How to Conjugate "Read" in English

by Craig Shrives

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Conjugation of "To Read"

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

The Five Forms of "To Read"

FormreadAlternative Name
Base FormreadInfinitive Form
The -S FormreadsThird Person Singular Form
Past FormreadSimple Past Tense
The -ING FormreadingPresent Participle Form
The Past Participle Formread[no alternative name]

"To Read" in All the Tenses

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

Most Common Irregular Verbs

The two most common irregular verbs in English are "be" and "have." These pages give more details about these two verbs: Here are the next 10 most common irregular verbs in English:

Most Common Irregular Verbs

The two most common irregular verbs in English are "be" and "have." These pages give more details about these two verbs: Here are the next 10 most common irregular verbs in English:

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See Also

Parts of Speech Lists 200 Important Irregular Verbs Role-Play Scenarios for English Learners

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