Irregular Verbs, Definition,Examples and Exercise

Irregular Verbs

Definition:

Irregular verbs are verbs that do not form the past and participle by adding -ed. All irregular verbs form the present participle by adding -ing. Irregular verbs may change vowels, consonants, both vowels and consonants, or may stay the same.

InfinitivePresentPresent ParticiplePastPast Participle
To seeSee, seesseeingSawHave seen
To flyFly, fliesflyingFlewHave flown
To doDo, doesrunningDidHave done

The verb to be is the most irregular verb in English.

InfinitivePresentPresent ParticiplePastPast Participle
to beam / are / isbeingwas / werebeen

Irregular verbs can be sorted into groups by pattern, but the patterns don’t help you remember the forms. For the most part, these need to be memorized. Most people memorize them simply by hearing them, reading them, or being corrected.

The patterns are:

  1. present, past, and past participle are the same. (put/put/put)
  2. past and past participle are the same (catch/caught/caught)
  3. past + n or en forms past participle (freeze/froze/frozen)
  4. present + n/en/ne forms past participle (do/did/done)
  5. final vowel changes from i in present to a in past to u in past participle. (begin/began/begun)

Hint:

If you aren’t sure, look up the verb in the dictionary. If the verb is irregular, the dictionary will give you the past and past participle form.

Find out irregular verbs from the examples for exercise: –

  • My dog jumped out of the swimming pool and shook himself, causing water to spray everywhere.
  • You should have seen Trish’s face when she got her surprise.
  • We spent the whole day lounging on the beach.
  • Let’s take a hike on Saturday.
  • My brother mike left his stinky socks on the coffee table.
  • This is the ninth time that pitcher has thrown a four ball.
  • The water balloon burst when it hit its target.
  • Jesse intentionally stuck gum in Jeff’s hair.

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