Easy classification of verbs

Hello, I hope you are having a great Friday!

If you find verbs difficult to use in different situations I thought that I would make things a bit easier for you, by helping you classify the different verbs in English.

It’s important to know where they go and how they are used, especially “modal verbs” and “auxiliary verbs”.

Firstly let’s look at verbs in their normal form. They are used to describe an action taking place by someone or something and there are two types:

Regular verbs

Regular verbs are used in a sentence to show an action taking place, or having taken place, for example:

  • She runs to my house.
  • Mike cooked dinner for us.
  • Sam helped me with my homework.

* Remember that with regular verbs the past is formed by adding –ed at the end of the verb and the gerund is formed by adding –ing

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs have the same function as regular verbs except their ending vary quite a lot and need to be learned by memory, for example:

  • Jessica came to my house yesterday.
  • I kept your book safe over the holidays for you.
  • She dreamt of a lost treasure.

Next we have Auxiliary verbs in English. There are only three main auxiliary verbs so let’s learn them.

Do / does / did

Do is common for forming questions and making negatives.

Did is used for do and does in the past tense. Do and does is never used for the past.

In statements

  • I do my homework
  • You do the laundry.
  • We do the washing up.

In questions

  • Do you have a phone?
  • Does he/she take the metro to work?

In negative sentences

  • I do not. (I don’t)
  • You do not. (you don’t)

Be = am / is / are

Be can be used as an auxiliary verb or the main verb in a sentence.

Is tells us that an action is happening now or is going to happen in the future.

Be is also used to make passives.

Are is used for they and we.

Was is used for the past tense of am and is.

Were is used for the past tense of you, we and they.

In statements

  • I am 34.
  • You are from Britain.
  • We are hungry.

In questions

  • Am I late?
  • Are you coming tonight?

In negative sentences

  • I am not. (I’m not)
  • You are not. (you aren’t)
  • We are not. (we aren’t)

Have = has / had

Have is used to make the present perfect tense (it is always followed by the past participle).

Has is used for the third person singular.

Had is used for past tenses especially the past perfect tense.

In statements

  • I have a dog.
  • You have something on your shirt.

In negative sentences

  • I have not. (I haven’t/ I’ve not)
  • You have not. (you haven’t/you’ve not)

Lastly we have Modal verbs, they are a type of auxiliary verb that is used to indicate modality that is, likelihood, ability, permission, and obligation. Some examples are:

  • Can-She can come to the party.(ability)
  • Would-I would go to Paris if I had money.(conditional)
  • Should-you should go see a doctor.(advice)
  • Might-They might come to your work today to visit.(possibility)

I hope this has been helpful. For more on this please refer to unit 13 of the online ABA course.


  1. I’m very interesting to learn the diffirence classification of verbs in English.

  2. I thank a lot all ABA’s teachers who are adding us to increase bit by bit our English knowleage. You are beautiful.

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