Finite and Non-Finite Verbs | Definition, Useful Rules & Examples

Finite Verb and Non-Finite Verb! Learn definition, grammar rules & examples of finite and non-finite verbs in English with ESL printable infographic.

Finite and Non-Finite Verbs

Finite Verb


  • Verbs that have a definite relation with the subject or noun.
  • These verbs are usually the main verb of a clause or sentence and can be changed according to the noun.
  • They are used only in present and past tense.
  • They can be indicative of passive or active voice and also of number (singular or plural).

She walks home. – Here we see that the finite verb is “walks” and the pronoun is ‘she’.

She walked home. – Here we can see how the verb changed/modified to change the tense of the sentence.


  • You promised me the last ticket.
  • am excited about going to the amusement park.
  • went for a walk around the park.
  • She was waiting in the room before he came in.
  • Does your brother know my brother?
  • We want John to act as club secretary.
  • I like taking photographs of insects.
  • Coming home last night, I saw a deer run across the road.

Non-Finite Verbs


  • These verbs cannot be the main verb of a clause or sentence as they do not talk about the action that is being performed by the subject or noun.
  • They do not indicate any tense, mood or gender.
  • They are used as nouns, adverbs and adjectives.
  • They are also used to form non-finite clauses which are simply dependent clauses that use non-finite verbs.

Rules & Examples

He loves camping in the woods. – Here the non-finite verb is camping and it is used as a noun. These kind of non-finite verbs are called Gerunds.


  • Do you fancy going out?
  • Having read the book once before makes me more prepared.
  • I like swimming.
  • Being loved can make someone feel safe.
  • We enjoyed their singing.
  • We were delighted at Bianca being awarded the prize.

I need to go to sleep. – Here the non- finite verb phrase is to sleep, it is acting as a noun. Non-finite verbs that use ‘to’ before them are called Infinitives.


  • I decided not to go to New York.
  • I’d rather not eat meat.
  • I might not come.
  • You need to paint the whole cupboard, starting from the bottom.
  • He asked me not to be late.
  • I’d like you not to sing so loudly.

The sleeping dog caused a delay. – The non-finite verbs that have ‘-ing’ or ‘-ed’ as suffixes and cause the verb to come an adjective are called Participles.


  • The man carrying the bricks is my father.
  • She showed us a plate of scones crammed with cream.
  • Whistling the same tune as always, Ted touched the front of his cap with his forefinger as she dismounted.
  • Stunned by the blow, Tom quickly gathered his senses and searched frantically for the pepper spray.
  • Arriving late, I saw the other kids and they seemed to be excited.

Finite and Non-Finite Verb | Infographic

Finite and Non-Finite Verbs | Definition, Useful Rules & ExamplesPin

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2 years ago

Nice it helps

1 year ago
Reply to  Maasum


1 year ago

It Helps

Last edited 1 year ago by Stella
1 year ago
It Actually Helps me because it was detailed Manner with pics and full clear explanation
1 year ago

thank you

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