Irregular Verbs in English with Examples
Irregular verbs are actually fairly common in the English language, and you will encounter them frequently. We suggest taking some time to read through the list of irregular verbs (below) and also to practice using them in sentences.
There are a few irregular verbs, in particular, that are used very frequently, so it is important to be familiar with them as soon as possible. Those most common irregular verbs – which happen to also be some of the most common words you will use in English – are the following (we have added the simple past form and the past participle form here to illustrate the changes):
Common Irregular Verbs in English
- come (came, come)
- get (got, got)
- go (went, gone)
- know (knew, known)
- make (made, made)
- say (said, said)
- see (saw, seen)
- take (took, taken)
- think (thought, thought)
Here are a few examples using these common irregular verbs, including an explanation of each:
- Did you take the last box to the moving truck?
- I took all the others already.
- We should have taken them all to the truck last night already.
→ Here the irregular verb “take” is in its base form in the first sentence. In the second sentence, we see it in its simple past form “took,” and in the third sentence, it is used in the past participle form “taken.”
- I need to go to the store this afternoon.
- I went to the farmer’s market in the morning, but the person who sells the best vegetables was already gone by the time I arrived.
→ Here the irregular verb “go” is in its base form in the first sentence. In the second sentence, we see it in its simple past form “went” and in the past participle form “gone.”
- I hear her say that she likes balloons a lot, so I said to Anthony that we should get some for the party this weekend.
→ Here the irregular verb “say” is in its base form in the first part of sentence, and in the simple past form “said” in the second part of the sentence.
- Do you know how to make a rocket? I’ve always wanted to try, but I have never made one.
→ Here the irregular verb “make” is in its base form in the first sentence. In the second sentence, we see it in its simple past form “made.”
- Let’s eat some of these cookies. I ate some last week and found them to be delicious. Hopefully, my brother hasn’t already eaten them all.
→ In this example, the irregular verb eat is in base form. “Ate” is the past simple form of “eat,” and found is the past simple form of “find.” In the third sentence, eat is used in the past participle form “eaten.”
Full Listing of Irregular Verbs
Below we have provided a list of all irregular verbs used in English. The table show the base (or bare infinitive) form, followed by the simple past form and the past participle form for each verb. Becoming familiar with this list will help as you learn to speak and write English more regularly.
|Base Form||Past Simple||Past Participle|
|lie (in bed)||lay||lain|
|lie (to not tell the truth)||lied||lied|
|must||had to||had to|