I am confused of uses of belong in sentences. I know belong is intransitive verb so it should not be used in passive sentence.

But still I can see it is used with "is" and "was" like below examples a) Can we use "Belong" to tell status of something like below examples?


a) This property is/was belongs/belong to us

b) This property belongs/belong to us

c) This property has/had belonged to us

Please help me to understand correct use of belong in English sentences

  • Are you sure about a) ? is/was belonging or is belong ? I think b and c are true
    – Cardinal
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 16:21
  • 1
    No version of (a) is valid, and the verb form in (b) must be singular belongs to match singular this property. With (c) it depends entirely on surrounding context (is the narrative time already in the past, and are you referring to an even earlier time when you owned the property? Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 16:25
  • 1
    There is a popular (fading) meme around the (ungrammatical) phrase "all your base are belong to us". But, outside of this meme-usage, it is not correct.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 16:41
  • Thanks for the answers but still I am undable to understand why my example a) is incorrect.
    – user4084
    Commented Aug 17, 2015 at 7:27

2 Answers 2


Yes, "belong" can indicate ownership. Or perhaps I should say the opposite of ownership: "I own this box" implies "This box belongs to me."

Whether you use "belong" or "belongs" simply depends on whether the subject is singular or plural. "It belongs" but "They belong".

You can use it in the simple present or in other tenses. "This belongs to Bob." "This will belong to Bob" (perhaps after he has proven himself worthy). "This belonged to Bob" (but it doesn't belong to him any more). Etc.

You don't say "is belongs", just "belongs".


B) and C) are correct. "To belong" is a verb, and does not require "is/was" to make it a predicate clause. In C) had would be more correct, and is used here to signify that it was an ongoing action that ended in the past.

Edited to add

I think it's possible that this is confusing you because of a poor understanding of the passive voice. I think the way the passive voice is taught in English is generally atrocious, and makes it difficult to transition to highly technical writing later.

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