A Systematic Guide to Regular Verb Tenses

English is the most popular language worldwide. Mastering English creates new opportunities and allows you to compete on the international stage. One of the essential things every English speaker must learn is regular verb tenses. These words change according to their meanings in certain grammatical situations. 

This article discusses the meaning of English regular verb tenses and how they differ from irregular verbs. Read on to learn about them.

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Verb Tense Definition

A verb tense refers to the time in which an action occurs. They differ based on their temporal relationship. They add a direct effect of time or a point of view on an event

The most common verb tenses are past, present, and future. 

English verbs change form to follow grammar rules. How they change form determines whether they are regular or irregular verbs. 

Regular Verbs vs. Irregular Verbs

As mentioned earlier, regular verbs differ from irregular verbs in how they change an infinitive verb to meet grammar rules. This section discusses this principle in earnest.

Regular Verbs

Regular verbs are aptly named because the base form uses the same suffixes to change its tense. This difference is particularly apparent when comparing the base form and past tense. Below are some examples:

  • Learn → Learned
  • Wait → Waited
  • Cook → Cooked
  • Work → Worked
  • Love → Loved

The examples above should show that to shift regular verbs from present to past tense; you need to add an –ed or –d. 

The main idea behind a regular verb is that it follows a similar pattern to change its tense. This means they follow the same pattern every time they shift to a different tense.

Irregular Verbs

In contrast, irregular verbs require different changes to accommodate a change in tense. The following examples will illustrate this well:

  • Run → Ran
  • Throw → Threw
  • Dive → Dove
  • Speak → Spoke
  • Take → Took

As seen in the above examples, irregular verbs require different approaches to shift from the base form to the past tense correctly. This irregularity in change is the main reason irregular verbs are named so. 

Regular Verb Tenses

Now that you have a functional understanding of regular verbs, you should be able to identify regular verb tenses. Again, regular verbs use the same pattern to shift a base word to a verb tense. Regular verbs tend to show the same patterns when dealing with the following tenses:

  • Simple Past Tense 
  • Past Participle
  • Present Perfect Tense
  • Present Perfect Continuous Tense

In Summary

Verb tenses describe the performance of an action relative to time. Regular verbs differ from irregular verbs regarding the regularity of the changes added to shift verb tenses. Regular verbs are common in particular tenses because the necessary changes to satisfy a temporal shift are similar to all regular verbs.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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