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Chapter 5. Altered States: Verbs > Verb Tense: Nothing a Little Prozac Wouldn't... - Pg. 45

Altered States: Verbs 45 You Could Look It Up The tense of a verb shows its time. There are six verb tenses in English. Each of the six tenses has two forms: basic and progressive (also known as "perfect"). The following table shows the six forms for the verb to talk. Table 5-1. I'm All Shook Up: Examples of the Six Verb Tenses Tense Present Past Future Present perfect Past perfect Future perfect Basic Form talk talked will talk have talked had talked will have talked Progressive Form am talking was talking will be talking have been talking had been talking will have been talking I Feel Your Pain: Principal Parts of Verbs As the preceding table indicates, you form verb tense from principal parts and helping verbs. Every English verb has four main parts, as the following table shows. Table 5-2. Principal Verb Parts Present talk play Present Participle talking playing Past talked played Past Participle talked played · The present is used to form the present tense ( I talk ) and the future ( I will talk ). Notice that you have to use the helping verb will to show the future tense. · The present participle forms all six of the progressive forms ( I am talking, I was talking, and so on). · The past forms only one tense--you guessed it, the past ( I talked ). · The past participle forms the last three tenses: the present perfect ( I have talked ), the past perfect (I had talked), and the future perfect (I will have talked). To form the past participle, start with a helping verb such as is, are, was, or has been. Then add the principal part of the verb. Strictly Speaking The simple form of the verb is also called the base form. The simple form shows action, occurrence, or state of being that is taking place right here and now ( I pout ). The simple form is also the base for the future form (that is, I will pout, they will pout ). A Class Act: Forming Past Tenses English verbs are traditionally divided into two classes, according to the ways they form their past tense and past participles.