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Contributors: Dana Lynn Driscoll, Karl Stolley, Elizabeth Angeli.

This handout contains a list and discussion of common irregular verbs.

Irregular Verbs: Overview and List

In English, regular verbs consist of three main parts: the root form (present), the (simple) past, and the past participle. Regular verbs have an -ed ending added to the root verb for both the simple past and past participle. Irregular verbs do not follow this pattern, and instead take on an alternative pattern.

List of Irregular Verbs in English

The following is a partial list of irregular verbs found in English. Each listing consists of the present/root form of the verb, the (simple) past form of the verb, and the past participle form of the verb.

Present Past Past Participle
be was, were been
become became become
begin began begun
blow blew blown
break broke broken
bring brought brought
build built built
burst burst burst
buy bought bought
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
come came come
cut cut cut
deal dealt dealt
do did done
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
feed fed fed
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fly flew flown
forbid forbade forbidden
forget forgot forgotten
forgive forgave forgiven
freeze froze frozen
get got gotten
give gave given
go went gone
grow grew grown
have had had
hear heard heard
hide hid hidden
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
know knew known
lay laid laid
lead led led
leave left left
let let let
lie lay lain
lose lost lost
make made made
meet met met
pay paid paid
quit quit quit
read read read
ride rode ridden
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
seek sought sought
sell sold sold
send sent sent
shake shook shaken
shine shone shone
sing sang sung
sit sat sat
sleep slept slept
speak spoke spoken
spend spent spent
spring sprang sprung
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
swim swam swum
swing swung swung
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
tell told told
think thought thought
throw threw thrown
understand understood understood
wake woke (waked) woken (waked)
wear wore worn
win won won
write wrote written
Contributors: Dana Lynn Driscoll, Karl Stolley, Elizabeth Angeli.

This handout contains a list and discussion of common irregular verbs.

Commonly Confused Verbs

LIE versus LAY

Lie vs. Lay usage
Present Past Past Participle
lie, lying (to tell a falsehood) I lied to my mother. I have lied under oath.
lie, lying (to recline) I lay on the bed because I was tired. He has lain in the grass.
lay, laying (to put, place) I laid the baby in her cradle. We have laid the dishes on the table.

Example sentences:

After laying down his weapon, the soldier lay down to sleep.

Will you lay out my clothes while I lie down to rest?

SIT versus SET

Sit vs. Set usage
Present Past Past Participle
sit (to be seated or come to resting position) I sat in my favorite chair. You have sat there for three hours.
set (to put or place) I set my glass on the table. She has set her books on my desk again.

Example sentences:

Let's set the table before we sit down to rest.


Rise vs. Raise usage
Present Past Past Participle
rise (steady or customary upward movement) The balloon rose into the air. He has risen to a position of power.
raise (to cause to rise) They raised their hands because they knew the answer. I have raised the curtain many times.

Example sentences:

The boy raised the flag just before the sun rose.