Irregular Verbs in English

Are you struggling with understanding irregular verbs in English? Don’t worry, we are here to help! In this reference, we will explain what an irregular verb is, how to conjugate it and provide examples of sentences with irregular verbs.

We'll also provide tips on learning irregular verbs and a comprehensive list of irregular verbs in English.

What are Irregular Verbs?

Irregular verbs do not follow the same conjugation rules as regular verbs. In English, the most common example of an irregular verb is the verb “to be”. Regular verbs are verbs that follow a specific pattern when they are conjugated.

For example, the verb “to run” has the following conjugation pattern:

  • I run
  • You run
  • He/She/It runs
  • We run
  • You (all) run
  • They run

As you can see, the verb “to run” follows the same pattern when it is conjugated. However, the conjugation pattern for the verb “to be” is different:

  • I am
  • You are
  • He/She/It is
  • We are
  • You (all) are
  • They are

So, the verb “to be” does not follow the same pattern as the verb “to run”. This is how we know it's irregular!

In the past, it also looks different. "To be" in the past becomes:

  • I was
  • You were
  • He/She/It was
  • We were
  • You (all) were
  • They were

This is why it is important to learn irregular verbs in English, this isn't very intuitive and most learners will just have to memorize how it works!

Most Commonly Used Irregular Verbs

10 most common irregular verbs in English are:

  • “to be,”
  • “to have,”
  • “to do,”
  • “to go,”
  • “to make,”
  • “to take,”
  • “to say,”
  • “to see,”
  • “to get,”
  • “to give”

These ten verbs are used in most English sentences and are the most commonly used irregular verbs in English.

Types of Irregular Verbs

Some irregular verbs keep their base form during conjugation, while others do not. So, there are:

  • Verbs that keep the same form in all tenses
  • Verbs that change their form in some tenses

Knowing the different types of irregular verbs can help you better understand how to use them and how to conjugate them correctly.

Let's look through some examples:

Verbs that keep the same form in all tenses:

"To put"

  • I put
  • You put
  • He/She/It puts
  • We put
  • You (all) put
  • They put

This stays the same in every tense, past, present, and future!

Verbs that change their form in some tenses:

"To go"

  • I go / I went / I will go
  • You go / You went / You will go
  • He/She/It goes / He/She/It went / He/She/It will go
  • We go / We went / We will go
  • You (all) go / You (all) went / You will go
  • They go / They went / They will go

Notice how the past form is different!

Irregular Verbs Examples in Sentences

Now that you know what an irregular verb is and how to conjugate it, let’s look at some examples of irregular verbs in sentences.

  • I have been to the store.
  • She takes the bus to school every day.
  • We will go to the park later.
  • He says he will do it tomorrow.
  • You should make a list of work to do.
  • They are having a party tonight.

As you can see, each of these sentences contains at least one irregular verb. Here are some more complex sentences with irregular verbs:

  • I had been planning to go to the beach, but I changed my mind.
  • She was taking her time getting ready for the party.
  • We had gone to the movies last weekend.
  • He had been saying he would do it, but he never did.
  • You should have made a list before you left the house.
  • They were having a good time at the park.

Irregular Verb Tenses

In English, there are three main tenses: the present, past, and the future tense. They affect your conjugation of irregular verbs, as described earlier. Let's delve deeper into this subject!

In the present, the base form of your verb is used. In the past tense, the verb form changes, and in the future tense, you add a helping verb such as “will”.

Present - I go

Past - I went

Future - I will go

You can easily remember these by remembering the acronym P-F-T (Present, Past, Future).

Now that you understand the basics of irregular verbs and how to use them, you can confidently use them in your writing. Remember to pay attention to the different forms of each verb, and you'll be able to properly conjugate them!

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Rules for Irregular Verbs

There are no easy rules for conjugating irregular verbs. Every verb is unique and has its own conjugation pattern. However, some general guidelines can help you conjugate irregular verbs.

First, remember that irregular verbs often have vowel changes in their conjugations. For example, the verb “go” changes to “went” in the past tense.

Second, pay attention to the context of the sentence. This will help you determine which verb form is being used.

Lastly, look at the word’s origin. This will help you understand the verb’s conjugation pattern.

List of Irregular Verbs

Below is a comprehensive list of the most commonly used irregular verbs in English:

  • Be - was/were
  • Have - had
  • Do - did
  • Go - went
  • Make - made
  • Take - took
  • Say - said
  • See - saw
  • Get - got
  • Give - gave
  • Know - knew
  • Think - thought
  • Come - came
  • Want - wanted
  • Find - found
  • Tell - told
  • Become - became
  • Show - showed
  • Leave - left
  • Put - put
  • Bring - brought
  • Begin - began
  • Keep - kept
  • Hold - held
  • Write - wrote
  • Stand - stood
  • Hear - heard
  • Let - let
  • Mean - meant
  • Set - set
  • Meet - met
  • Pay - paid
  • Sit - sat
  • Speak - spoke
  • Lose - lost
  • Win - won

Summary

In this reference, we discussed what an irregular verb is, how to conjugate it, and provided examples of sentences with irregular verbs. We also provided some tips on how to learn irregular verbs and a comprehensive list of irregular verbs in English.

Irregular verbs can be challenging to learn, but with practice and dedication, you can master them. So, the next time you see an irregular verb, you'll know exactly how to conjugate it!

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