Grammar Rules

Irregular Verbs

What Are Irregular Verbs?

Irregular verbs are verbs that don't take on the regular –d, -ed, or -ied spelling patterns of the past simple (V2) or past participle (V3). Many of the irregular V2 and V3 forms are the same, such as: cut - cut, had - had, let - let, hurt - hurt, fed- fed, sold-sold

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Irregular Verb Examples

Irregular verbs are also known as strong verbs. Here are nine that are used more often than the rest. These nine irregular verb examples also happen to be among the most commonly used words in the English language. They are:
  • Go
  • Get
  • Say
  • See
  • Think
  • Make
  • Take
  • Come
  • Know
The following list of examples show how irregular verbs are used in sentences. Some sentences contain more than one example.
  1. Go get your brother. It’s time to eat dinner. → In this example, all three irregular verbs (go, get, and eat) are in base form.
  2. I want to build a sand castle like the one we built last year. → In this example, the irregular verb build is in base form. The irregular verb built is the past simple form of “build”. When you look at the complete list of examples, you’ll notice that built is also the past participle of the irregular verb “build”.
  3. He bet me that I couldn’t run five miles without stopping. I proved him wrong; I ran seven miles before I had to catch my breath. → In this example, bet is a past simple form. When you look at the complete list, you will see that all three forms of “bet” are the same. Next, in the same sentence, the irregular verb run is in base form. In the next sentence, ran is the past simple form of “run” and had is the past simple form of “have.” Meanwhile, catch is base form.
  4. I awoke to find that a spider had bitten me. Although the wound didn’t bleed, it itched terribly. → In this example, the irregular verb awoke is the past simple form of “awake.” Bitten is past participle form of “bite” and bleed is base form.
  5. Let’s drink some of this lemonade. I drank some yesterday and found it delicious. → In this example, the irregular verb drink is in base form. Drank is the past simple form of “drink,” and found is the past simple form of “find.”
For more examples, read our complete list of irregular verbs in the English language.

Irregular Verb Exercises

Fill the blank spaces with the appropriate irregular verb.
  1. My dog jumped out of the swimming pool and _____________ himself, causing water to spray everywhere. (shake, shook, shaken)
  2. You should have ______________ Trish’s face when she got her surprise. (saw, had seen, seen)
  3. We _____________ the whole day lounging on the beach. (spend, spent, had spend)
  4. Let’s _____________ a hike on Saturday. (take, took, taken)
  5. My brother Mike ______________ his stinky socks on the coffee table. (leave, left, leaving)
  6. This is the ninth time that pitcher has _____________ a foul ball (throw, threw, thrown)
  7. The water balloon _____________ when it hit its target. (burst, busted, broken)
  8. Jesse intentionally ______________ gum in Jeff’s hair. (stick, stuck, sticky)
Answers: 1 - shook, 2 - seen, 3 - spent, 4 - take, 5 - left, 6 - thrown, 7- burst, 8 – stuck