What Is the Verb Root of a Verb? (with Examples)

What Is the Verb Root of a Verb? (with Examples)

The verb root (or base form) of a verb is the form listed in the dictionary.

The verb root is the same as the infinitive (e.g., to dive, to jump, to wonder) but without the to. It is the version of the verb without any endings (e.g., -s, -ing, and ed).

Examples of Verb Root

Here are some examples of verb roots:
  • watch
  • (This is used to make these forms: watches, watched, watching.)
  • play
  • (This is used to make these forms: plays, played, playing.)
  • live
  • (This is used to make these forms: lives, lived, living.)
  • think
  • (This is used to make these forms: thinks, thought, thinking.)

The Verb Root Is the Same as Most of the Present Tense

The verb root appears in all versions of the present tense except the third person singular. For example:

ConjugationExample 1Example 2
1st person singularI playI concur
2nd person singularYou playYou concur
3rd person singularHe plays
She plays
It plays
He concurs
She concurs
It concurs
1st person pluralWe playWe concur
2nd person pluralYou playYou concur
3rd person pluralThey playThey concur
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

See Also

What are verbs? What is the infinitive form? What is the present tense? What is the third person? What is the imperative mood? What is the subjunctive mood? Glossary of grammatical terms