Finite and nonfinite verbs

A complete sentence has a FINITE verb.

A FINITE verb changes spelling for the present and past tense:
The cow jumps over the moon. (PRESENT TENSE)
The cow jumped over the moon. (PAST TENSE)

FINITE verb also changes spelling for “person”:
The cow jumps over the moon. (3rd person SINGULAR)
The cows jump over the moon. (3rd person PLURAL)

A NONFINITE verb — a verb in the ing, ed, or infinitive form — does not change spelling for tense or person.
The cow is jumping over the moon. (is jumping is the PRESENT PROGRESSIVE)
The cows are jumping over the moon. (2 cows)
The cow was jumping over the moon. (PAST PROGRESSIVE)
The cow will be jumping over the moon. (FUTURE PROGRESSIVE)
The cow has jumped over the moon. (has jumped is the PRESENT PERFECT tense)
The cows have jumped over the moon. (2 cows PRESENT PERFECT)
The cow had jumped over the moon. (PAST PERFECT)
The cow will have jumped over the moon. (FUTURE PERFECT)
The cow wants to jump over the moon. (to jump is the INFINITIVE form)
The cows want to jump over the moon. (2 cows)
The cow wanted to jump over the moon.

EXAMPLES:
The cow jumps [FINITE] over the moon. (COMPLETE SENTENCE)
The cow jumped [FINITE] over the moon. (COMPLETE SENTENCE)
The cow is [FINITE] jumping over the moon. (COMPLETE SENTENCE)
The cow was [FINITE] jumping over the moon. (COMPLETE SENTENCE)
The cow  jumping [NONFINITE] over the moon. (INCOMPLETE SENTENCE or SENTENCE FRAGMENT)

The first verb in a verb phrase is FINITE. The verbs that follow are NONFINITE :
The cow is [FINITE] jumping [NONFINITE] over the moon.
The cow was [FINITE] jumping [NONFINITE] over the moon.
The cow wants [FINITE] to jump [NONFINITE] over the moon.
The cow wanted [FINITE] to jump [NONFINITE] over the moon.

AND SEE:
Tense and aspect chart at Deb’s Quick Picks Blog

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