How to Conjugate Begin

by Craig Shrives

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Begin in the Different Tenses

The verb "begin" is an irregular verb. (This means that "begin" does not form its simple past tense or its past participle by adding "-ed" or "-d" to the base form.)

The Five Forms of Begin

FormbeginAlternative Name
Base FormbeginInfinitive Form
The -S FormbeginsThird Person Singular Form
Past FormbeganSimple Past Tense
The -ING FormbeginningPresent Participle Form
The Past Participle Formbegun[no alternative name]

Conjugating Begin

The tables below show how "begin" conjugates in the past, present, and future tenses.

Past Tenses

PersonSimple PastPast Progressive TensePast Perfect TensePast Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • began
  • began
  • began
  • began
  • began
  • began
The simple past tense is for a completed activity that happened in the past.
  • was beginning
  • were beginning
  • was beginning
  • were beginning
  • were beginning
  • were beginning
The past progressive tense is for an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.
  • had begun
  • had begun
  • had begun
  • had begun
  • had begun
  • had begun
The past perfect tense is for emphasizing that an action was completed before another took place.
  • had been beginning
  • had been beginning
  • had been beginning
  • had been beginning
  • had been beginning
  • had been beginning
The past perfect progressive tense is for showing that an ongoing action in the past has ended.

Present Tenses

PersonSimple PresentPresent Progressive TensePresent Perfect TensePresent Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • begin
  • begin
  • begins
  • begin
  • begin
  • begin
The simple present tense is mostly for a fact or a habit.
  • am beginning
  • are beginning
  • is beginning
  • are beginning
  • are beginning
  • are beginning
The present progressive tense is for an ongoing action in the present.
  • have begun
  • have begun
  • has begun
  • have begun
  • have begun
  • have begun
The present perfect tense is for an action that began in the past. (Often, the action continues into the present.)
  • have been beginning
  • have been beginning
  • has been beginning
  • have been beginning
  • have been beginning
  • have been beginning
The present perfect progressive tense is for a continuous activity that began in the past and continues into the present (or finished very recently).

Future Tenses

PersonSimple FutureFuture Progressive TenseFuture Perfect TenseFuture Perfect Progressive Tense
  • I
  • you
  • he/she/it
  • we
  • you
  • they
  • will begin
  • will begin
  • will begin
  • will begin
  • will begin
  • will begin
The simple future tense is for an action that will occur in the future.
  • will be beginning
  • will be beginning
  • will be beginning
  • will be beginning
  • will be beginning
  • will be beginning
The future progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
  • will have begun
  • will have begun
  • will have begun
  • will have begun
  • will have begun
  • will have begun
The future perfect tense is for an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
  • will have been beginning
  • will have been beginning
  • will have been beginning
  • will have been beginning
  • will have been beginning
  • will have been beginning
The future perfect progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will be completed at some specified time in the future.

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See Also

Parts of Speech Lists 200 Important Irregular Verbs

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