Irregular Verbs in English: Overview and Examples

Learn these English irregular verbs and practice using them in your daily conversations.

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In this article, we'll journey through the twists and turns of irregular verbs, unraveling their complexities with clear explanations and practical examples.

Whether you're a beginner eager to start learning irregular verbs or an advanced learner aiming to polish your English skills, mastering these 150 irregular verbs will propel you toward fluency.

So, let's embark on this adventure together and learn more about English irregular verbs!

What are irregular verbs?

You have probably been using irregular verbs often without being aware of them. Once you understand irregular verbs with their definition then you will see that an irregular verb is a verb that does not follow the normal patterns of tenses.

You can see that many verbs end with -ed for past tense and participle forms, but in terms of irregular verbs, they do not follow the -ed pattern and they have their own unique tense forms and past participles. In other words, these verbs have their own style of writing.

Become a master in using irregular verbs in English!

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Soon you will be an expert in using irregular verbs like “went” in your day-to-day conversations via Busuu’s free online courses and learning resources!

To understand this in a better way, you can refer to these examples:


Irregular verb examples

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
Do Did Done
Go Went Gone
Get Got Gotten
Have Had Had
Hurt Hurt Hurt

As you can see in the examples above, none of these has followed the -ed pattern either in past simple or in past participle tense. This quality of the irregular verb makes it unique.

Now that you are familiar with irregular verbs, here are some the ways in which they are different from regular verbs.

What is the difference between regular and irregular verbs?

In English, verbs have an important role to play. A verb is a word or group of words that is used to indicate that something happens or exists. For example, bring, happen and do are verbs.

These verbs are of two types:

1. Regular verbs

Regular verbs are verbs whose past participle and past tense are formed by simply adding -d or -ed to the base form of the verb. For example, the past participle of create is created and the past participle of submit is submitted.

You'll be happy to know that most verbs in English are regular, but the there are some very useful verbs that are irregular, so it's good to know how they work!

2. Irregular verbs

These are verbs that have the same or different present and past participles. For example, the past participle of go is gone, and the past participle of read is read.


Regular vs. irregular verbs

Basis for comparison Regular verbs Irregular verbs
Meaning Regular verbs are verbs with usual simple past and past participle forms (ending in "-ed"). Irregular verbs refer to the verbs that do not have the usual past and past participle forms.
Conjugation Standard rules for conjugation Special rules for conjugation
Example act-acted-acted know-knew-known

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Here is a list of 150 irregular verbs used in daily life

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
lose lost lost
stride strode stridden
bring brought brought
break broke broken
withhold withheld withheld
beset beset beset
quit quit quit
show showed shown
weep wept wept
lie lay lain
arise arose arisen
shine shone shone
spill spilt /spilled spilt /spilled
overthrow overthrew overthrown
cut cut cut
bear bore borne
throw threw thrown
send sent sent
weave wove /weaved wove /weaved
rise rose risen
wring wrung wrung
get got gotten
broadcast broadcast broadcast
bend bent bent
sink sank sunk
let let let
wake woke woken
see saw seen
sweep swept swept
fly flew flown
sing sang sung
mow mowed mowed
shed shed shed
pay paid paid
stick stuck stuck
be was, were been
wear wore worn
wed wedded /wed wedded /wed
grind ground ground
buy bought bought
burst burst burst
speak spoke spoken
withdraw withdrew withdrawn
keep kept kept
build built built
creep crept crept
begin began begun
sell sold sold
thrust thrust thrust
smell smelled smelled
hear heard heard
drink drank drunk
bid bid bid
overcome overcame overcome
breed bred bred
burn burned or burnt burned or burnt
sew sewed sewn/sewed
win won won
sleep slept slept
cling clung clung
have had had
sting stung stung
speed sped /speeded sped /speeded
put put put
mistake mistook mistaken
rid rid rid
dig dug dug
bleed bled bled
lead led led
become became become
smite smote smitten
freeze froze frozen
forbid forbade forbidden
eat ate eaten
blow blew blown
meet met met
prove proved proved/proven
come came come
understand understood understood
run ran run
shut shut shut
thrive thrived /throve thrived
kneel knelt knelt
spoil spoilt /spoiled spoilt /spoiled
mean meant meant
spread spread spread
cast cast cast
feed fed fed
wind wound wound
spend spent spent
hide hid hidden
fit fit fit
deal dealt dealt
grow grew grown
uphold upheld upheld
plead pleaded/plead pleaded/plead
bind bound bound
slit slit slit
spring sprang sprung
cost cost cost
go went gone
fling flung flung
spell spelled spelled
forgive forgave forgiven
forget forgot forgotten
spit spat spat
choose chose chosen
hurt hurt hurt
steal stole stolen
know knew known
draw drew drawn
dream dreamed or dreamt dreamed or dreamt
ride rode ridden
give gave given
read read read
fight fought fought
write wrote written
cast cast cast
foretell foretold foretold
arise arose arisen
catch caught caught
say said said
tread trod trodden
fall fell fallen
hit hit hit
forsake forsook forsaken
sit sat sat
swim swam swum
flee fled fled
shrink shrank shrunk
swell swelled swelled /swollen
tell told told
shear sheared sheared/shorn
bite bit bitten
hang hanged hanged
shake shook shaken
spin spun spun
drive drove driven
do did done
light lit/lighted lit/lighted
lend lent lent
find found found
overdo overdid overdone
upset upset upset
understand understood understood
slide slid slid
think thought thought
shoot shot shot

From the list given above, you can understand irregular verbs and use them proficiently in your everyday usage of the English language.

Hopefully, this article has helped you in understanding the differences between regular and irregular verbs. This concept is something that will make your English grammar much better than before.

There are many more English irregular verbs to discover!

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