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Verbs | Class 8 English Grammar Notes | Primary School English

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Verbs - Regular, Irregular and Modal Verbs


Verbs are doing words. They are used to represent actions. There are regular and irregular verbs.

Regular Verbs

They form their past tenses by adding ‘ed/d’.Examples are:
Present Tense Past Tense
Accept Accepted
Add Added
Agree Agreed
Swallow Swallowed
Count Counted
Guard Guarded
Happen Happened
Harm Harmed
Interest Interested
Join Joined
Judge Judged
Mine Mined
Move Moved
Mark Marked
Plant Planted
Plant Planted

Irregular Verbs

- They form past tense in different ways, and not by adding of ‘ed/d’ to the word. - Some form past tense by changing the vowel, while others do not change at all.
Present Tense Past Tense
Arise Arose
Breed Bred
Go Went
Know Knew
Put Put
Grow Grew
Run Ran
Write Wrote
Strike Struck
Begin Begun

Modal Verbs

Modal verbs are used to express ideas as:
  • Probability
  • Ability
  • Permission
  • request, Offers and invitations
  • Suggestions and obligations
Examples of modal verbs are can, will, shall, would, should, did and more.
They can be in positive (affirmative) or negative such as:
Positive (Affirmative) Negative
Can Cannot (Can't)
Should Should not (Shouldn't)
Ought Ought not
Will Will not (Won't)
Could Could not (couldn't)
Might Might not (mightn't)

a) Asking, Giving or Refusing Permission

We can use can or may or might when asking for or giving permission.
1. Can we go home now?
2. May I go to the bathroom?.
3. Students may travel for free.

We can use can't or may not when refusing permission.
1. You can't go home now.2.
You may go to the bathroom.

b) Suggestions and Obligations

We can use should and must to show suggestion or obligation
1. To save lives, drivers should not drink and drive.2.
You must stop when the traffic light turns red.

c) Express Desire in the Future

We can use shall, should, will and would to express future desire or aspiration.
1. In order to succeed, I shall always work hard.2.
I will be joining the football team next term.

d) To Show Probability

We can use may, might, could and can to express probability.
1. I can comfortably see take the exam.2.
The team might practise ahead of tomorrow's game.

e) To Show Conditional Expression

We can use should to show that one action is dictated entirely by another.
1. Should you fail the exam, you will repeat it.2.
Should it rain, the team will not practise ahead of tomorrow's game.

There are many types of verbs including action verbs, compound verbs, auxiliary verbs, helping verbs, linking verbs and more. We will discuss them in other topics.

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