How to Conjugate Pay

by Craig Shrives

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Pay in the Different Tenses

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

The Five Forms of Pay

FormpayAlternative Name
Base FormpayInfinitive Form
The -S FormpaysThird Person Singular Form
Past FormpaidSimple Past Tense
The -ING FormpayingPresent Participle Form
The Past Participle Formpaid[no alternative name]

Conjugating Pay

The tables below show how "pay" 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
  • paid
  • paid
  • paid
  • paid
  • paid
  • paid
The simple past tense is for a completed activity that happened in the past.
  • was paying
  • were paying
  • was paying
  • were paying
  • were paying
  • were paying
The past progressive tense is for an ongoing activity in the past. Often, it is used to set the scene for another action.
  • had paid
  • had paid
  • had paid
  • had paid
  • had paid
  • had paid
The past perfect tense is for emphasizing that an action was completed before another took place.
  • had been paying
  • had been paying
  • had been paying
  • had been paying
  • had been paying
  • had been paying
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
  • pay
  • pay
  • pays
  • pay
  • pay
  • pay
The simple present tense is mostly for a fact or a habit.
  • am paying
  • are paying
  • is paying
  • are paying
  • are paying
  • are paying
The present progressive tense is for an ongoing action in the present.
  • have paid
  • have paid
  • has paid
  • have paid
  • have paid
  • have paid
The present perfect tense is for an action that began in the past. (Often, the action continues into the present.)
  • have been paying
  • have been paying
  • has been paying
  • have been paying
  • have been paying
  • have been paying
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 pay
  • will pay
  • will pay
  • will pay
  • will pay
  • will pay
The simple future tense is for an action that will occur in the future.
  • will be paying
  • will be paying
  • will be paying
  • will be paying
  • will be paying
  • will be paying
The future progressive tense is for an ongoing action that will occur in the future.
  • will have paid
  • will have paid
  • will have paid
  • will have paid
  • will have paid
  • will have paid
The future perfect tense is for an action that will have been completed at some point in the future.
  • will have been paying
  • will have been paying
  • will have been paying
  • will have been paying
  • will have been paying
  • will have been paying
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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