Regular verbs form the Simple Past and the Past Participle by adding ED to the base form of the verb: play – played – played; work – worked – worked.
Irregular verbs form the Simple Past and the Past Participle by changing the root of the word: go – went – gone; take – took – taken.
|Base form||Simple Past||Past Participle|
|lie (in bed)||lay||lain|
|lie (to not tell the truth)||lied||lied|
These verbs are usually regular in American English: burn, dream, kneel, lean, leap, learn, misspell, smell, spell, spill, spoil. They form the Simple Past and the Past Participle by adding the ending -ed.
burn – burned – burned;
dream – dreamed – dreamed;
kneel – kneeled – kneeled;
lean – leaned – leaned;
leap – leaped – leaped;
learn – learned – learned;
misspell – misspelled – misspelled;
smell – smelled – smelled;
spell – spelled – spelled;
spill – spilled – spilled;
spoil – spoiled – spoiled.
The following forms are more common in BrE than in AmE: burnt, dreamt, knelt, leant, leapt, learnt, misspelt, smelt, spelt, spilt, spoilt; betted, fitted, quitted.
Simple Past of "dive": dived (BrE); dived, dove (AmE).
Simple Past of "sink": sank (BrE); sank, sunk (AmE).
Simple Past of "spring": sprang (BrE); sprang, sprung (AmE).
Past Participle of "get": got (BrE); got, gotten (AmE).
Past Participle of "strike": struck (BrE); struck, stricken (AmE). The form "stricken" is used in AmE mostly about feelings. For example: She was struck with panic. She was stricken with panic.
Simple Past and Past Participle of "spit": spit – spat – spat (BrE); spit – spat, spit – spat, spit (AmE).
If a verb has variants of the Simple Past and Past Participle forms, always check the dictionary. Generally, the first variant in the dictionary is the most common. In a number of cases there may be differences in meaning or preferences in usage. For example, compare the meanings of the forms of the verbs below.
abided (Simple Past): He always abided by the rules.
abode (Simple Past) (old use): He abode in a small hut near the lake.
bid (Simple Past): He bid three hundred dollars for the painting.
bade, bid (Simple Past): He bade her good morning. He bid her good morning. She bade farewell to them. She bade him leave.
born (Past Participle): He was born in London. She was born in 1960.
borne (Past Participle): She has borne two sons.
borne (Past Participle): The bodies of the deceased were borne into the church.
hung (Simple Past and Past Participle): He hung his coat on a hook. The picture was hung too high.
hanged (Simple Past and Past Participle): They hanged the captives. He was hanged for his crimes.
shone (Simple Past): His face shone with happiness.
shined (Simple Past): He shined his shoes yesterday.
shown, showed (Past Participle): The form "shown" for the Past Participle (has shown, had shown) is more common than the form "showed" (has showed, had showed). Only the form "shown" is used in the passive: This film has been shown on TV several times.
There are several similar regular and irregular verbs. Compare the meanings, spelling and forms of the verbs below.
awake, wake, awaken, waken
Irregular verb "awake" (awoke, awaked; awoke, awaked): He awoke at seven. The noise awoke him.
Irregular verb "wake" (woke, waked; woken, waked): He woke up at seven. The noise woke him up. He was woken by some noise.
Regular verb "awaken" (awakened; awakened): He was awakened by a loud noise.
Regular verb "waken" (wakened; wakened): He was wakened by a loud noise.
arise, rise, raise
Irregular verb "arise" (arose; arisen): A new question arose at the meeting.
Irregular verb "rise" (rose; risen): He rose from his chair and went out.
Regular verb "raise" (raised; raised): He raised his hand.
lie, lay, lie
Irregular verb "lie" (lay; lain): She lay awake till morning.
Irregular verb "lay" (laid; laid): They laid a new carpet on the floor of the bedroom.
Regular verb "lie" (lied; lied): He lied to me.