English Lesson #27 - Verbs Present Tense

 Verbs in the Present Tense

A tense tells in what time the action of a verb takes place: the present, the past, or the future.

The Present Tense

The base form of a verb is called the infinitive. Infinitives are composed of the particle word to and the verb: to sing, to dance, to develop, and so on. In the conjugation of a verb in the present tense, the particle word to is omitted. The ending -s is added to the verb in the third-person singular.

I - sleep hurry belong

you - sleep hurry belong

he / she / it - sleeps hurries belongs

we - sleep hurry belong

they -  sleep hurry belong


Verbs that end in -y change to -ie- in the third-person singular conjugation and then add the ending -s. However, if the final -y of a verb is preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u), the -y does not change to -ie-.


I - marry try fly say

you -  marry try fly say

he / she / it -  marries tries flies says

we - marry try fly say

they - marry try fly say




For verbs that end in a sound such as -s, -z, -ch, -tch, or -sh, add the ending -es instead of -s in the third-person singular conjugation of the present tense.


I - miss catch rush

you -  miss catch rush

he / she / it -  misses catches rushes

we -  miss catch rush

they -  miss catch rush




The ending -es is also used as the third-person singular present tense ending for verbs that end in vowels. For example:

I do / he does
I go / he goes

If a verb already ends in -e, just add -s:

I save / he saves I believe / he believes

If a noun is used in place of a third-person pronoun, a plural noun will require no ending on the verb, and a singular noun will require the ending -s:

the men sing / the man sings / boys run / a boy runs


This conjugational usage with nouns follows the pattern of the plural and singular third-person plural and singular pronouns:

they sing / he, she, it sings they run / he, she, it runs


Trying it out 

Fill in the blank with the appropriate present tense form of the infinitive provided in parentheses. For example:

John asks his father for some advice. (to ask)

1. I never __________about things I don’t understand. (to speak)

2. Mary and I often __________to the radio in the evening. (to listen)

3. She seldom_________ to keep her room tidy. (to forget)

4. My brother ________about getting into college. (to worry)

5. The little boy __________when he doesn’t get his way. (to cry)

6. You never _________my questions directly. (to answer)






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