Verb Forms

English verbs come in several forms. For example, the verb sing can be: sing, sang, sung, singing or sings. This is a total of 5 forms. Not many, considering that some languages (French, for example) have more than 30 forms for an individual verb. English tenses may be quite complicated, but the forms that we use to make the tenses are actually very simple! With the exception of the verb be, English main verbs have only 3, 4 or 5 forms. Be has 8 forms. Helping verbs have even fewer forms as most of them never change.

We use the word "form" to mean the "shape" or "writing" of the actual verb itself. Do not confuse verb forms with tenses. We use the different verb forms to make the tenses and other verb structures, but they are not the same thing.

In this lesson we look at the forms of main verbs and helping verbs:

Forms of Main Verbs

Forms of Helping Verbs

followed by a quiz to check your understanding

Main Verb Forms Quiz