Most common English irregular verbs and how to use them


It's easy to confuse the irregular verbs in English. Think or thought, read or read (rhymes with bed), teach and taught, fall, fell and fallen? Between lay, laid, lie and lay, and swim, swam and hung or hanged, no wonder people aren't sure which word to use. See below for a quick, easy guide on how to conjugate irregular verbs in English in the present, future, simple past and past perfect tenses and a cheat sheet for fast reference.


Irregular verbs should be used in this way:

Present: Think. I think of it.

Future: Will think. I will think of it. (For future, add "will" to the present tense)

Simple past: Thought. I thought of it. Implies it happened and is completely done. Perhaps it happened yesterday or just a moment ago, but it's done.

present: Thought. I have thought of it. (Add have for I, you, we, they and has for she, he.) Implies the action happened and is ongoing.

Present & Future Tenses Simple Past Past Participle
arisearose(have) arisen
awakeawoke(have) awoken
bewere, was(have) been
beatbeat(have) beaten, beat
becomebecame(have) become
beginbegan(have) begun
bendbent(have) bent
betbet(have) bet
bidbid(have) bid
bitebit(have) bitten
bleedbled(have) bled
blowblew(have) blown
breakbroke(have) broken
bringbrought(have) brought
broadcastbroadcast(have) broadcast
buildbuilt(have) built
burnburned/burnt(have) burned/burnt
buybought(have) bought
catchcaught(have) caught
choosechose(have) chosen
clingclung(have) clung
comecame(have) come
cutcut(have) cut
dealdealt(have) dealt
digdug(have) dug
divedived, dove(have) dived
dodid(have) done
drawdrew(have) drawn
dreamdreamed/dreamt(have) dreamed/dreamt
drinkdrank(have) drunk
drivedrove(have) driven
eatate(have) eaten
fallfell(have) fallen
feelfelt(have) felt
fightfought(have) fought
findfound(have) found
flyflew(have) flown
forgetforgot(have) forgotten
forgiveforgave(have) forgiven
freezefroze(have) frozen
getgot(have) gotten
givegave(have) given
gowent(have) gone
growgrew(have) grown
hang (a person)hanged(have) hanged
hang (an object)hung(have) hung
havehad(have) had
hidehid(have) hidden
hithit(have) hit
holdheld(have) held
hurthurt(have) hurt
keepkept(have) kept
knowknew(have) known
lay (set an object down)laid(have) laid
leadled(have) led
learnlearned/learnt(have) learned/learnt
leaveleft(have) left
lendlent(have) lent
letlet(have) let
lie (to recline)lay(have) lain
lightlighted, lit(have) lighted, lit
loselost(have) lost
meanmeant(have) meant
meetmet(have) met
paypaid(have) paid
putput(have) put
readread(have) read
riderode(have) ridden
ringrang(have) rung
riserose(have) risen
runran(have) run
saysaid(have) said
seesaw(have) seen
seeksought(have) sought
sellsold(have) sold
sendsent(have) sent
setset(have) set
shakeshook(have) shaken
shine (radiate light)shone(have) shone
shine (make shiny)shone, shined(have) shone, shined
shutshut(have) shut
singsang(have) sung
sinksank, sunk(have) sunk
sitsat(have) sat
slayslew(have) slain
sleepslept(have) slept
speakspoke(have) spoken
speedsped(have) sped
spendspent(have) spent
springsprang, sprung(have) sprung
standstood(have) stood
stealstole(have) stolen
swearswore(have) sworn
swimswam(have) swum
taketook(have) taken
teachtaught(have) taught
teartore(have) torn
telltold(have) told
thinkthought(have) thought
throwthrew(have) thrown
understandunderstood(have) understood
wakewoke(have) woken
wearwore(have) worn
winwon(have) won
writewrote(have) written

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