Irregular Verbs

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
abide abode abode
arise arose arisen
awake awoke awoken
be was/were been
bear bore born(e)
beat beat beaten
become became become
begin began begun
bend bent bent
bet bet bet
bind bound bound
bite bit bitten
bleed bled bled
blow blew blown
break broke broken
breed bred bred
bring brought brought
broadcast broadcast broadcast
build built built
burn burnt/burned burnt/burned
burst burst burst
buy bought bought
can could been able
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
cling clung clung
come came come
cost cost cost
creep crept crept
cut cut cut
deal dealt dealt
dig dug dug
do did done
draw drew drawn
dream dreamt/dreamed dreamt/dreamed
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 got
give gave given
go went gone
grind ground ground
grow grew grown
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
kneel knelt knelt
know knew known
lay laid laid
lead led led
lean leant/leaned leant/leaned
learn learnt/learned learnt/learned
leave left left
lent lent lent
lie (in bed) lay lain
lie (to not tell the truth) lied lied
light lit/lighted lit/lighted
lose lost lost
make made made
may might
mean meant meant
meet met met
mow mowed mown/mowed
must had to
overtake overtook overtaken
pay paid paid
put put put
read read read
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
run ran run
saw sawed sawn/sawed
say said said
see saw seen
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
sew sewed sewn/sewed
shake shook shaken
shall should
shed shed shed
shine shone shone
shoot shot shot
show showed shown
shrink shrank shrunk
shut shut shut
sing sang sung
sink sank sunk
sit sat sat
sleep slept slept
slide slid slid
smell smelt smelt
sow sowed sown/sowed
speak spoke spoken
spell spelt/spelled spelt/spelled
spend spent spent
spill spilt/spilled spilt/spilled
spit spat spat
spread spread spread
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
stick stuck stuck
sting stung stung
stink stank stunk
strike struck struck
swear swore sworn
sweep swept swept
swell swelled swollen/swelled
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 woken
wear wore worn
weep wept wept
will would
win won won
wind wound wound
write wrote written


Note 1: BrE and AmE

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.

Note 2: Some other BrE and AmE differences

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).

Note 3: Variants of forms

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.

Note: show

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.

Note 4: Similar verbs

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.