Rules of right forms of verbs with examples and exercises is an advanced grammatical lesson in English both for school and college students. You have to understand the meaning of a sentence, rules of subject-verb agreements, person, tenses, and voices to use the right form of a verb in a sentence correctly. If you are a student of S.S.C or H.S.C batch, this lesson on right forms of verbs will help you answer your exam questions correctly.
What is Right Form of Verb?
Right form of verb indicates using the correct form of a verb in a sentence according to the form of the subject, time of the action/event, and other time indicating words or phrases in English grammar.
You have to understand the meaning of a sentence, rules of subject-verb agreements, classifications of persons, all forms of tenses, active voice, and passive voice in English grammar in order to use the right forms of verbs correctly in sentences.
However, the lesson right form of verbs is a set of specific rules which will give you a short-cut process of understanding the questions of right form of verbs and make them grammatically correct.
So, you can say that the rules of right forms of verbs is a summarized lesson based on all the grammatical chapters, we have mentioned above. But before starting, i will suggest you to revise the rules of tenses and voice changing once again for quick and better understanding of this lesson.
Right Forms of Verbs Rules
Let’s start discussing right forms of verbs rules one by one with proper examples and detailed explanations. Please read all explanations carefully to understand the process of recognizing and applying the right form of a verb in a sentence maintaing the rules of grammar.
A form of verb in a sentence can take different forms such as present/(base), past, past participle, bare infinitive, to infinitive (to+verb), gerund (verb+ing).
Rule – 01: Doer (Tense or Voice)
When you get the subject of a sentence powerful and doer of the action in that sentence, you must use the form of verb according to the structure of tenses. But, if you get the subject of a sentence powerless that means the subject is not the doer of the action in that sentence, you must use the form of verb according to the structure of voices.
This is the basic and most important rules in right form of verb. You have to notice this rule in case of each gap given for a right form of verb question.
Question: I (write) a report on the present issue of politics.
Answer: I am writing a report on the present issue of politics.
Explanation: Here, the subject ‘I’ is powerful and doer of the action ‘write’. So, the form of verb will be in present continues tense as it is a current issue.
Question: A report on the present issue of politics (write) by me.
Or, A report on the present issue of politics (write).
Answer: A report on the present issue of politics is being written by me.
Explanation: Here, the subject ‘A report’ is powerless and not the doer of the action ‘write’. So, the form of verb will be in voice of present continues tense.
Rule – 02: Present Indefinite Tense Markers
There are some words and phrases in English, which are mostly used in Present Indefinite Tense. You must put the form of verb in present indefinite tense (verb+ s/es) when you will get such word or phrase in a sentence. Here is a list of present indefinite tense marker words and phrases.
Chart of Present Indefinite Tense Markers
|Now and then||Daily||Twice a year|
|Whenever||Each Sunday, Monday||On Mondays, Tuesdays|
Question: Most of the people (visit) this holy place on Fridays.
Answer: Most of the people visit this holy place on Fridays.
Explanation: Here, in this sentence the phrase ‘on Fridays’ is used. So, the verb form of ‘visit’ should be in present indefinite tense and in plural form following the plural subject ‘most of the people’.
Rule – 03: Present Continues Tense Markers
There are some words and phrases in English, which are mostly used in Present Continues Tense. You must put the form of verb in present continues tense (am/is/are+ verb+ ing form) when you will get such word or phrase in a sentence. Here is a short but complete list of those tense marker words and phrases.
Chart of Present Continues Tense Markers
|Now||At this moment||At present|
|Day by day||Year after year||Increasingly|
|Gradually||Rapidly||On and on|
|More and more||Always||Continually|
|Occasionally||Frequently||Now and then|
Question: The prices of daily commodities (increase) day by day.
Answer: The prices of daily commodities are increasing day by day.
Explanation: Here, in this sentence the phrase ‘day by day’ is used. So, the verb form of ‘increase’ should be in present continues tense and in plural form following the plural subject ‘the prices’.
Rule – 04: Present Perfect Tense Markers
You can see the list of the words and phrases given below which are mostly used in Present Perfect Tense. You must put the form of verb in present perfect tense (have/has+ past participle form of verb) when you will get such word or phrase in a sentence. Here is the list of those tense marker words and phrases in English.
Chart of Present Perfect Tense Markers
|By this time||Presently||Have/has|
Question: The little boy just now (leave) this place.
Answer: The little boy has just now left this place.
Explanation: See, in this sentence the phrase ‘just now’ is used. So, the verb form of ‘leave’ should be in present perfect tense and in singular form following the singular subject ‘the little boy’.
Rule – 05: Past Indefinite Tense Markers
Like other tenses, there are some words and phrases in English which are mostly used in Past Indefinite Tense. You must put the form of verb in past indefinite tense (past form of verb) when you will get such word or phrase in a sentence. Here is the list of those common words and phrases used in this tense.
Chart of Past Indefinite Tense Markers
|One day||Last night/week/month/year|
|Previously||Once upon a time|
|Ago||Long time ago|
|In the past||In 2010|
|Back||The day before|
|In those days||There was a time|
|As if/as though||It is high time / I wish|
Question: The students (go) there long time ago for an excursion.
Answer: The students went there long time ago for an excursion.
Explanation: The phrase ‘long time ago’ is used in this sentence. So, the verb form of ‘go’ should be in past indefinite tense. In past tense there is no variation of singular and plural forms of subject.
Rule – 06: To Phrases + (Verb + ing)
Generally, we use a base form of verb after the preposition word ‘to’ in English language. But there are some exceptional words or phrases after which you have use the ‘‘(verb+ ing)’’ in spite of having the word ‘to’ before the ‘verb’ word. Such exceptional phrases are:
- with an eye to
- addicted to
- adverse to
- be used to
- object to
- confess to
- with a view to
- look forward to
- get/got used to
- be verbs (am/is/are/was/were) accustomed to
- be verbs (am/is/are/was/were) opposed to
Question: The person came here with a view to (help) others.
Answer: The person came here with a view to helping others.
Explanation: There is a preposition word ‘to’ before the verb ‘help’. But the word ‘to’ is not alone but a part of the phrase ‘with a view’. Therefore, we have used the ‘ing’ form of the verb ‘helping’.
Rule – 07: Introductory Subject: Here/There
When a sentence starts with the word ‘Here or There’, it is called an introductory subject of that sentence. In such case, you will not be able to understand the number of the subject. So, you have to notice the form of object in such sentences. If the form of object is singular, the verb form will be in singular. But, if it is plural, the verb will be also plural.
Question: There (be) some ancient materials in this museum.
Answer: There are some ancient materials in this museum.
Question: Here (be) a glass of water for you on the table.
Answer: Here is a glass of water for you on the table.
Explanation: Notice, in the 1st sentence, the object ‘some ancient materials’ is in plural form. So, the verb form is also in plural ‘are’. But in 2nd sentence, the object ‘a glass’ is singular and the verb becomes also singular ‘is’.
Rule – 08: (No sooner had/ Scarcely had/ Hardly had)
A sentence in English starting with one of these phrases: ‘No sooner had… than, Scarcely had… when or Hardly had… before‘, indicates past perfect tense where two events take place one after another. So, you have to use the form of verbs here matching the structure of past perfect tense.
As a result, the verb in the first sentence will be in the past participle form and the verb in the second sentence will be in the past
- (No sooner had/ Scarcely had/ Hardly had) + past participle form of verb
- (Than/ when/ before) + past form of verb
Question: No sooner had he (see) the police than he (run) away.
Answer:No sooner had he seen the police than he ran away.
Question: Scarcely had we (reach) the station when the train (run) away.
Answer: Scarcely had we reached the station when the train ran away.
Explanation: We can see that two action happened here and with first action, we have used past participle form of verb (see – seen) and with second action, we have used past form of verb (run – ran).
Rule – 09: While + (Verb + ing)
When you will see a verb after the word ‘while’ you will add -ing with that verb in that sentence. But if there is a subject after the word ‘while’ (while + subject), the verb will be in the past continuous tense (was/were + verb + ing).
Question: While (go) to his house, I saw the boy.
Answer: While going to his house, I saw the boy.
Question: Stay attentive while (listen) a speech.
Answer: Stay attentive while listening a speech.
Question: While she (walk) along the road, a snake bit her.
Answer: While she was walking along the road, a snake bit her.
Explanation: Here when the verb is next to the word ‘while’, we have added -ing with the verb (go – going) but when there is a subject after the word ‘while’, we have used the structure of past continuous tense (walk – was walking)
Rule – 10: (It is high time / i wish) + Past form of verb
If a sentence starts with one of these phrases: It is high time / it is time / i wish / i fancy, the verb in that sentence will be in the past form. Though they express present time or present form of the verb is used in the beginning, the verb in the second part of the sentence will have verb in past form.
Question: It is high time we (finish) the project.
Answer: It is high time we finished the project.
Question: I wish I (visit) that palace.
Answer: I wish I visited that palace.
Question: It is time you (prepare) for the next exam.
Answer: It is time you prepared for the next exam.
Explanation: So, you can see though the verb in the first sentence is in present form (It is/ I wish/ It is time) or express present meaning, the next verb in next sentence will be always in past form (finish – finished / visit – visited / prepare – prepared). Though wishing or desiring something is an indication of present or future time, the verb will be in past form if a sentence start with one of these following phrases.
Note: More Rules will be added…
Exercises on Right Form of Verbs
Fill in the gaps with the correct form of verbs based on the rules given above:
- My brother (visit) our farm every morning.
- We (meet) our village family members recently.
- No sooner had he (understand) the fact than he left the room.
- Once upon a time, there (be) a kingdom here.
- He is preparing with a view to (invite) you.
- Here (be) a book for your final references.
- It is time we (train) our team for such a contest.
- While they (play) in the field, the coach left the room.
- They (follow) the same techniques year after year.
- This letter (compose) by me for the last year’s council.
Right Form of Verbs Summary
Special Note: Start memorizing 3 forms of each verb: present / past / past participle such as (do – did – done). Because, in order to use correct form of verb in a sentence, you must know the 3 basic forms of the verbs in English grammar.
Last of all, i hope you have already understood the basic pattern of the questions on right forms of verbs and how all grammatical rules work here in answering the correct form of a verb in a sentence. There are a lot of rules on right forms of verbs and we will keep adding the rest of the rules day by day. So, bookmark or save this right form of verb lesson link to re-check in future for more added rules.