What is Finite verb and Non finite verb? with types, examples and difference

In this article we will be learning what is finite verb & non finite verb and also the difference between finite verbs and non-finite verbs.

Verbs are mainly divided into two parts: 
  1. Main verbs
  2. Auxiliary verbs.

We have already discussed verbs and other parts of speeches please go and check out if you have already checked out then go and revise once more.

Finite verb and Non finite verb

What is a finite verb?

A finite verb is a one kind of verb that has a finite or limited agreement with the subject.

What does it mean?

A finite verb limits its usage as per subject parameter.

There are three defined parameters on which this limitation is fixed.

  1. Tense:-
    The subject is Performing action in past, present or future tense.
  2. Person:-
    The subject can be  first person or second person or third person,
  3. Number:-
    The subject is singular or plural.

So a finite verb will change as per the tense of the sentence as per the person and as per the number of subjects.

Now, let’s understand each of these parameter with the help of an example:-

Verb change as per tense:-


  • I play cricket every day.

Here, the sentence is in present tense and the verb is play.

  • I played Cricket yesterday.

Here, the sentence is in past tense and the verb is played. You can see here that the verb  Play changed into played as per the tense. So, play and played both are example of finite verbs. 

Now that you are clear how finite verbs change per tense.

Verb that change as per person:-

The verb changes for the subject is in first, second or third person.


  • I run a mile daily. 

Here the subject ‘I’ is  first person and the verb be is run.

  • He runs a mile daily

The subject ‘He’ is in third person and the verb is runs. You can see here that the verb run changes to runs as per the person.So, both run and runs are finite verbs.

Verb that change as per number:-

It means, the subject is singular or plural. 


  • Apple is red.

Here, The subject apple is singular and the verb is ‘is’ .

  • Apples are red.

Here, The subject apple is Plural and the verb is ‘are’ . You can see here that the verb ‘is’ changed to ‘are’ as a subject changed from singular to plural.

We are clear that the finite verb changes as per tense, person and number.

Let’s now look into non-finite verbs,

What is the non-finite verb? 

Non-finite verbs don’t have any agreement with the subject, that is they are not limited as per the change in the subject. It doesn’t change as per tense. Or as per person or as per number and they don’t perform any action in the sentence.

Let’s understand it with an example:-

I found his school at a walking distance.

The subject is in singular form and the sentence is in past form. There are two verbs found and walking.

Let’s look into another example:-

Adi will find his school at a walking distance.

The subject is singular and the sentence is in future tense also there are two verbs, find and walking.

Now you can see that the verb found changed to find but the other verb walking didn’t change in both the cases and doesn’t function as a main verb in the sentence so it’s a non-finite verb.

Let’s understand their usage non-finite verbs:-

Functions as noun, adjective or adverb, in the sentence they do not function as a verb in the sentence.

Non-finite verbs functionality as an adjective:-
  • The sleeping cat is brown.

Here sleeping functions as adjectives in the sentence as it is describing a cat.

Non-finite verbs how the function as noun:-
  • Running is a good habit.

Here, running functions as a noun in the sentence.

Non-finite verbs how they function as an adverb:-
  • Priya went to the UK to study.

Here, study functions as an adverb in the sentence.

Types of non-finite verbs

Non-finite verbs are further divided into three types-

  1. Gerund.
  2. Infinitives.
  3. Participles.

We also discuss Gerund and participles in our previous article if you have not checked, go and have a look at this.

Finite verbNon finite verb
Using this verb we can identify tense. Using this verb we can not identify tense.
The form of the verb changes with the change in tenseThe form of the verb will not change with the change in tense.

I hope after reading this article you have cleared all doubts about Finite verb and Non finite verb, if there anything else you can comment below.

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