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What Is the Base Form of a Verb? (with Examples)The base form (or root) of a verb is the form listed in the dictionary.
It is the version of the verb without any endings (endings such as -s, -ing, and ed). The base form is the same as the infinitive (e.g., to walk, to paint, to think) but without the to.
Examples of Base Forms of VerbsHere are some examples of the base forms of verbs:
- see (These are not the base form: sees, seen, seeing.)
- sing (These are not the base form: sings, singing.)
- play (These are not the base form: plays, played, playing.)
- concur (These are not the base form: concurs, concurred, concurring.)
The Base Form Appears in the Present TenseThe base form of a verb appears in all versions of the present tense except the third person singular. For example:
|Conjugation||Example 1||Example 2|
|1st person singular||I play||I concur|
|2nd person singular||You play||You concur|
|3rd person singular||He plays|
|1st person plural||We play||We concur|
|2nd person plural||You play||You concur|
|3rd person plural||They play||They concur|
The Base Form Appears in the Infinitive FormThe base form of a verb appears in the infinitive form (including the zero infinitive form, i.e., without the word to). For example:
- It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them. (Alfred Adler, 1870-1937)
- A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it. (Thomas Beecham, 1879-1961)
The Base Form Appears in the Imperative Mood (i.e., Commands)The base form is used for commands (i.e., the imperative mood. For example:
- Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
- Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire and begin at once, whether you are ready or not. (Napoleon Hill)
The Base Form Appears in the Subjunctive MoodThe base form of a verb appears in the subjunctive mood. For example:
- He demands that you be silent.
- I propose he stay with us.
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