How to Conjugate "Sleep" in English

by Craig Shrives

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Conjugation of "To Sleep"

The verb "sleep" is an irregular verb. (This means that "sleep" 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 Sleep"

FormsleepAlternative Name
Base FormsleepInfinitive Form
The -S FormsleepsThird Person Singular Form
Past FormsleptSimple Past Tense
The -ING FormsleepingPresent Participle Form
The Past Participle Formslept[no alternative name]

"To Sleep" in All the Tenses

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

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See Also

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

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