Verbs : Irregular Verbs

A verb is a word that conveys an action or a state of being. Verbs have tenses to tell us when the action takes place.

The three main verb tenses are the past tense, the present tense and the future tense.


Most verbs follow a regular pattern in the formation of their past tenses – to form the past tense we add a variety of suffixes -d. -ed, -ied

Most commonly verbs form the past tense by adding -ed

work – worked
jump – jumped
answer – answered

Verbs that end in a short vowel followed by a consonant usually double the consonant and add -ed

pat – patted
step – stepped
pop – popped

If a verb ends in e we just add a -d

chase – chased
praise – praised
share – shared

Verbs that end in a y drop the y and add -ied

hurry – hurried
marry – married
carry – carried

Irregular verbs do not follow this pattern. Some form the past tense by changing a vowel.  Sometimes the past participle is the same as the past tense (as it is in regular verbs) but sometimes it differs.

Follow the links below for lists of irregular verbs together with the way they form their past tenses and past participles.

The 50 most common irregular verbs in English
More irregular verbs in English