Regular and Irregular Verb

Past Forms for Regular Verbs

A regular verb follows a standard pattern, with an –ing added to the infinitive root (base formOpens in new window)to form the present participleOpens in new window and is inflected to form the past tenseOpens in new window and past participleOpens in new window by adding –d or –ed to the base form.

This ending may be pronounced /d/ (cared, happened, viewed), /ud/ (committed, needed, listed), or /t/ (mixed, searched, slipped).

Past Forms for Irregular Verbs

An irregular verb varies considerably particularly in the form it takes to form the past participle. The past tense or past participle, or both, are formed in an unpredictable way:

Important!  

Note that a verb is termed irregular based on its pronunciation, not on its spelling; for example, lay (laid ~ have laid) and pay (paid ~ have paid) are regular, reason being, they add /d/ to their base forms for their past tense and past participle – like stay (stayed ~ have stayed) – even though the ayed is spelled aid.

Compound verbs, such as: overeat (<eat), outsell (<sell), and withhold (<hold), form their past tenses and past participles like their infinitive root; for example, overeat ~ overate ~ have overeaten.

Important! 

You can tell the difference between regular and irregular verbs by how they are formed in the past tenseOpens in new window and past participleOpens in new window.

Almost all regular verbs have predictable pattern, which means that you form the past and past participle by adding –d or –ed (laugh/laughed, arrive/arrived.)

When it comes to irregular verbs, there is no predictable pattern to indicate how to form the past and past participle forms.

When you aren’t sure whether a verb is regular or irregular, consult a dictionary. If the verb is irregular, the different tense constructions will be listed, often with appositive and sample sentence to clarify the usage.

Overview of the principal parts of some commonly used verbs follows:

Note that the present participle form has been left off this list reason being that it isn’t troublesome; it’s just the base form with –ing added.

Regular Verbs
Base FormPresent TensePast TenseInfinitivePast Participle
aimaim(s)aimedto aimaimed
arrivearrive(s)arrivedto arrivearrived
assumeassume(s)assumedto assumeassumed
climbclimb(s)climbedto climbclimbed
describedescribe(s)describedto describedescribed
destroydestroy(s)destroyedto destroydestroyed
failfail(s)failedto failfailed
hatehate(s)hatedto hatehated
lovelove(s)lovedto loveloved
muttermutter(s)mutteredto muttermuttered
openopen(s)openedto openopened
peelpeel(s)peeledto peelpeeled
playplay(s)playedto playplayed
pleaseplease(s)pleasedto pleasepleased
pretendpretend(s)pretendedto pretendpretended
rememberremember(s)rememberedto rememberremembered
startstart(s)startedto startstarted
succeedsucceed(s)succeededto succeedsucceeded
turnturn(s)turnedto turnturned
visitvisit(s)visitedto visitvisited
walkwalk(s)walkedto walkwalk
workwork(s)workedto workworked
Irregular Verbs
Base FormPresent TensePast TenseInfinitivePast Participle
abideabide(s)abode/
abided
to abideabode/
abided
arisearise(s)aroseto arisearisen
awakeawake(s)awoke/
awaked
to awakeawoken/
awaked
beam/is/areOpens in new windowwas/wereto bebeen
bearbear(s)boreto bearborne/
born
beatbeat(s)beatto beatbeaten/
beat
becomebecome(s)becameto becomebecome
beginbegin(s)beganto beginbegun
bendbend(s)bentto bendbent
betbet(s)bet/bettedto betbet/
betted
bidbid(s)badeto bidbidden/
bid
bindbind(s)boundto bindbound
bitebite(s)bitto bitebitten/
bit
bleedbleed(s)bledto bleedbled
blessbless/
blesses
blessed/
blest
to blessblessed/
blest
blowblow(s)blewto blowblown
breakbreak(s)broketo breakbroken
breedbreed(s)bredto breedbred
bringbring(s)broughtto bringbrought
costcost(s)costto costcost
bringbring(s)broughtto bringbrought
buildbuild(s)builtto buildbuilt
broadcastbroadcast(s)broadcast or
broadcasted
to broadcastbroadcast or
broadcasted
burnburn(s)burned/
burnt
to burnburned/
burnt
burstburst(s)burst/
bursted
to burstburst/
bursted
buybuy(s)boughtto buybought
catchcatch
catches
caughtto catchcaught
choosechoose(s)choseto choosechosen
clingcling(s)clungto clingclung
comecome(s)cameto comecome
creepcreep(s)creptto creepcrept
cutcut(s)cutto cutcut
dealdeal(s)dealtto dealdealt
digdig(s)dugto digdug
divedive(s)dived/
dove
to divedived/
dove
dodo/
does
didto dodone
drawdraw(s)drewto drawdrawn
dreamdream(s)dreamed
dreamt
to dreamdreamed
dreamt
drinkdrink(s)drankto drinkdrunk
drank
drivedrive(s)droveto drivedriven
dwelldwell(s)dwelled/
dwelt
to dwelldwelled/
dwelt
eateat(s)ateto eateaten
fallfall(s)fellto fallfallen
feedfeed(s)fedto feedfed
feelfeel(s)feltto feelfelt
fightfight(s)foughtto fightfought
findfind(s)foundto fightfound
fleeflee(s)fledto fleefled
flingflings)flungto flingflung
flyfly
flies
flewto flyflown
forbearforbear(s)forboreto forbearforborne
forbidforbid(s)forbadeto forbidforbidden
forgetforget(s)forgotto forgetforgotten
forecastforecast(s)forecast or
forecasted
to forcastforecast or
forecasted
forgetforget(s)forgotto forgetforgotten/
forgot
forgiveforgive(s)forgaveto forgiveforgiven
forsakeforsake(s)forsookto forsakeforsaken
freezefreeze(s)frozeto freezefrozen
getget(s)gotto getgot/
gotten
givegive(s)gaveto givegiven
gogo/goeswentto gogone
grindgrind(s)groundto grindground
growgrow(s)grewto growgrown
hanghang(s)hung/
hanged
to hanghung/
hanged
havehas/
have
hadto haveheard
hearhear(s)heardto hearheard
heaveheave(s)heaved/
hove
to heaveheaved/
hove
hewhews(s)hewedto hewhewed/
hewn
hidehide(s)hidto hidehid/hidden
hithit(s)hitto hithit
holdhold(s)heldto holdheld
keepkeep(s)keptto keepkeep
havehas/
have
hadto haveheard
hearhear(s)heardto hearheard
kneelkneel(s)knelt/
kneeled
to kneelknelt/
kneeled
knowknow(s)knewto knowknew
laylay(s)laidto laylaid
leadlead(s)ledto leadled
leapleap(s)leaped/
leapt
to leapleaped/
leapt
learnlearn(s)learned/
learnt
to learnlearned/
learnt
leaveleave(s)leftto leaveleft
lendlend(s)lentto lendlent
letlet(s)letto letlet
lielie(s)layto lielain
lightlight(s)lit/
lighted
to lightlit/
lighted
loselose(s)lostto loselost
makemake(s)madeto makemade
meanmean(s)meantto meanmeant
laylay(s)laidto laylaid
leadlead(s)ledto leadled
meetmeet(s)metto meetmet
mislaymislays(s)mislaidto mislaymislaid
misleadmislead(s)misledto misleadmisled
mistakemistake(s)mistookto mistakemistaken
mowmow(s)mowedto mowmowed/
mown
overtakelead(s)overtookto overtakeovertaken
paypay(s)paidto paypaid
pleadplead(s)pleaded/
pled
to pleadpleaded/
pled
proveprove(s)provedto proveproved/
proven
quitquit(s)quit/
quitted
to quitquit/
quitted
readread(s)readto readread
rideride(s)rodeto rideridden
ringrings)rangto ringrung
riserise(s)roseto riserisen
runrun(s)ranto runrun
sawsaw(s)sawedto sawsawed/
sawn
saysay(s)saidto saysaid
seesee(s)sawto seeseen
seekseek(s)soughtto seeksought
sellsell(s)soldto sellsold
sendsend(s)sentto sendsent
sewsew(s)sewedto sewsewn/
sewed
shakeshake(s)shookto shakeshaken
shineshine(s)shone/
shined
to shineshone/
shined
shootshoot(s)shotto shootshot
showshow(s)showedto showshown/
showed
shrinkshrink(s)shrank/
shrunk
to shrinkshrunk/
shrunken
singsing(s)sangto singsung
sinksink(s)sank/
sunk
to sinksunk
sitsit(s)satto sitsat
slayslay(s)slewto slayslain
sleepslept(s)sleptto sleepslept
slideslide(s)slidto slideslid
smellsmell(s)smelled/
smelt
to smellsmelled/
smelt
sneaksneak(s)sneaked/
snuck
to sneaksneaked/
snuck
sowsow(s)sowedto sowsown/
sowed
speakspeak(s)spoketo speakspoken
speedspeed(s)sped/
speeded
to speedsped/
speeded
spendspend(s)spentto spendspent
spillspill(s)spilled/
spilt
to spillspilled/
spilt
spinspin(s)spunto spinspun
spitspit(s)spit/
spat
to spitspit/
spat
spoilspoil(s)spoiled/
spoilt
to spoilspoiled/
spoilt
springspring(s)sprang/
sprung
to springsprung
standstand(s)stoodto standstood
stealsteal(s)stoleto stealstolen
stickstick(s)stuckto stickstuck
stingsting(s)stungto stingstung
stinkstink(s)stank/
stunk
to stinkstunk
stridestride(s)strodeto stridestridden
strikestrike(s)struckto strikestruck/
stricken
stringstring(s)strungto stringstrung
strivestrive(s)strove/
strived
to strivestriven/strived
sweepsweep(s)sweptto sweepswept
swellswell(s)swelledto swellswollen/
swelled
swimswim(s)swamto swimswum
swingswing(s)swungto swingswung
taketake(s)tookto taketaken
teachteach/
teaches
taughtto teachtaught
teartear(s)toreto teartorn
telltell(s)toldto telltold
thinkthink(s)thoughtto thinkthought
thrivethrive(s)thrived/throveto thrivethrived/
thriven
throwthrow(s)threwto throwthrown
treadtread(s)trod/treadedto treadtrodden/
trod
unbendunbend(s)unbentto unbendunbent
undergoundergo/
undergoes
underwentto undergoundergone
understandunderstand(s)understoodto understandunderstood
undertakeundertake(s)undertookto undertakeundertaken
undoundo/
undoes
undidto undoundone
upsetupset(s)upsetto upsetupset
wakewake(s)woke/
waked
to wakewoken/
waked
wearwear(s)woreto wearworn
weaveweave(s)wove/
weaved
to weavewoven/
weaved
weepweep(s)weptto weepwept
wonwin(s)wonto winwon
windwind(s)woundto woundwound
withdrawwithdraw(s)withdrewto withdrawwithdrawn
withholdwithhold(s)withheldto withholdwithheld
wringwring(s)wrungto wringwrung
writewrite(s)wroteto writewritten