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Irregular Verbs

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What are irregular verbs?
Most verbs in the English language take -ed to form the past tense and the past participle forms. For example:

    I worked in New York for many years.
    I have worked in New York for many years.

Some verbs are irregular, which means they don't follow the usual -ed pattern. In fact, irregular verbs are more a matter of vocabulary memorization than grammar, and so students must simply work towards memorizing the words. Here are a few examples of irregular verbs:

    X Thomas swimmed in the lake every summer afternoon.
    O Thomas swam in the lake every summer afternoon.

    X I had forgetted my lunch appointment, so I getted to the restaurant thirty minutes late.
    O I had forgotten my lunch appointment, so I got to the restaurant thirty minutes late.

    X Our teacher teached us about irregular verbs yesterday.
    O Our teacher taught us about irregular verbs yesterday.

Here's a list of many irregular verbs. The ones marked with the following symbol ( ο ) are more often used, and should perhaps first be studied.


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plain form past tense past participle
  awake awoke awoken
ο be was / were been
  beat beat beat
 o become became become
 o begin began begun
  bend bent bent
  bite bit bitten
  bleed bled bled
  blow blew blown
 o break broke broken
 o bring brought brought
  broadcast broadcast broadcast
  build built built
  burn burnt / burned burnt / burned
 o buy bought bought
 o catch caught caught
 o choose chose chosen
 o come came come
 o cost cost cost
  creep crept crept
 o cut cut cut
  deal dealt dealt
  dive dived / dove dived
  dig dug dug
 o do did done
  draw drew drawn
  dream dreamt / dreamed dreamt / dreamed
 o drink drank drunk
 o drive drove driven
 o eat ate eaten
  fall fell fallen
  feed fed fed
  fight fought fought
  find found found
 o fly flew flown
  forbid forbade forbidden
 o forget forgot forgotten
  freeze froze frozen
 o get got got / gotten
 o give gave given
 o go went gone / been
  grow grew grown
  hang hung hung
 o have had had
 o hear heard heard
  hide hid hidden
 o hit hit hit
  hold held held
  hurt hurt hurt
  keep kept kept
  kneel knelt knelt
 o know knew known
  lay laid laid
  lead led led
 o learn leanrt / leanred learnt / learned
 o leave left left
  lend lent lent
 o let let let
  lie lay lain
  light lit / lighted lit / lighted
  lose lost lost
 o make made made
  mean meant meant
 o meet met met
  mistake mistook mistaken
 o pay paid paid
  prove proved proved / proven
 o put put put
 o read read read
  rid rid rid
 o ride rode ridden
  ring rang rung
  rise rose risen
 o run ran run
 o say said said
 o see saw seen
 o sell sold sold
 o send sent sent
  set set set
  shake shook shaken
  shine shone shone
  shoot shot shot
 o show showed shown
  shrink shrank shrunk
  shut shut shut
 o sing sang sung
  sink sank sunk
 o sit sat sat
 o sleep slept slept
 o smell smelt / smelled smelt / smelled
 o speak spoke spoken
  speed sped sped
 o spell spelt / spelled spelt / spelled
 o spend spent spent
  spill spilt / spilled split / spilled
  spin span spun
  spit spat spat
  split split split
  spoil spolit / spoiled spolit / spoiled
 o stand stood stood
  steal stole stolen
  stick stuck stuck
  stink stank stunk
  strike struck struck
  sweep swept swept
  swing swung swung
 o swim swam swum
 o take took taken
 o teach taught taught
  tear tore torn
 o tell told told
 o think thought thought
  throw thrown thrown
 o understand understood understood
 o wake woke woken
 o wear worn worn
 o win won won
  wind wound wound
  wring wrung wrung
 o write wrote written
  wring wrung wrung
       

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