Base Form

Definition: The base form of the verb is simply the form of the verb that you would see in an English dictionary.

The "base form" of a verb is the same as the infinitive form (e.g., to do, to see, to excel, to pass, to test, etc.), without the "to".

  • leave
  • want
  • excel
  • pass
* Notice how there is no "s", "ed", or other part attached to the end of the verb.

* These are not verbs in the base form:
  • leaves, left, leaving
  • wants, wanted, wanting
  • excels, excelled, excelling
  • passes, passed, passing

The base form of the verb is often used with auxiliary verbs. For example: "will send ", "did you sing".

The base form is also used with certain verb form structures. For example: "She let his son stay up late"

Discussion about the term "Base Form":

Some teachers use different terms to refer to the infinitive without the to. Some of these terms include:

  • bare infinitive
  • root of the verb
  • verb root
  • dictionary form

These terms are also acceptable ways to refer to the base form.

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