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What Is a Conjugated Verb?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

A conjugated verb is a verb that has taken a different form from its infinitive or standard form in order to indicate a difference in tense, subjects, or plurality. There are a number of different verbs in various languages that can be conjugated in different ways, though in English these are either regular and irregular verbs. Regular verbs are all conjugated in much the same way, usually through the use of standard suffixes. A conjugated verb that is irregular takes on a different form, sometimes one that is very different, to express a change in state.

The purpose of a conjugated verb is to allow the verb to express a slight difference in meaning, based on how the action of the verb is taking place. A verb is usually expressed in its infinitive form, which in English is often expressed as “to” and the verb. “To be,” for example, is the most commonly used infinitive form of the verb that is then conjugated as “is” and “are” and expresses a state of being. A conjugated verb is, therefore, simply an infinitive verb that is in another form to indicate how it can be used to relate to different subjects or tenses.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

One simple example of how a conjugated verb is formed and used, is in the different present tenses for multiple or singular persons and first, second, or third person statements. “To be,” as a simple verb is usually expressed in singular form as “am” for first person, “I am tall;” “are” for second person, “You are tall;” and “is” for third person, “He or she is tall.” These are all ways in which “to be” can be expressed as a conjugated verb depending on the aspect used in a piece of writing in the present tense. Conjugations are often fairly simple in English, as can be seen by “to be” in any plural aspect such as “we” or “they,” which all utilize “are.”

“To be” is an example of an irregular conjugated verb, which is evident by the fact that each form is quite different from each other. Regular verbs are usually easier to conjugate, and utilize fairly standard rules that allow them to be conjugated quickly and simply. “Walk,” “talk,” “jump,” and “follow” are all examples of regular verbs. To form a conjugated verb between present and past tense is quite simple, using the infinitive for present tense singular and adding “-ing” for plural singular, while adding “-ed” for past tense. “I walk” and “They are walking” become “I walked” and “They walked.”

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      Woman holding a book