Basic Tenses

The basic or simple tenses are the three tenses which are the simplest in the English language--past, present, future, without any other condition or character.

The basic present tense uses the same verb as the verb part of the infinitive. In the third person singular an -s or -es is added. There are a number of irregular verbs, but they all have an s or z sound at the end of the third person singular.

The basic past tense is a single word. Usually a -d or -ed is added to the root verb to put it in the past. However, there are many irregular verbs. All persons, singular and plural are the same except for the verb to be in which all persons are were but first and third person singular are was.

The future tense is formed by adding the present form to the auxiliary verb will or shall. All persons, singular and plural, are the same.

Present Past Future
Regular: I like I liked I will like
he likes  : he liked   he will like
Irregular: I have I had I will go
he has he had he will have


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