past participle to form some tenses.
A regular verb forms its past and past participle by adding –d or –ed to the infinitive. Use/(is) using/used/(have used) Drown/(is) drowning/drowned/(have)drowned Irregular verbs form past and past participle in some other way than by adding –d or –ed. Ring/ring/rang/(have) rung Burst/burst/burst/(have) burst
Active Voice: the verb expresses action done by its subject. Sarah ate the cake.(Sarah does the action of eating) Passive Voice: Action done to the subject. The cake had been eaten by the time Carlos got there. (The action of eating was done to the cake) NOTE: Verbs in the passive voice always include a form of to be and the past participle of the main verb.
Past Perfect Past Present Perfect Present Future Perfect Future
Past Perfect – happening before a specific time in the past. (I had written.) Past – happening in the past. (I wrote.) Present Perfect – happening sometime before now. (I have written.) Present – now. (I write.) Future Perfect – happening before a specific time in the future. (I will have written.) Future – happening in the future. (I will write.)
The main thing to remember about verb tense is that you shouldn’t mix them. When we were comfortable, we begin to do our homework. (Change begin to began to keep the tense in the past.) Know how to recognize errors in verb tense and how to fix them. “Keep the dead dead.”