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English irregular verbs
See also: List of irregular verbs
English irregular verbs can have up to three different forms: the base form (go, draw), the past tense (went, drew) and the past participle (gone, drawn).
Examples of irregular verbs
I went to work by bus yesterday.
You drew a beautiful picture at school.
He saw my car in the parking place.
We wrote the email before dinner.
I have gone to the shop three times today.
You have drawn a lot of pictures since the morning.
He has just seen my car.
We have already written the email.
There are basically four big groups of irregular verbs in English.
1. Verbs which have three different forms: do - did - done, write - wrote - written, sing - sang - sung.
2. Verbs which have a different base form, but the past tense and past participle are the same: build - built - built, dig - dug - dug, tell - told - told.
3. Verbs which have only one form: bet - bet - bet, cost - cost - cost, set - set - set.
4. Verbs which have both regular and irregular forms: dream - dreamed/dreamt - dreamed/dreamt, forecast - forecasted/forecast - forecasted/forecast, learn - learned/learnt - learned/learnt.
But the English irregular verbs are even more complicated. Apart from the above mentioned groups, there are some irregular verbs that do not fit to any of these groups.
Awake is irregular, but it can have a regular past tense form (awake - awaked/awoke - awaken).
Beat has the same base form and past tense, but the past participle is different (beat - beat - beaten).
Become has the same base form and past partiple, but the past tense is different (become - became - become).
Bid has two irregular forms in both the past tense and past participle (bid - bade/bid - bidden/bid).
Come (like 'become') has the same base form and past partiple, but the past tense is different (come - came - come).
Eat has two possible pronunciations in the past tense (eat - ate - eaten).
Forbid has two irregular forms only in the past tense (forbid - forbad/forbade - forbidden).
Hang is both a regular and irregular verb, but each form has a different meaning (I hung my coat in the hall. - They hanged him for murder.)
Lie is regular and irregular, but with a different meaning (I lied to my mum. - The book lay on the table.)
Read has only one form (read - read - read), but the base form has a different pronunciation.
Irregular verbs exercises
Past tense and past participle
PDF worksheets with answers:
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