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Base form of a verb
The base form (/ˈbeɪs ˈfɔ:(r)m/) is a verb form form that has various uses in English, and is also used as the basis for other forms.
Form[edit | edit source]
For English lexical verbs, the base form is used for (1) the bare infinitive and (2) the finite conjugations for all present tense lexical verbs except the third person singular, present tense, indicative mood.
It is also the basis for the following derived forms:
- The third person form is created by inflecting third person -s onto the base form, sometimes with minor spelling changes.
- The to-infinitive is created by adding the infinitive particle to before the verb.
- The -ing form is made by inflecting -ing onto the base form, sometimes with minor spelling changes.
- For regular lexical verbs, the preterite and past participle is made by inflecting -ed onto the base form.
The main exception is the verb be, which is highly irregular. It has the base form “be", from which can be formed a to infinitive "to be", and an -ing form “being.” However, its conjugation is all irregular.
Full modal verbs also have a base forms, i.e. can, may, must, shall, will. They lack non-finite verb forms; -ing forms and infinitives.