Irregular Verbs in English

The majority of English verbs are ‘regular‘ when used to speak about the past. Regular verbs end with ‘..ed’ or ‘..ied’ and the past simple and past partciples are the same. For example:

To look‘ > ‘Looked‘ > ‘Looked

However, many common verbs use different forms in the past and these are called ‘irregular‘ verbs. The table on this page includes the most common irregular verbs. There are no rules to help you learn irregular verbs and you need to memorise them, or learn them ‘by heart’.

Some verbs have more than one past form. For example, the verb ‘to learn’ can be written as ‘learned’ or ‘learnt’. The verbs ‘to burn’, ‘to dream’ and ‘to smell’ are similar. The past form ending with ‘t’ (learnt) is usually the original form, and the form ending with ‘ed’ (burned) is the modern form. Both forms are correct, so you can use the form you prefer!


Common Irregular Verbs

Infinitive Past Simple Past Participle
can could
may might
to be was – were been
to beat beat beaten
to become became become
to begin began begun
to bend bent bent
to bet bet bet
to bid bid bid
to bite bit bitten
to bleed bled bled
to blow blew blown
to break broke broken
to breed bred bred
to bring brought brought
to build built built
to burn burned – burnt burned – burnt
to burst burst burst
to buy bought bought
to catch caught caught
to choose chose chosen
to cleave cleaved – cleft cleaved – cleft
to cling clung clung
to come came come
to cost cost cost
to creep crept crept
to cut cut cut
to deal dealt dealt
to dig dug dug
to do did done
to draw drew drawn
to dream dreamed – dreamt dreamed – dreamt
to drink drank drunk
to drive drove driven
to eat ate eaten
to fall fell fallen
to feed fed fed
to fight fought fought
to find found found
to flee fled fled
to fling flung flung
to fly flew flown
to forbid forbade forbidden
to forget forgot forgotten
to freeze froze frozen
to get got got – gotten
to gild gild gild
to give gave given
to go went gone
to grind ground ground
to grow grew grown
to hang hung hung
to have had had
to hear heard heard
to hide hid hidden
to hit hit hit
to hold held held
to hurt hurt hurt
to keep kept kept
to kneel knelt – kneeled knelt – kneeled
to know knew known
to lay laid laid
to lead led led
to lean leaned – leant leaned – leant
to leap leaped – leapt leaped – leapt
to learn learned – learnt learned – learnt
to leave left left
to lend lend lend
to let let let
to lie lay lain
to light lit lit
to lose lost lost
to make made made
to mean meant meant
to meet met met
to pay paid paid
to put put put
to quit quit quit
to read read read
to rid rid rid
to ride rode ridden
to ring rang rung
to rise rose risen
to run ran run
to say said said
to see saw seen
to seek sought sought
to sell sold sold
to send sent sent
to set set set
to sew sewed sewn
to shake shook shaken
to shine shone shone
to shoot shot shot
to show showed shown
to shrink shrank shrunk
to shut shut shut
to sing sang sung
to sink sank sunk
to sit sat sat
to slay slew slain
to sleep slept slept
to slide slid slid
to slit slit slit
to smell smelled – smelt smelled – smelt
to sow sowed sown
to speak spoke spoken
to speed sped sped
to spell spelled spelled
to spend spent spent
to spill spilled – spilt spilled – spilt
to spin spun spun
to spit spat spat
to split spilt split
to spoil spoiled – spoilt spoiled – spoilt
to spread spread spread
to spring sprang sprung
to stand stood stood
to steal stole stolen
to stick stuck stuck
to sting stung stung
to stink stank stunk
to strike struck stricken
to string strung strung
to strive strove striven
to swear swore sworn
to sweep swept swept
to swell swelled swollen
to swim swam swum
to swing swung swung
to take took taken
to teach taught taught
to tear tore torn
to tell told told
to think thought thought
to thrive thrived thrived
to throw threw thrown
to thrust thrust thrust
to tread trod trodden
to undo undid undone
to unwind unwound unwound
to wake woke woken
to wear wore worn
to win won won
to wind wound wound
to withdraw withdrew withdrawn
to write wrote written

Now test your memory!

The next page of this lesson includes 25 questions to help you test your memory.
Click the button below to start the exercise.

Lesson tags: elementary, irregular verbs
Back to: Basic Elementary English