Give Gave Given: Unraveling the Past Tense and Past Participle of “Give”

  • “Give” transforms to “gave” for the past simple tense.
  • “Given” is used as the past participle in perfect tenses and passive voice.
  • Mastery of “give,” “gave,” and “given” improves both verbal and written communication.

The past form “gave” indicates an action that was completed in the past. It follows a simple structure and is used without auxiliary verbs in standard past tense sentences. On the other hand, the past participle “given” is mostly used in perfect tenses and passive voice constructions.

The Verb Give and Tens Rules

What’s the past tense of give?

  • Simple Past: Gave

“Gave” represents the simple past tense of the verb “give,” an irregular verb that changes form rather than taking the regular -ed ending.

SubjectSimple Past

Infinitive and Present Tense of the Verb Give

  • Infinitive: To give
  • Present Simple: He/She/It gives; I/You/We/They give

The infinitive form “to give” is the base from which other forms are made. The present simple tense often ends in -s or -es for third-person singular subjects, contrasting with the base infinitive for other subjects.

Example of Past Participle

  • Past Participle: Given

Employed in perfect tenses, the past participle “given” combines with forms of the auxiliary verb “have” to indicate actions that have been completed at some point in the past. The term also functions as an adjective in certain contexts.

Perfect Tense Conjugation:

  • Present Perfect: I/You/We/They have given; He/She/It has given
  • Past Perfect: Had given
  • Future Perfect: Will have given

Continuous Tense:

  • Perfect Continuous Tenses may not frequently use “given,” as they focus on the duration of an activity.
See also  Understanding the Present Perfect Tense: Usage and Examples

Present Participle:

  • Used in continuous tenses, it is “giving”—not to be confused with the past participle.

By mastering the various forms of the verb “give,” one can conjugate this common verb accurately across multiple tenses, from past simple to future perfect.

Using Give and Gave

In the English language, “give” and “gave” are utilized in various tense forms to denote the action of providing or granting something. Mastery of these verb forms is key to expressing time and aspect accurately.

Present Perfect and Continuous

Present Perfect Tense refers to actions that occurred at an unspecified time in the past or actions that started in the past and continue to the present. It is formed with have/has and the past participle, “given”:

SubjectPresent Perfect Form
Ihave given
Youhave given
He/She/Ithas given
Wehave given
Theyhave given
  • Examples:
    • She has given her all to the project.
    • They have given generously to the charity.

Present Perfect Continuous is used to indicate an action that started in the past and is still continuing or has recently stopped. This form is constructed with have/has been and the present participle, “giving“:

  • Examples:
    • He has been giving piano lessons for three years.
    • They have been giving support throughout the ordeal.

Past Perfect Forms

Past Perfect Tense is used to talk about actions that were completed before another action in the past. It is formed using had and the past participle, “given”:

  • Examples:
    • She had given her presentation before the meeting ended.
    • They had given their feedback by the time we finalized the plan.
See also  What is the Past Tense: Exploring the 4 Main Forms

For actions that were ongoing in the past and were completed by a certain point, Past Perfect Continuous is used. It combines had been with the present participle, “giving“:

  • Examples:
    • He had been giving lectures at the university for a year before he retired.
    • They had been giving the matter a lot of thought before making a decision.

Future Tenses

The simple future tense, future perfect tense, and future perfect continuous are all used to describe actions related to future events.

Simple Future Tense, constructed with will/shall give:

  • Examples:
    • She will give a speech at the conference tomorrow.
    • They will give us the results next week.

Future Perfect Tense describes an action that will have been completed at some point in the future. It uses will have given:

  • Examples:
    • By next month, he will have given many interviews.
    • They will have given their all by the end of the season.

Future Perfect Continuous indicates an action that will be ongoing until a certain point in the future. This is expressed as will have been giving:

Time ReferenceFuture Perfect Continuous Form
By next yearwill have been giving
By the time of the eventwill have been giving


  • He will have been giving piano lessons for three years by next Thursday.
  • They will have been giving support up until the project’s completion.




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