Overrun past tense

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Meaning of overrun

to spread over or occupy by spreading over excessively.


Word: overrun /ˌoʊvərˈrʌn/
  • 1. Rats overrun the abandoned building, making it unsafe for entry.
  • 2. Without proper management, invasive species easily overrun native plant communities.
  • 3. If we don't control our spending, expenses will overrun our budget.

Past Simple

Word: overran /oʊvəˈræn/
  • 1. Invaders overran the village last year, leaving the residents in a state of shock and despair.
  • 2. Weeds overran the garden again.
  • 3. By the end of the game, the opposing team overran our defense.

Past Participle

Word: overrun /ˌoʊvərˈrʌn/
  • 1. The city has been overrun by tourists during the festival season.
  • 2. By the time reinforcements arrived, the outpost had already been overrun.
  • 3. The garden was overrun with weeds after being neglected for a few months.

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Bare infinitive

  1. To describe a habitual action or a universal truth, particularly when something regularly overpowers, exceeds, or invades.
    Example. 'Mice often overrun our storage shed in the autumn.'

Past Simple

  1. To talk about a specific instance in the past where something was overwhelmed or swamped.
    Example. 'They overran the festival last year.'
    Example. 'The meeting overran its scheduled end time by 30 minutes.'
  2. When an event in the past was extended beyond the planned time or limit.
    Example. 'They overran the festival last year.'
    Example. 'The meeting overran its scheduled end time by 30 minutes.'

Past Participle

  1. In perfect tenses to talk about actions/discoveries made in the past at an unspecified time or how past actions affect the present.
  2. Example (Present Perfect). 'The field has been overrun by weeds since last summer.'
  3. Passive voice to describe an entity being overwhelmed, exceeded, or invaded by something else, often showing an ongoing relevance or consequence.
  4. Example (Passive Voice). 'The small town has been overrun by tourists every summer.'
  5. As adjectives to describe something or someone that is swamped, overwhelmed, or excessively populated/infested by something.
  6. Example (Adjective). 'The overrun fields are a testament to the invasive plant species' resilience.'

Common mistakes

— 01

Confusing forms

A common mistake is using 'overrun' when the past simple form 'overran' is needed, and vice versa. The correct use is 'overran' for the past simple tense, which describes an action that happened at a specific time in the past, e.g., 'The weeds overran the garden last summer.' In contrast, 'overrun' is the past participle form, used in perfect tenses or as an adjective, e.g., 'The garden has been overrun by weeds.'

— 02

Conjugating 'overrun'

Another frequent error involves misusing 'overrun' in compound tenses, such as the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect tenses. Some might mistakenly conjugate it as 'overrunned' or use 'overran' instead of 'overrun' in these tenses. The correct form should always be 'overrun' when forming compound tenses, e.g., 'The city has been overrun by tourists' or 'By the time we arrived, the festival had already been overrun with fans.'

— 03

Irregular verb patterns

People often apply regular verb Misusing Past Participle to 'overrun,' treating it like a regular verb and adding '-ed' to form its past simple and past participle. This mistake stems from overgeneralizing the rules for regular verbs to irregular ones. 'Overrun' does not follow the regular pattern of adding '-ed' for its past forms; instead, it changes to 'overran' for the past simple and remains 'overrun' for the past participle, reflecting its status as an irregular verb.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the past simple form of 'overrun'?

The past simple form of 'overrun' is 'overran'. This form is used to describe an action that started and finished at a specific time in the past. For example, 'The garden was overran by weeds last summer.'

What is the past participle form of 'overrun'?

The past participle form of 'overrun' is 'overrun'. It is identical to the base form but used differently, often in perfect tense constructions or as an adjective. For instance, 'The city has been overrun by tourists during the festival.'

How do I use 'overran' and 'overrun' in a sentence correctly?

To use 'overran' correctly, frame it in a simple past tense construction, indicating an action completed in the past. 'The mice overran the abandoned house.' For 'overrun', incorporate it into a perfect tense or as an adjective. 'The fields are overrun with wildflowers in spring.' (adjective) or 'By the end of the war, the region had been overrun by the enemy.' (past perfect tense)

Can you provide examples showing the difference between 'overran' and 'overrun' in context?

Certainly! Here are two sentences that highlight the difference. Overran (Past Simple). 'The army overran the village in a single night, leaving the villagers in shock.' Overrun (Past Participle/Adjective). 'After months of neglect, the backyard is completely overrun with weeds.' In the first sentence, 'overran' indicates a specific action that occurred and was completed in the past. In the second sentence, 'overrun' is used as a past participle in a passive construction to describe the state of the backyard, or as an adjective describing the extent to which weeds have taken over.