Right Forms of Verbs: Rules

Right Forms of Verbs: Rules with Examples

Verbs are the most frequently used elements in sentences. The accurate form of verb encompasses a prominent part of the grammatical rules of English language and literature. Every part of the sentence is somehow linked with the verb. It appears in different forms in a sentence depending upon the nature and grammatical perspective of the subject (subject-verb agreement), tenses, moods, voices, different structures, modals, etc.


Forms of Verbs:

Base Do, Work, Love Be (Am, Is, Are) Have
Past Did, Worked, Loved – (Was, Were) Had
Past Participle Done, Worked, Loved Been Had
Present Participle Doing, Working, Loving Being Having
Gerund (Noun) Doing, Working, Loving —— ——–
Infinitive To Do, To Work, To Love To Be To Have



Gerunds function as nouns, whereas, the participles and infinitives work as adjectives and adverbs. However, participles (excluding auxiliaries), infinitives and gerunds do not function in the replacement of a verb in a sentence.



Rule 1:

Subject-verb agreement: the verbs are modified by the subjects and they must sound correct with the subjects depending on the number and person.


Rule 2:

The variance of the verbs is dependable upon various tenses of the sentences. The type of tenses relies on the time frame in which the activities have been performed. The structures and details given of the present tense, past tense and future tense, explain this in detail.


Rule 3:

Verbs are linked to the structure and format of sentences and clauses. Every clause consists of one verb and cannot include more than one finite verb. However, it can contain participles (excluding auxiliaries), infinitives and gerunds.


  • Alex wanted (main verb) to eat (infinitive)
  • Eating (gerund) healthy food is (verb) essential to keeping (infinitive) yourself health.


Rule 4:

The clauses can be linked together with the help of conjunctions and connectors. A few connectors require some specific forms of verbs. Conditionals require the use of conjunction IF and it consists of various sentence structures.


Rule 5:

The connecting word SINCE is used for two purposes.

Therefore if since is used to identify a cause, the verbs of the two included clauses will remain of the same tense.


  • I couldn’t go to the wedding since I didn’t have a car.
  • We didn’t watch the movie since all the boys wanted to watch the game.


  • It has been months since I visited my Grandma’s house.
  • They did not pay their bills since December last year.


Rule 6:

Adverbials such as hardly had, scarcely had, no sooner had require a past perfect tense and a past indefinite tense for the sentence.


  • Often, he behaved in a way that caused trouble.
  • Frequently had he watered the plants, they had not died.


Rule 7:

Words such as although/though, when, as soon as, which, that, whenever, what, when, as, because, while, but, or, and, yet and so are the coordinating conjunctions that are used to connect the two clauses that contain the verbs of the similar tense.


  • As soon as we finished breakfast, he left for work.
  • We were late again, although we woke up on time.


Rule 8:

The conjunctions after and before are written to link the two clauses which use the past perfect tense and past simple. The past perfect tense comes with a clause of simple past tense. Read the past perfect tense for further details and examples.


Rule 9:

Lest is a conjunction that requires a modal should in the clauses mentioned below regardless of the tenses used in the first clause.


  • Don’t go into the rain lest you want to get sick.
  • Be careful with fire, lest you burn yourself.


Rule 10:

Modals adapt a base form similar to the form of a verb after them. Read the modals for further details and explanations.


Rule 11:

It is time or it is high time are the clauses that require a verb in the simple past form only if a clause is present after it.

It’s high time + subject + simple past tense

It was high time+ subject + past perfect tense

It is high time + infinitive



  • It’s high time the authorities looked into the matter.
  • It’s time to look for a new job as you have finished your studies.


Rule 12:

As if/ as though are the conjunctions that take place in the simple past/past perfect tense in the clause mentioned below.

Subject + simple present + as if/as though+ subject + past simple

Subject + simple past + as if/as though+ subject + past perfect



  • He kept using his phone as if he wasn’t part of the meeting.
  • Erica behaved as though she was mad at me.


Rule 13:

The gerund form of the verbs or always follow the prepositions, articles, and possessives.


  • He plans on switching the fields.


Rule 14:

The only preposition that possesses the base form of the verb is To. Apart from this word, there are some phrases along with To be at the end of it specifically the ones that require the gerund form of verbs.


  • He was confident after the interview and was looking forward to the company’s response.
  • Used to of working night shifts, he chose to accept the job offer.


Rule 15:

The general terms that are followed by the past participle form of the verb and the other adjectives are to be, getting, having and being.


  • Having worked out for an hour, he chose to rest.
  • Being able to make his place in the side, he wanted to prove a point.


Rule 16:

The verbs that are causative always take the second verb in its base form. For further details see causative verbs and their usages.


  • The police had the gang exactly where they wanted to be.
  • The class group makes him do all the assignments.


Rule 17:

The verb that is used in the clauses is the base of a verb that has a subjunctive mood. Some certain verbs + the conjunction that needs the next clause to use the subjective mood and the clause usage with the base form of the verb in it.

Verbs that are used




Subject + any verb from the above box (any tense) + That + subject + base verb + . . . . 



  • The situation demanded him to bat aggressively.
  • The administration had ordered all the employees to be on time.



Some clauses require the verb of the next clause to be in base form.

The clauses are:

It is/was + past participle form of the verb anyone of the above box + That

It is/was  urgent + That

It is/was necessary + That

It is/was important + That



  • Due to the failures, it was necessary that the tutor got strict on him.
  • After forgetting Sarah’s birthday, it was necessary that he made it up by taking her out on a dinner.


Rule 19:

Due to the fact that a single clause cannot link with two verbs, it often transforms the additional verbs to compliment by turning them into infinitives or participles or gerunds.

Verbs followed by the Infinitives

tend – fail – learn – pretend – want – wish 
– refuse – need – forget – hesitate – offer – seem – agree – desire 
– hope – plan – attempt – claim – decide – demand – except – intend - prepare



  • He failed to secure the top position.
  • Alison refused to complete her friend’s assignments.


Verbs followed by the Gerunds

Practice – resist – can’t help – finish – quit – resume – consider – mind – recall 
– risk - appreciate – admit – delay – miss – report 
– suggest – deny – postpone – resent – avoid – enjoy



  • He resisted eating more as he was on a diet.
  • The teacher suggested more focus.