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The English Verbs

The English language concentrates on verbs to quite an extend and uses them very frequently. And yet, the verbs are easy to use as they are hardly conjugated. In other languages, e.g. French or German, the verbs change strongly with their accompanying person and the singular or plural. This is not as much the case in the English language.

For example, a verb like "to run" remains the same with each person: I, you, we, you (plural), and they. The only exception occurs with the third person singular he/she/it and in the simple present tense where the verb gets a letter "s": he runs.
This "s" is just added to the verb's infinitive form: she makes, he walks, it feels.

There are very few exceptions to this rule: the verbs to have, to do, to go. He has, she does, it goes. Only one verb is conjugated to a greater extend: the verb "to be." Here, one of the roots of English can be seen: the German tongue where conjugated verbs are the rule. "To be" changes in the present tense with nearly every person: I am, you are, he/she/it is, we are, you are, they are.

Questions and negations are formed with the verb "to do". For example, a question could be:
"Do you like dogs?"
And the answer could either be:
"Yes, I do" or: "No, I don't."
A negation would be something like:
"I don't like dogs at all."

This form of questions and negations is also used in the past tense where "do" becomes "did":
"Did you go to the cinema yesterday?" - "Yes, I did" or "No, I didn't."
And not having gone there will be expressed with:
"I didn't go to the cinema."
"Do" and "did" are used with the infinitive form of the accompanying verb.

In the simple present tense and the third person singular, "do" becomes "does":
Does he like dogs? - No, he doesn't.

English native speakers love the extensive use of the correct tense, even in familiar English.
So the use of the so-called progressive tenses is strong, also in oral narrations from one person to another.
The progressive tenses - I am speaking, she is writing - are used when an occurrence takes a longer time than only a short moment or if something needs to be emphasized. So a walk home from work could be described like this:

"I left the office and was riding home on my bike when I watched two boys who were talking all the time and not taking care of the traffic."

Here, the boys do something that takes longer and is so important to the narrator that he wants to emphasize it. The boys' lack of care for the traffic might result in the climax of the story.
This progressive form can be used in all other tenses as well: the perfect tenses, the past, and the going-to-future. Only with the will-future it does not occur.
Passive forms of verbs are very common, too, and are also used in lively conversations:
"My sister was made to stay longer at work yesterday."

The frequent use of verbs, together with these long tenses and passive forms, can make an English sentence very verb-orientated. A good example for this is:

"Having seen my son leaving for school without me for the first time, I was feeling down all morning. It got better after I went swimming and was able to relax."

This concentration on verbs usually makes for a lively style of speaking and also writing so that a story sounds authentic and real.

The German Verbs: die deutschen Verben und deren Konjugationen

The synonym alphabet
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Verbs in other languages:
Deutsche Verben Deutsche Verben

Our verbs:
English verbs and their conjugations
+ Present
+ Past
+ Future
+ Present Conditional
+ Present perfect
+ Past Perfect
+ Future Perfect
+ Past Conditional
+ Imperative

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