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Lesson 6.1

Verbs

Los verbos
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Verbs are words that indicate action, existence, possession or mood.

In English, we use the preposition “to” to form the infinitive. For example: “to talk”, “to eat”, “to change”, etc.

Verbs are the most complicated part of speech. There are many types of verbs. The verb can indicate the primary action of the phrase (principal verb). Auxiliary verbs can add detail to the action or help the principal verb (they are also sometimes referred to as “helping verbs”). Modal verbs add modality (possibility, ability, permission, prohibition, obligation, etc). Transitive verbs connect the subject with the object of the sentence. Some verbs only need a subject (intransitive verbs). There are also verbs that consist of more than one word (prepositional verbs and phrasal verbs). Verbs can be active or passive. For now, at this level, we will focus on the uses of principal and auxiliary verbs.

In addition to understanding the many types and uses of verbs in English, we must also conjugate verbs. The conjugation of verbs depends on the subject and verb tense. In the following lessons and levels you can find explanations of all of the various verb tenses. For now, at this beginner level, we are only going to study the present simple and present continuous verb tenses.

In addition to understanding the many types and uses of verbs in English, we must also conjugate verbs. The conjugation of verbs depends on the subject and verb tense. In the following lessons and levels you can find explanations of all of the various verb tenses. For now, at this beginner level, we are only going to study the present simple and present continuous verb tenses.

Some of the most common verbs in English:

 to be
 to have
 to do
 to make
 to take
 to get
 to go
 to come
 to leave
 to know
 to like
 to want
 to feel
 to begin, to start
 to end, to finish
 to stay
 to change
 to wait
 to put
 to be able
 to think
 to believe
 to hope, to wish
 to look
 to see
 to hear
 to call (US), to ring (UK)
 to read
 to write
 to listen
 to eat
 to drink
 to learn
 to teach

Auxiliary Verbs

There are three important verbs in English that can be used as either principal verbs or auxiliary verbs: “to be”, “to have” and “to do”. The meaning will change depending on the use, but the conjugation is always the same.

To be

This is the most common and most important verb in English, as in many other languages. At the same time, it is an irregular verb in all verb tenses and the construction of negative and interrogative sentences using the verb “to be” is different that that of the other verbs, as we will see in the lesson on constructing sentences. We also use “to be” to form the present continuous. As it is so common and so important and at the same time irregular, it is essential to have a good understanding of how to conjugate this verb.

This is the most common and most important verb in English, as in many other languages. At the same time, it is an irregular verb in all verb tenses and the construction of negative and interrogative sentences using the verb “to be” is different that that of the other verbs, as we will see in the lesson on constructing sentences. We also use “to be” to form the present continuous. As it is so common and so important and at the same time irregular, it is essential to have a good understanding of how to conjugate this verb.

Subject Present simple
I   am
you, we, they   are
he, she, it   is

To have

When used as a principal verb, "to have*" indicates possession. It is used as an auxiliary verb in forming the perfect tenses*, as we will see in later lessons. For the moment, it is important to understand that this verb can be used in both manners and that it is irregular.

When used as a principal verb, "to have*" indicates possession. It is used as an auxiliary verb in forming the perfect tenses*, as we will see in later lessons. For the moment, it is important to understand that this verb can be used in both manners and that it is irregular.

Subject Present simple
I, you, we, they   have
he, she, it   has

To do

As a principal verb ,“to do” is a primary action verb meaning to perform or execute. As an auxiliary verb, it has no meaning, but is essential in constructing negative and interrogative sentences in the simple tenses. It may also be used in affirmative sentences for emphasis.

Subject Present simple
I, you, we, they   do
he, she, it   does
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