Verbs in English

This section deals with general notions about verb forms and tenses.

Regular and Irregular verbs

  • For Regular verbs the Simple Past and the Past Participle are formed by adding -ed to the infinitive, e.g. to want -- wanted (Simple Past) -- wanted (Past Participle).
  • Irregular verbs do not follow a specific rule in the formation of the Simple Past and the Past Participle. See the list of Common Irregular Verbs.
  • All verbs, regular or irregular, that are not auxiliary or modal verbs (i.e. be, do, have, will/shall, can/could, would, must, might, may), in the interrogative and negative forms use the auxiliary 'do - does' for the simple present, and 'did' for the simple past.


  • it is formed with the infinitive without to
  • an -s or -es (for verbs ending in -o, s, -ss, -sh, -ch, -x) is added to the verb in the third person singular, affirmative
  • the negative form is subject + don't/doesn't + verb; doesn't is the auxiliary of the third person no -s is added to the main verb.

    Also check the table below.


  • for regular verbs it is formed adding -ed to the infinitive without to
  • for irregular verbs the simple past is the second form in the list
  • All persons are the same
  • the negative form for both regular and irregular is subject + didn't + verb (base form); that is to say, for regular verbs without -ed, for irregular verbs the first of the three forms in the list.
  • the interrogative form for both regular and irregular is did + subject + verb (base form).
  • the short answers for all verbs are Yes, subject pronoun + did and No, subject pronoun + didn't.

    Also check the table below.

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Simple Present Tense

affirm. negative interrog. interr. neg. short answer affirm. short answer neg.
I want I don't want do I want? don't I want yes, I do no, I don't
you want you don't want do you want? don't you want? yes, you do no, you don't
he wants he doesn't want does I want? doesn't he want? yes, he does no, he doesn't
we want we don't want do we want? don't we want? yes, we do no, we don't
they want they don't want do they want? don't they want? yes, they do no, they don't

Simple Past Tense

verb affirm. negative interrog. interr. neg. short ans. aff. short ans. neg.
regular you wanted you didn't want did you want? didn't you want yes, you did no, you didn't
irreg. you forgot you didn't forget did you forget? didn't you forget? yes, you did no, you didn't