Regular Verbs

1. What is a regular verb?

Regular verbs are verbs that follow a regular pattern when switching between forms. To understand regular verbs, you first need to know about verbs and verb tenses.

Remember that verbs are action words, or words that you “do,” like run, walk, jump, sing, laugh, and cry. Every sentence needs a verb in order to be complete.

The base form of a verb is the simple, plain form of the verb that would appear in the dictionary. The words listed above (run, walk, jump, sing, laugh, cry) are examples of base verbs.

Verb tenses, like present tense and past tense, are used to show when the action happened.

  • Present tense is used for actions that are happening right now, in the present.
  • Past tense is used for actions that happened in the past, like last year, yesterday, or five minutes ago.

There are two types of past tense verbs: simple past and past participle.

  • Simple past verbs can stand alone.
  • On the other hand, a past participle is used with an auxiliary or “helping” verb like be, do, and have.


  • I walked to the store.                          In this sentence, “walk” is in the simple past form.
  • I had walked to the store.                   Here, the verb “walk” is now in the past participle form.

Now that you know about different verb tenses, what exactly are regular verbs?

Regular verbs are called “regular” because they follow a regular pattern when switching between tenses. The present tense of a verb is the same as the verb’s base form.

To change a regular verb from present tense to past tense, you simply add “d” or “ed” to the end of the word.

The past participle form of a regular verb is the same as the simple past form. Both end in “ed.” The difference is that the past participle form is used after an auxiliary verb like “have.”


2. Examples of Regular Verbs

What does this pattern look like? Here are a few examples of common regular verbs:

Example 1- Base Verb: Believe

Present: I believe in magic.

Simple Past: I believed in magic.

Past Participle: I had believed in magic while growing up.

Example 2- Base Verb: Want

Present: I want a new bike.

Simple Past: I wanted a new bike.

Past Participle: I had wanted a new bike for years.

Example 3- Base Verb: Use

Present: I use a calculator to complete my math homework.

Simple Past: I used a calculator to complete my math homework.

Past Participle: I had used a calculator during my math test.

Example 4- Base Verb: Help

Present: I help my mom with dishes.

Simple Past: I helped my mom with dishes.

Past Participle: I had helped my mom with dishes for a week.

Example 5- Base Verb: Watch

Present: I watch cartoons on Saturday mornings.

Simple Past: I watched cartoons on Saturday mornings.

Past Participle: I had watched cartoons as a little kid.


Do you see the pattern? For each of these words, we simply added a “d” or “ed” to change the verb from present tense to past tense (for both simple past and past participle).

Notice that if a regular verb ends in “e,” you only need to add a “d” to make it past tense. If it does not end with an “e,” then you need to add “ed” to change it to past tense.

The most important information to remember about regular verbs is that they follow a consistent pattern. This is why we call them “regular.”

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