Finites, Non-finites, Participles English Grammar



What are Finite Verbs and Non-finite Verbs?

Finite Verb

A finite verb is a form of a verb which has a subject and a tense.

Hazel tripped on a piece of wire.

  • Verb: tripped
  • Subject: Hazel
  • Tense: simple past tense

Chandu will be late on the first day of work.

  • Verb: will be
  • Subject: Chandu
  • Tense: simple future tense

Meena has arrived in Delhi.

  • Verb: has arrived
  • Subject: Meena
  • Tense: present perfect tense

Non-finite Verb

A non-finite verb is a form of verb which has no subject and no tense.

  • Reading is a hobby I enjoy the most.
  • The teacher made Samantha read the book.
  • Krish is repairing the sewing machine.
  • The serrated blade is used to cut bread.

Types of Non-finite Verbs

There are three types of non-finite verbs:

  • Gerunds
  • Participles
  • Infinitives 


Gerunds are verbs which end in ‘-ing’ but function like nouns in a sentence. They can play the role of a subject as well as an object.

  • Talking is discouraged in this camp.
  • Marushka took up singing.
  • Nagging is something I cannot tolerate.
  • I love sleeping till late in the evening.
  • We forbid you from cheating.


Participles are verbs which function as adjectives

Types of participles

Past participles (end in ‘-en’ or ‘-ed’)

Present participles (end in ‘-ing’)

  • The reading glasses were kept on the dining table.
  • The host served frozen desserts to the guests.
  • Priya bought a brand new sewing machine.
  • Harita and Vrinda sold baked goods at the carnival.


A verb form where the word ‘to’ is followed by a simple form of a verb is known as an infinitive. 

Sometimes, ‘to’ is implied or absent in an infinitive. 

An infinitive is used to show the purpose or function of a particular action or thing.

  • Mayuri is going to the market to buy some vegetables.
  • I need some tools to fix our creaky doors.
  • The teachers made us read the book out aloud.
  • Gertrude is going to see a movie this weekend.