Regular and Irregular Verbs for intermediate learners

Based on how we conjugate verbs in the past simple and the past participle, they can be divided into two types: Regular verbs and Irregular verbs.

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"Regular and Irregular Verbs" in English Grammar

What Are Regular and Irregular Verbs?

There are different patterns when we want to conjugate a verb in English. Based on how they are conjugated in the simple past and past participle tenses, we have two groups of verbs as listed below:

  • Regular Verbs
  • Irregular Verbs

Now, let us examine how each category is conjugated and how they are used in statements.

Regular Verbs

Most verbs in English are regular which means that they get an '-ed' or '-d' at their end when they are conjugated in both simple past and past participle tenses. Pay close attention to the table below:

Simple Past Form Past Participle Form
Talk Talked Talked
Listen Listened Listened
Jog Jogged Jogged
Look Looked Looked
Perform Performed Performed
Walk Walked Walked
Dance Danced Danced
Live Lived Lived

Now, carefully study the examples below:

She talked to Ms. Howard yesterday.

They danced all night.

Tip!

It is useful to know that some verbs get a '-t' instead of an '-ed' at their end and this is common in British English. Look at the following example:

He built this house ten years ago.

As you can see, the simple past and past participle forms of 'build' is 'built'.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular Verbs, contradictory to regular ones, do not have a specific, fixed pattern and they are categorized into four groups. Let us examine two groups of these verbs:

  • Group I: Verbs that their base, simple past and past participle forms are different.
  • Group II: Verbs that their simple past and past participle forms are the same.

Let us study each category carefully:

Group I of Irregular Verbs

In this group, every tense has its own form. Look at some verbs and their conjugated forms in the table below:

Simple Past Form Past Participle Form
Eat Ate Eaten
See Saw Seen
Be Was\Were Been
Do Did Done
Drink Drank Drunk
Fall Fell Fallen
Write Wrote Written

Now, pay attention to the examples below:

I saw a black bird on my way home.

She had been there for 3 months.

Group II of Irregular Verbs

The verbs in this category have the same forms of simple past and past participle tenses. Study the following table carefully:

Simple Past Form Past Participle Form
Buy Bought Bought
Say Said Said
Teach Taught Taught
Leave Left Left
Seek Sought Sought

Now let us look at some examples below:

She bought a new phone yesterday.

I said get out of my room now!

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