What is Verb Conjugation?
Basically, that is what it means to conjugate a verb.
The moodsOpens in new window and tensesOpens in new window are formed partly by inflectionsOpens in new window, or variation of verb formsOpens in new window, and partly by the combination of the verb or its participle, with a few short verbs known as auxiliaries (or helping verbs)Opens in new window.
The present tense Opens in new window is usually the same in all the moods, and is the part from which all the rest are formed.
For sake of clarity, we observe the chart below, showing examples: the conjugations of the present, past, and future tenses in the simple form of the verb “to run.”
|Person/Number||Present Tense||Past Tense||Future Tense|
|1st Person singular (CG)||I run||I ran||I will run|
|2nd Person singular (CG)||you run||you ran||you will run|
|3rd Person singular|
|he/she/it run||he/she/it ran||he/she/it will run|
|1st Person Plural (CG)||we run||we ran||we will run|
|2nd Person Plural (CG)||you run||you ran||you will run|
|3rd Person Plural (CG)||they run||they ran||they will run|
Observing the chart carefully, you will notice in terms of person, the verbs are arranged in the order of first, second, and third person. In terms of number, the first set of three forms is singular, and the second set of three forms is plural.
When it comes to gender it is a little tricky.
In the first and second person, as well as in the third person plural, the gender category is specified as “common gender” (CG), being that those forms of the conjugation can be used for either masculine or feminine subjects.
In other words, the pronouns “I,” “we,” “you,” and “they” are used with reference to both male and female. In the third person singular, however, the indication of gender is specific. In this category, the verbal constructions indicate masculine (he ran), feminine (she ran), and neuter (it ran) genders.
The conjugation of a verb in the active form is called the Active voiceOpens in new window, and that in the passive form the Passive voiceOpens in new window. As English verbs have but few inflections, their conjugation consists chiefly of variation accomplished by means of auxiliary verbs.