How to Conjugate Say

by Craig Shrives

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Say in the Different Tenses

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

The Five Forms of Say

FormsayAlternative Name
Base FormsayInfinitive Form
The -S FormsaysThird Person Singular Form
Past FormsaidSimple Past Tense
The -ING FormsayingPresent Participle Form
The Past Participle Formsaid[no alternative name]

Conjugating Say

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