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Irregular Verbs  

Aug 30, 2022

Read the following pairs of sentences: 

  1. I drank tea at 8 AM. 
  • I had drunk tea at 8 AM. 
  1. We played football every day. 
  • We had played football every day. 
  1. She wrote poetry. 
  • She had written poetry. 

The present tense of the verb in sentence 1 is drink. When the past tense was formed, it came along with a major change in form of the verb. The past tense form of drink is drank and its past participle form is drunk. This is also the case with the verb in sentence 3. The past tense form of write is wrote and its past participle form is written

But in sentence 2, while the simple past and the past perfect tenses were formed, the verbs didn’t undergo any major change as such. The past tense and the past participle forms of play were formed by simply adding the suffix -ed, i.e., the verb play changed its tense simply by adding the suffix -ed.  

Some verbs take their past tense simply by adding the suffix -ed, while the others entirely change their form to accommodate the past tense, 

Let us take a look at this:

Regular verbs: 

Read the sentence: 

We played football


In the sentence, the present tense of the verb is play. Its past and participle are also formed by the addition of the suffix -ed. Since the past tense and the past participle are formed by adding the suffix –ed, we can call it a regular verb. 

Now, let us define a regular verb

Regular verbs are the ones that form their past tense and past participles forms by adding the suffix -ed


  • We walked through the streets. 
  • Amy painted an amazing portrait. 
  • The audience laughed at the comic’s jokes. 

Irregular verbs: 

Read the sentence: 


Cooper brought his friend along with him. 

In the given sentence, the verb brought is in its past tense. This past tense is formed by a change in its initial form, which was bring. Therefore, we can say that it is an irregular verb

Now, let us define an irregular verb

Irregular verbs are the ones that form their past tense and past participles by either slightly or entirely changing their form. They are formed in a different way from adding the suffix -ed

Irregular verbs are of three types: 

1. The first one is the one in which all the three forms, i.e., the present tense, the past tense, and the past participle forms are the same, like; 

  • Burst- burst- burst 
  • Put- put- put 
  • Read- read-read  
  • Cut- cut- cut 
  • Hit- hit- hit 
  • Hurt- hurt- hurt 

2. The second one is the one in which two of the three forms are the same, like; 

  • Become- became- become 
  • Catch- caught- caught 
  • Feed- fed- fed 
  • Hear- heard- heard 
  • Leave- left- left 
  • Stick- stuck- stuck 

3. The last one is the one in which all the three forms are different, like; 

  • Begin- began- begun 
  • Blow- blew- blown 
  • Choose- chose- chosen 
  • Do- did- done 
  • Grow- grew- grown 
  • Show- showed- shown 


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