Conjugation of Verbs


In English grammar, verb conjugation is critical to effectively communicate in different tenses. Conjugation refers to the way we change a verb form to show tense, mood, voice, the subject, and more. In this tutorial, we will delve into this critical aspect, specifically focusing on the conjugation of verbs.

Basics of Verb Conjugation

English verbs are divided into two broad categories: regular and irregular. Regardless of their type, all verbs change their form to correspond to various tenses. Conjugation is this process of changing the verb form. The subject, verb tense, and verb mood are the factors that typically dictate the way an English verb is conjugated.

Regular verbs

Regular verbs follow a uniform pattern of conjugation across all tenses. The regular verb’s base form is used with ‘ed’ ending for past tense and past participle, and an 'ing' ending for present participle.


  • Base form: Walk
  • Past tense: Walked
  • Past participle: Walked
  • Present participle: Walking

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs, on the other hand, do not follow a uniform pattern. The conjugation pattern for irregular verbs varies broadly and often needs to be memorized.


  • Base form: Go
  • Past tense: Went
  • Past participle: Gone
  • Present participle: Going

Guide to Conjugation

Now let's turn to the six tenses of English, their corresponding verb forms, and conjugation for both regular and irregular verbs. The six tenses are: the present, the past, the future, the present perfect, the past perfect, and the future perfect.

1. Present Tense

The present tense reflects current happenings or general truths. In the present simple tense, the base form of the verb is used. For third-person singular, an 's' is added.


  • I walk (regular)
  • He walks (regular)
  • I go (irregular)
  • He goes (irregular)

2. Past Tense

The past tense describes events that have previously occurred. Regular verbs add an 'ed' to the verb's base. However, irregular verbs vary and the changes must be learned.


  • I walked (regular)
  • I went (irregular)

3. Future Tense

The future tense discusses actions that will happen in the future. This tense doesn't modify the verb but uses the modal auxiliary verb 'will' before it.


  • I will walk (regular)
  • I will go (irregular)

4. Present Perfect

Present perfect tense communicates actions that happened at an indefinite time or that began in the past and continue in the present. This tense uses 'have' or 'has' before the verb, which is in the past participle form.


  • I have walked (regular)
  • I have gone (irregular)

5. Past Perfect

Past perfect denotes an event that occurred before another action in the past. It uses 'had' before the verb, which is in the past participle form.


  • I had walked (regular)
  • I had gone (irregular)

6. Future Perfect

The future perfect tense describes an action that will have happened by a specific time in the future. It uses 'will have' before the verb, which is in the past participle form.


  • I will have walked (regular)
  • I will have gone (irregular)


Mastering verb conjugation may seem daunting initially due to variations, especially in irregular verbs. However, with practice and usage, you can become comfortable with it. Remembering to adjust your verb form based on the subject, tense, and mood is essential for accurate and effective communications.


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