How to conjugate verbs – part II

In English, we indicate the time of the action by conjugating verbs.

Step 3

Find out the appropriate auxiliary verbs.

Once you have figured out WHEN the action happens, you can start conjugating. You just need to know the different auxiliary verbs used to form different tenses.

The auxiliaries used in the simple present tense are: do and does. Did is used in the simple past tense. Has, have and had are used to form perfect tense forms. Continuous forms are formed with is, am, are, was and were.

  • Use do with I, we, they and you.
  • Use does with he, she and it.
  • Use is with he, she and it.
  • Use are with you, they and we.
  • Use am with I.
  • Use have with I, we, you and they.
  • Use has with he, she or it.
  • Use was with I, he, she and it.
  • Use were with you, they and we.

Once you have figured out which auxiliary verbs are to be used, you need to find appropriate verb forms that go with them.

Note that with do, does and did, we use the first form of the verb.

  • I did not say anything. (NOT I did not said anything.)
  • He does not work here. (NOT He does not working here.) (NOT He does not worked here.)

With has, have and had we use the past participle form of the verb.

  • They have arrived.
  • It has happened in the past.
  • She had returned home before it started raining.

With is, am, are, was and were, we use the –ing form of the verb.

  • She is working.
  • They are playing.
  • I was sleeping.
  • They were waiting.