The Irregular Verbs in English language

The Irregular Verbs in English language

English regular and irregular verbs

There are about 200 irregular verbs in English. We can divide these into four types:

  1. Verbs which have the same base form, past simple and past participle
  2. Verbs which have the same past simple and past participle
  3. Verbs which have the same base form and past participle
  4. Verbs which have a different base form, past simple and past participle

An irregular verb is a verb in which the past tense is not formed by adding the usual -ed ending. A regular verb will change from present tense to past tense with the simple addition of -ed at the end. For example, “I walk” (present tense) becomes “I walked” (past tense).

Irregular verb: a verb that does not follow the normal pattern of inflection.

Irregular verbs live by their own set of rules; they are the mavericks of the English language. Examples of irregular verbs are sing (past tense sang); feel (felt); and go (went).

A good way to learn irregular verbs is to study them in these groups because as they are similar they’re easier to remember. Here are the most common irregular verbs in these groups.

Group 1

Base form Past Simple Past Participle
Cost Cost Cost
Cut Cut Cut
Hurt Hurt Hurt
Let Let Let
Put Put Put

Group 2

Base form Past Simple Past Participle
Bring Brought Brought
Buy Bought Bought
Catch Caught Caught
Feel Felt Felt
Find Found Found
Get Got Got
Have Had Had
Hear Heard Heard
Keep Kept Kept
Leave Left Left
Lose Lost Lost
Make Made Made
Read Read Read
Say Said Said
Sell Sold Sold
Send Sent Sent
Teach Taught Taught
Think Thought Thought
Win Won Won

Group 3

Base form Past Simple Past Participle
Come Came Came
Become Became Became
Run Ran Ran

Group 4

Base form Past Simple Past Participle
Be Was/were Been
Begin Began Begun
Break Broke Broken
Choose Chose Chosen
Do Did Done
Drink Drank Drunk
Drive Drove Driven
Eat Ate Eaten
Fall Fell Fallen
Give Gave Given
Go Went Gone
Know Knew Known
See Saw Seen
Speak Spoke Spoken
Swim Swam Swum
Take Took Taken
Wake Woke Woken
Write Wrote Wrtten

For example:

  • “Our car cost a lot of money but it’s always breaking down.”
  • “Pasha hurt himself in a soccer match last weekend.”
  • “My parents have let me stay out late tonight.”
  • “They put on their jackets because it was very cold.”

Irregular verbs in English with the same past simple and past participle

For example:

  • “They had lunch at a Thai restaurant on Monday.”
  • “Have you heard the news about the train strike?”
  • “Tim has sent an email to all the suppliers.”
  • “Who won the match?” – “The Giants.”

Irregular verbs in English with the same base form and past participle

For example:

  • “He came back home at 4 a.m. on Saturday.”
  • “Suzi has become the Managing Director.”
  • “The dog ran into the garden after Lee opened the door.”
  • “Has Mrs. O’Connor come back from lunch yet?”

Irregular verbs in English with a different base form, past simple and past participle

For example:

  • “The kids ate a lot of cakes at the party.”
  • “They drove to the airport and left their car there.”
  • “Has she taken her tickets yet?”
  • “I’ve written a letter of application for the manager’s job.”

Learning tips

So, what’s the best way to learn all these irregular verbs?

  • Pay attention when you see a new verb;
  • Make your own examples for every new verb you find;
  • Keep a diary in English and write down a few things you did every day;
  • Read a book in English. Books are full of verbs in their past forms, so reading is a really useful way to practice and review;
  • Focus on learning a few irregular verbs at one time.