Meaning of Verb Conjugation
Basically, this is what it means to conjugate a verb.
The moodsOpens in new window and tensesOpens in new window are formed partly by inflections, or variation of verb forms, and partly by the combination of the verb or its participle, with a few short verbs known as auxiliaries (also called Helping VerbsOpens in new window).
The present tense is usually the same in all the moods, and is the part from which all the rest are formed.
The following chart contain examples, showing 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 can be 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.
Because English verbs change so little, it isn’t necessary to learn “to conjugate a verb;” that is, to list all its possible forms. For most verbs, it is much simpler to say that the verb adds an “-s” in the 3rd person singular.