Irregular Verbs: List of 70 Popular Irregular Verbs in English

Irregular verbs are a unique aspect of the English language that can be challenging for learners to master. Unlike regular verbs, which follow a predictable pattern when conjugated, irregular verbs have their own unique forms for the past tense and past participle. This means that learners must memorize each irregular verb and its various forms in order to use them correctly in speech and writing.

In this article, we will explore the world of irregular verbs in English. We will provide you with a comprehensive list of irregular verbs, along with their various forms, to help you improve your grammar skills.

List of Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are verbs that don’t take on the regular –d, -ed, or -ied spelling patterns of the past simple (V2) or past participle (V3).

Irregular Verbs

This is an irregular verbs list in the English language.

Base Form (V1) Past Simple (V2) Past Participle (V3)
swim swam swum
teach taught taught
buy bought bought
speak spoke spoken
do did done
sell sold sold
wear wore worn
read read read
hear heard heard
eat ate eaten
run ran run
put put put
go went gone
cut cut cut
fall fell fallen
drink drank drunk
fly flew flown
choose chose chosen
dream dreamt dreamt
freeze froze frozen
be was/ were been
come came come
become became become
find found found
begin began begun
forget forgot forgotten
break broke broken
build built built
catch caught caught
get got gotten
have had had
keep kept kept
lend lent lent
make made made
meet met met
say said said
send sent sent
give gave given
hide hid hidden
hold held held
know knew known
leave left left
lose lost lost
pay paid paid
see saw seen
set set set
take took taken
withdraw withdrew withdrawn
show showed shown
tell told told
input input input
shut shut shut
think thought thought
awake awoke awoken
sing sang sung
understand understood understood
blow blew blown
sit sat sat
win won won
bring brought brought
sleep slept slept
write wrote written
cling clung clung
overcome overcame overcome
deal dealt dealt
spend spent spent
upset upset upset
draw drew drawn
feel felt felt
forbid forbade forbidden
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Types of Irregular Verbs

Base Form

The base form of an irregular verb is the form that is used for the present tense. Unlike regular verbs that add -s or -es to the base form for the third-person singular, irregular verbs have unique forms for each person. For example, the base form of the irregular verb “go” is “go” for all persons.

Past Simple

The past simple tense is used to describe actions that happened in the past. Irregular verbs have unique forms for the past simple tense. These forms do not follow the typical pattern of adding -ed to the base form. For example, the past simple form of the irregular verb “go” is “went.”

Past Participle

The past participle form is used to form the present perfect tense, past perfect tense, and passive voice. Irregular verbs have unique forms for the past participle. These forms do not follow the typical pattern of adding -ed to the base form. For example, the past participle form of the irregular verb “go” is “gone.”

Usage of Irregular Verbs

In Sentences

When using irregular verbs in sentences, it is important to remember that they do not follow the regular pattern of adding “-ed” to the end of the verb. Instead, each irregular verb has its own unique past tense and past participle form.

Here are some examples of irregular verbs used in sentences:

  • ate breakfast this morning.
  • She sang a beautiful song at the concert.
  • He ran a marathon last year.

In Questions

When asking questions using irregular verbs, the auxiliary verb “did” is used in the past tense. The irregular verb remains in its base form.

Here are some examples of irregular verbs used in questions:

  • Did you eat breakfast this morning?
  • Did she sing a beautiful song at the concert?
  • Did he run a marathon last year?

In Negative Statements

When making negative statements using irregular verbs, the auxiliary verb “did not” (or its contraction “didn’t”) is used in the past tense. The irregular verb remains in its base form.

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Here are some examples of irregular verbs used in negative statements:

  • I did not eat breakfast this morning.
  • She did not sing a beautiful song at the concert.
  • He did not run a marathon last year.

Common Irregular Verbs

In English, there are many irregular verbs that do not follow the standard rules of adding “-ed” to form the past tense. These verbs must be memorized in order to use them correctly in sentences.

Here are some of the most common irregular verbs, grouped by ending pattern:

  • -en (e.g. eat, eaten): eat, beaten, bitten, eaten, fallen, forgotten, given, hidden, ridden, taken
  • -ew (e.g. sew, sewn): sew, sewn, show, shown, strew, strewn, throw, thrown
  • -ink (e.g. drink, drunk): drink, drunk, shrink, shrunk, sink, sunk, stink, stunk
  • -ive (e.g. strive, striven): drive, driven, strive, striven, thrive, thriven
  • -ow (e.g. blow, blown): blow, blown, grow, grown, know, known, mow, mown, show, shown, throw, thrown

It’s important to note that irregular verbs can also have irregular past participles. For example, the past participle of “go” is “gone,” not “goed.”

Less Common Irregular Verbs

Now that we have covered the common irregular verbs, let’s take a look at some of the less common ones. These verbs are not used as frequently as the common ones, but it’s still important to know their irregular forms.

Here are some examples of less common irregular verbs:

  • Bet – past tense: bet, past participle: bet
  • Broadcast – past tense: broadcast, past participle: broadcast
  • Creep – past tense: crept, past participle: crept
  • Dig – past tense: dug, past participle: dug
  • Leap – past tense: leapt/leaped, past participle: leapt/leaped
  • Sew – past tense: sewed, past participle: sewn
  • Slay – past tense: slew, past participle: slain
  • Thrive – past tense: thrived/throve, past participle: thrived

It’s important to note that some of these verbs, like leap and thrive, have alternative past tense forms. While leaped and thrived are more commonly used, leapt and throve are still considered correct forms.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the definition of an irregular verb and can you provide examples?

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Irregular verbs are verbs that do not follow the standard conjugation rules in English. Unlike regular verbs, which add “-ed” to form the past tense and past participle, irregular verbs have their own unique forms that must be memorized. Examples of irregular verbs include “eat” (past tense “ate”), “go” (past tense “went”), and “see” (past tense “saw”).

How many irregular verbs are there in the English language?

There are over 200 irregular verbs in the English language. While this may seem like a lot to memorize, many of these verbs are commonly used in everyday speech and writing.

What are some common irregular verbs in English?

Some of the most common irregular verbs in English include “be” (past tense “was/were”), “have” (past tense “had”), “do” (past tense “did”), and “go” (past tense “went”). Other common irregular verbs include “see” (past tense “saw”), “eat” (past tense “ate”), and “get” (past tense “got”).

Are there any rules for how irregular verbs change in tense?

Unlike regular verbs, which follow a predictable pattern for forming the past tense and past participle, irregular verbs do not follow any specific rules or patterns. The only way to learn the past tense and past participle forms of irregular verbs is through memorization.

Can you provide a list of 20 irregular verbs with their past tense and past participle forms?

Yes, here are 20 irregular verbs with their past tense and past participle forms:

  1. be – was/were – been
  2. have – had – had
  3. do – did – done
  4. go – went – gone
  5. see – saw – seen
  6. eat – ate – eaten
  7. get – got – gotten
  8. make – made – made
  9. give – gave – given
  10. take – took – taken
  11. come – came – come
  12. run – ran – run
  13. speak – spoke – spoken
  14. write – wrote – written
  15. break – broke – broken
  16. choose – chose – chosen
  17. drive – drove – driven
  18. forget – forgot – forgotten
  19. swim – swam – swum
  20. wear – wore – worn

Last Updated on November 15, 2023

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