Using Standard English

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Using Standard English

​​In a nutshell

An inflection is anything which is added to, or changed about, the base form of a verb. Using Standard English verb inflections when you speak or write is as important as being grammatically correct makes your meaning clear. In this summary, you'll see some common mistakes when it comes to verb inflections and how to correct them. 

Verb inflections

Verb inflections are any changes made to the base form of a verb. Letters are often changed or added at the end of verbs to show different subjects and tenses; these are inflections. Some common verb inflections are adding -s to the end of verbs in the present tense when in the third person (he, she, it), and adding -ed to the end of verbs in the past simple tense. 


​​She lives in a small house.

Dan walked to the shops.

They are baking a loaf of bread.

In the first example the inflection -s is added to the end of the base form of the verb live because the subject is she. Without the -s the sentence would be grammatically incorrect. 

Common mistakes

There are many non-standard forms of inflections. Below are some examples of slang and non-standard spoken English which should be avoided especially in written and formal work. 

non-standard English 

standard english inflection

We was walking.

We were walking.

I done my homework.

did my homework.

She should of arrived by now.

She should have arrived by now.

She ain't sure.

She isn't sure.

I gotta go.

I have got to go.

He's gonna come over later.

He's going to come over later.

I don't wanna know.

I don't want to know.

It's cold today, innit?

It's cold today, isn't it?

I dunno about that.

don't know about that.

That's kinda new.

That's kind of new.

We're sorta friends.

We're sort of friends.

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FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Is wanna correct?

Why should I use Standard English verb inflections?

What is a verb inflection?


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