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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

InfinitivePast SimplePast Participle
cancould
maymight
to bewas – werebeen
to beatbeatbeaten
to becomebecamebecome
to beginbeganbegun
to bendbentbent
to betbetbet
to bidbidbid
to bitebitbitten
to bleedbledbled
to blowblewblown
to breakbrokebroken
to breedbredbred
to bringbroughtbrought
to buildbuiltbuilt
to burnburned – burntburned – burnt
to burstburstburst
to buyboughtbought
to catchcaughtcaught
to choosechosechosen
to cleavecleaved – cleftcleaved – cleft
to clingclungclung
to comecamecome
to costcostcost
to creepcreptcrept
to cutcutcut
to dealdealtdealt
to digdugdug
to dodiddone
to drawdrewdrawn
to dreamdreamed – dreamtdreamed – dreamt
to drinkdrankdrunk
to drivedrovedriven
to eatateeaten
to fallfellfallen
to feedfedfed
to fightfoughtfought
to findfoundfound
to fleefledfled
to flingflungflung
to flyflewflown
to forbidforbadeforbidden
to forgetforgotforgotten
to freezefrozefrozen
to getgotgot – gotten
to gildgildgild
to givegavegiven
to gowentgone
to grindgroundground
to growgrewgrown
to hanghunghung
to havehadhad
to hearheardheard
to hidehidhidden
to hithithit
to holdheldheld
to hurthurthurt
to keepkeptkept
to kneelknelt – kneeledknelt – kneeled
to knowknewknown
to laylaidlaid
to leadledled
to leanleaned – leantleaned – leant
to leapleaped – leaptleaped – leapt
to learnlearned – learntlearned – learnt
to leaveleftleft
to lendlendlend
to letletlet
to lielaylain
to lightlitlit
to loselostlost
to makemademade
to meanmeantmeant
to meetmetmet
to paypaidpaid
to putputput
to quitquitquit
to readreadread
to ridridrid
to rideroderidden
to ringrangrung
to riseroserisen
to runranrun
to saysaidsaid
to seesawseen
to seeksoughtsought
to sellsoldsold
to sendsentsent
to setsetset
to sewsewedsewn
to shakeshookshaken
to shineshoneshone
to shootshotshot
to showshowedshown
to shrinkshrankshrunk
to shutshutshut
to singsangsung
to sinksanksunk
to sitsatsat
to slayslewslain
to sleepsleptslept
to slideslidslid
to slitslitslit
to smellsmelled – smeltsmelled – smelt
to sowsowedsown
to speakspokespoken
to speedspedsped
to spellspelledspelled
to spendspentspent
to spillspilled – spiltspilled – spilt
to spinspunspun
to spitspatspat
to splitspiltsplit
to spoilspoiled – spoiltspoiled – spoilt
to spreadspreadspread
to springsprangsprung
to standstoodstood
to stealstolestolen
to stickstuckstuck
to stingstungstung
to stinkstankstunk
to strikestruckstricken
to stringstrungstrung
to strivestrovestriven
to swearsworesworn
to sweepsweptswept
to swellswelledswollen
to swimswamswum
to swingswungswung
to taketooktaken
to teachtaughttaught
to teartoretorn
to telltoldtold
to thinkthoughtthought
to thrivethrivedthrived
to throwthrewthrown
to thrustthrustthrust
to treadtrodtrodden
to undoundidundone
to unwindunwoundunwound
to wakewokewoken
to wearworeworn
to winwonwon
to windwoundwound
to withdrawwithdrewwithdrawn
to writewrotewritten

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