We all know that verbs conjugate according to the person in the simple present, typically with the third person singular.

My question is: Are there verbs that change according to the person in the simple past or simple future tenses? Is "to be" the ONLY such example? (Was/Were)

Thank you

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    Apart from was/were/am, there is no conjugation in English. The third-person singular simple present takes an s (or es, in does). That is it. – Lambie Oct 17 '18 at 16:11
  • It could hardly be simpler... ;-) – Dan Oct 17 '18 at 16:14
  • I don't get that "simple future tense" bit. I will be ready, You will have fun, He will like that, We will go tomorrow, They will do it. All the highlighted terms are infinitives, and the "future indicator" will is always the same regardless of the particular verb that follows. – FumbleFingers Oct 17 '18 at 16:27
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    There are perhaps some lexical examples: "I borrowed the car without asking, you went for a joyride, he committed grand theft auto." ;-) – ruakh Oct 17 '18 at 17:11

Yes, verb BE is the only one verb that changes in the past (simple past and past continuous) according to the subject. All verbs in the simple present tense add an "s" or "es" when conjugated with the third person singular pronouns (he, she, it). As well as in the past, verb BE is the only one that changes according to the subject in the present continuous. In the future simple tense, there is no change because all subject pronouns take "will" + an action verb to form the future simple. However, the structure "be going to + verb", verb BE does change according to the subject just as in the simple present and present continuous forms. I hope this helped. Cheers!

  • Except it is not conjugation. It is a morphemic change in the third person simple present singular. – Lambie Oct 17 '18 at 16:30
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    @Lambie: The term you're looking for is . . . *drum roll* . . . conjugation! – ruakh Oct 17 '18 at 17:07
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    The only thing I might add is that if modal auxiliaries such as can, should, must are considered verbs, they are exceptions to your statement that “All verbs in the simple present tense add an ‘s’ or ‘es’” – herisson Oct 17 '18 at 21:21

Absolutely! Verb 'to be' is the only one.

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