From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

en-verb (third-person singular simple present en-verbs, present participle en-verbing, simple past and past participle en-verbed)

Use this template to show the inflection line of an English verb.

This template shows the verb in bold (optionally linking its components) and its key inflections.


This template contains the necessary meta-data to allow users who are using accelerated editing to create any grammatical forms semi-automatically.

Basic parameters

For most regular verbs, no parameters are necessary. Examples of such verbs are:

  1. open (opens, opening, opened);
  2. wish, with present third singular in -es (wishes, wishing, wished);
  3. marry, with final -y converted to i before -s and -ed (marries, marrying, married);
  4. flip, with the final consonant doubled before -ing and -ed (flips, flipping, flipped);
  5. baptize, with final -e dropped before -ing and -ed (baptizes, baptizing, baptized);
  6. free, with final -e dropped only before -ed (frees, freeing, freed);
  7. tie, with final -ie converted to -y before -ing (ties, tying, tied).

For example, on the page flip, simply write:


which produces

flip (third-person singular simple present flips, present participle flipping, simple past and past participle flipped)

Other examples:

of type (1) above: lift, pack, enjoy, flow;
of type (2) above: hiss, buzz, tax, watch;
of type (3) above: levy, cry, pacify, carry;
of type (4) above: strum, nag, trek, stop;
of type (5) above: rake, admire, love, argue;
of type (6) above: toe, canoe, referee, dye;
of type (7) above: lie, underlie, untie, vie.

Type (4) verbs above only have the final consonant doubled automatically if they consist of a single syllable. Type (4) verbs with more than one syllable should have the parameter ++ specified. Examples: refer (refers, referring, referred), abet (abets, abetting, abetted), handicap (handicaps, handicapping, handicapped). Specify these verbs as follows:


Also use {{en-verb|++}} for verbs ending in -s or -z that double the final consonant in all three forms. Examples: quiz (quizzes, quizzing, quizzed), nonplus (nonplusses, nonplussing, nonplussed).

For verbs that are irregular with respect to the above rules, specify the three forms explicitly (-s form, -ing form, and -ed form, respectively). An example is stomach, where the above rules would produce the incorrect -s form stomaches instead of the correct form stomachs:


or equivalently:


Here, ~ stands for the verb lemma form stomach, and + requests that the regularly derived forms stomaching and stomached be used, respectively.

Another example is Hail Mary:

{{en-verb|Hail Marys|Hail Marying|Hail Maryed}}

or equivalently:


Irregular verbs

For irregular (strong) verbs, specify the key forms (third-person present singular, the present participle, the simple past tense, and optionally the past participle):

  1. For the verb do:
    or equivalently (because the form doing is regular):
  2. For the verb see:
    or equivalently (because the forms sees and seeing are regular):
  3. For the verb set:
    or equivalently:

Some irregular verbs have multiple forms for some inflections. Show additional forms or notes for any inflection:

  1. For the verb work:
    or equivalently, simply:
  2. For the verb ill:

Some irregular verbs are defective. To indicate a missing form, use -, as with the modal verb can:


which produces

can (third-person singular simple present can, no present participle, simple past could, no past participle)

Multiword expressions

By default, a multiword expression is treated just like a single word. This is correct for cases like belly dance (belly dances, belly dancing, belly danced), but not for cases like log on (logs on, logging on, logged on). Special support is available to make it easier to specify the forms of the latter type of expressions. Use * to indicate that only the first word is conjugated, following the normal rules above. For example, for log on, write:


which produces

log on (third-person singular simple present logs on, present participle logging on, simple past and past participle logged on)

You can similarly use ++* to get the combined effects of ++ and *, e.g. for commit to memory, write:


which produces

commit to memory (third-person singular simple present commits to memory, present participle committing to memory, simple past and past participle committed to memory)

As in other cases, individual forms can be replaced with * or ++* to request that this particular form be replaced according to the normal rules for these codes. For example, for the verb let in, use:

{{en-verb|*|*|let in}}

or equivalently


Multiword expressions with irregular verbs

An alternative format can be used to compactly specify the conjugation of irregular verbs in multiword expressions. For example, for the idiom throw a spanner in the works, use the following:

{{en-verb|throw<,,threw,thrown> a spanner in the works}}

which produces

throw a spanner in the works (third-person singular simple present throws a spanner in the works, present participle throwing a spanner in the works, simple past threw a spanner in the works, past participle thrown a spanner in the works)

Here, the verb to be inflected is followed by up to four comma-separated forms inside of angle brackets <...>. These four forms correspond to parameters 1 through 4: respectively the -s form (third person present singular), -ing form (present participle), -ed form (past tense) and -en form (past participle). Any of the four forms can be omitted to have them use the default rules described above, and the fourth form can be omitted if the past participle is the same as the past tense. For example, for hold a grudge, use the following:

{{en-verb|hold<,,held> a grudge}}

Here, the fourth form is omitted because the past participle is the same as the past tense.

Links can be inserted into the text outside of angle brackets. For example, for see the forest for the trees, use the following:

{{en-verb|[[see]]<,,saw,seen> the [[forest]] [[for]] the [[tree|trees]]}}

This will cause the terms see, forest and for to be linked normally in the headword, but trees to be linked to the singular form tree, and the not linked at all.

If no links are included in |1=, all words will be linked individually, just as for {{head}}. To override this behavior, include links around only the terms to be linked, or use |head= to override the headword.

Multiple sets of angle brackets can be used if more than one verb in the expression inflects. For example, for aid and abet, use:

{{en-verb|aid<> and abet<++>}}

which produces

aid and abet (third-person singular simple present aids and abets, present participle aiding and abetting, simple past and past participle aided and abetted)

Here, no forms are specified inside of the first set of angle brackets (because all are defaulted), and ++ is specified inside of the second set of angle brackets, just as it would be required for abet alone.

Within angle brackets, you can specify multiple alternatives for a given form by separating them with a colon (:). After a given form, you can attach a qualifier in brackets, i.e. [...]. An example that uses both is get over with (or any other expression involving get):

{{en-verb|get<,,got,got[UK]:gotten[US]> over with}}

which produces

get over with (third-person singular simple present gets over with, present participle getting over with, simple past got over with, past participle (UK) got over with or (US) gotten over with)

The past participle of get is got in the UK but gotten in the US, as indicated.

Another example using colon-separated alternatives is wake up and smell the coffee:

{{en-verb|wake<,,woke,woken> up and smell<,,:smelt> the coffee|head=[[wake up]] [[and]] [[smell]] [[the]] [[coffee]]}}

which produces

wake up and smell the coffee (third-person singular simple present wakes up and smells the coffee, present participle waking up and smelling the coffee, simple past woke up and smelled the coffee or woke up and smelt the coffee, past participle woken up and smelled the coffee or woken up and smelt the coffee)

Here, the past tense and past participle of smell is either regular smelled (specified using an empty form, which defaults to the regular -ed form) or irregular smelt. |head= is explicitly used so that wake up is linked as a single expression rather than separately linked as two words. Note how the alternative forms smelled and smelt are "distributed" across the past tense woke and past participle woken, producing two past tense variants and two past participle variants.

In some cases, the entire expression can be conjugated in more than one way. For example, in the expression rock and roll, either each verb can conjugate individually (rocking and rolling) or the expression can be conjugated as a unit (rock and rolling). To express this, specify the two variants as comma-separated and surrounded by double parentheses, as follows:

{{en-verb|((rock<> and roll<>,rock and roll<>))}}

which produces

rock and roll (third-person singular simple present rocks and rolls or rock and rolls, present participle rocking and rolling or rock and rolling, simple past and past participle rocked and rolled or rock and rolled)

Finally, it is also possible to use the angle-bracket format with expressions such as reap what one sows, which have a verb in them that must always be listed in a finite tense. It is simply necessary to be careful in specifying the forms. As an example:

{{en-verb|[[reap]]<> [[what]] [[one]] [[sow]]s<sows,sows,sowed:had sown,has sown:had sown>}}

which produces

reap what one sows (third-person singular simple present reaps what one sows, present participle reaping what one sows, simple past reaped what one sowed or reaped what one had sown, past participle reaped what one has sown or reaped what one had sown)

Here, we cannot default any of the forms of sows (which would wrongly produce sowses, sowsed, etc.), and we use alternants to express the fact that the past tense can be either reaped what one sowed or reaped what one had sown (and similarly for the past participle). Similarly for know which side one's bread is buttered on:

{{en-verb|[[know]]<,,knew,known> [[which]] [[side]] [[one's]] [[bread]] [[be|is]]<is,is,was> [[butter]]ed [[on]]}}

which produces

know which side one's bread is buttered on (third-person singular simple present knows which side one's bread is buttered on, present participle knowing which side one's bread is buttered on, simple past knew which side one's bread was buttered on, past participle known which side one's bread was buttered on)

All parameters

There are two basic parameter formats. The newer format uses only |1=, specifying verb forms in angle brackets. This is documented in the previous section. (Technically, the named parameters below can be used even with this format, and override forms specified in |1=, but this is not necessary or recommended.)

The other, older format, uses distinct parameters to specify each form:

|1=, |pres_3sg2=, |pres_3sg3=, ...
third-person present singular form(s)
|pres_3sg_qual=, |pres_3sg2_qual=, |pres_3sg3_qual=, ...
corresponding third-person present singular form qualifiers
|2=, |pres_ptc2=, |pres_ptc3=, ...
present participle form(s)
|pres_ptc_qual=, |pres_ptc2_qual=, |pres_ptc3_qual=, ...
corresponding present participle form qualifiers
|3=, |past2=, |past3=, ...
simple past tense form(s)
|past_qual=, |past2_qual=, |past3_qual=, ...
corresponding simple past tense form qualifiers
|4=, |past_ptc2=, |past_ptc3=, ...
past participle form(s), if different from the past tense
|past_ptc_qual=, |past_ptc2_qual=, |past_ptc3_qual=, ...
corresponding past participle form qualifiers

NOTE: Only specify past participle forms if different from the past tense. If no past participle forms are given, or all forms given are the same as the past tense forms, only the past tense forms are displayed, identified as simple past and past participle; otherwise, the simple past forms and past participle forms are displayed separately.

There are no parameters for archaic forms, such as hast or hath (of have), dost or doth (of do), or art, wast, wert (of be). These forms can be noted in usage notes if needed, but should not be included in the headword forms.

Exact rules

For reference, the exact rules used to generate regular verb forms are as follows:

  • For the -s form, use the following rules:
    1. If the verb ends in -s, -z, -x, -ch or -sh, add -es.
    2. If the verb ends in consonant + -y, drop the -y and add -ies.
    3. Otherwise, just add -s.
  • For the -ed form, use the following rules:
    1. If the verb ends in -e, add -d.
    2. If the verb ends in consonant + -y, drop the -y and add -ied.
    3. If the verb is of the form C*VC, i.e. any number of consonants + vowel + single consonant (unless the final consonant is -w, -x, -y or -h), double the final consonant and add -ed.
    4. Otherwise, just add -ed.
  • For the -ing form, use the following rules:
    1. If the verb ends in -ue, drop the -e and add -ing.
    2. If the verb ends in -ie, drop the -ie and add -ying.
    3. If the verb ends in a vowel + one or more consonants + -e, drop the -e and add -ing.
    4. If the verb is of the form C*VC, i.e. any number of consonants + vowel + single consonant (unless the final consonant is -w, -x, -y or -h), double the final consonant and add -ing.
    5. Otherwise, just add -ing.

See also