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TEFL Videos - English Grammar Overview - Parts of Speech - Verb Tenses
It also helps us form our tenses. Many of the tenses will use these auxiliary verbs; particularly we have our continuous tense and our perfect tense. There are additional tenses that use auxiliary verbs. We'll get into that when we talk about our individual tenses. Another important aspect of our verbs is that they generally tell us what tense the sentence has been formed in. Take for instance the verb "to live." We could use it as live, lives, living or lived. "I live" or "she lives in Bangkok," meaning the present. "I am living in Bangkok," still the present or "I lived in Bangkok," meaning the past. Another difference with our verbs has to do with whether or not the verb is regular or irregular. With the regular verbs, in order to conjugate the verb into the past, we simply add "-ed". We need not do anything more. "I worked yesterday," "I played football last Saturday." It's always the "-ed" form. With the irregular verbs, in order to conjugate or change the verb into the past, we have to change the word completely or, certainly, we cannot simply add "-ed". So, "go" goes to "went": "I went to the store yesterday," and "speak" goes to "spoke". "I spoke at a conference last Saturday." When changing the form of our verbs, there are a few patterns that we have to keep in mind. First of all, we have our one-syllable verbs, which follow a pattern at the end: consonant vowel consonant. In this instance, we have to double our final consonant before adding "-ing" or "-ed". In two-syllable verbs, such as "occur" and "happen", we have to be focused on where the stress in the verb comes. Here, we've got "occur". The stress is on the end of the word. Here, we've got "happen", where the stress is at the beginning of the word. When making these changes for the stress at the end of the word, in patterns 'consonant vowel consonant', we double our final consonant before adding "-ing" and "-ed". However, here, where we have the same pattern, 'consonant vowel consonant', yet the stress is at the beginning of the word, there is no doubling of the final consonant. Now, we go back to our one-syllable verbs that end in 'y'. Here, we have a consonant before our 'y' as in 'cry'. In her,e we have a vowel before the 'y' as in 'play'. In this instance with 'consonant-y', we only add "-ing" to 'crying' but we have to drop the 'y' and add "-ied" for cried. However, when there's a vowel before the final 'y', we need not do anything. We only need to add '-ing' or '-ed'.