Irregular Verbs

Irregular past forms Grammar Guide

Irregular verbs often strike fear into the heart of language learners but have no fear. Because of the way English grammar structures work you will only ever have to learn a maximum of three words for even an irregular verb, in multiple tenses.

Some things to remember when trying to learn irregular verbs in English:

1. With the exception of to be, to do, to have and to go, English irregular verbs are ONLY irregular in the past (past simple, and perfect tenses)

2. English past tenses have only form and the negative or question structures still use the infinitive

3. Some irregular verbs have no change between infinitive and past structures. The majority use the same change for both the past simple and the participle.

4. If you learn the irregular verbs, you will be able to use ALL verbs in English as you will understand that all other verbs you meet are regular.

As with so much of English, the secret is about sounds not rules or spelling. To help you learn your irregular verbs we have constructed a special list where verbs are divided into groups according to sound patterns to help you learn and remember. 

This list is available to download as a PDF here

Foundation Verbs
Infinitive
Past Simple
Was/Were
Be
Did
Do
Had
Have
Went
Go
Past Participle
Been
Done
Had
Been/Gone
No changes
Infinitive
Past Simple
Bet
Bet
Burst
Burst
Cost
Cost
Hit
Cost
Hurt
Hit
Let
Hurt
Let
Put
Let
Put
Set
Put
Shut
Set
Shut
Shut
Past Participle
Bet
Burst
Cost
Hit
Let
Put
Set
Shut
Hurt
Hit
Hurt
Set
One change
Group 1
Infinitive
Past Simple
Bent
Bend
Built
Build
Lent
Lend
Sent
Send
Past Participle
Bent
Built
Lent
Sent
Spend
Spent
Spent
One change
Group 2
Infinitive
Past Simple
Sold
Sell
Told
Tell
Past Participle
Sold
Told
One change
Group 3
Infinitive
Past Simple
Laid
Lay
Made
Make
Paid
Pay
Past Participle
Laid
Made
Say
Said
Said
Paid
One change
Group 4
Infinitive
Past Simple
Lit
Light
Slid
Slide
Past Participle
Lit
Slid
One change
Group 5
Infinitive
Past Simple
Lost
Lose
Shot
Shoot
Past Participle
Lost
Shot
One change
Group 6
Infinitive
Past Simple
Heard
Hear
Read
Read
Past Participle
Heard
Read
One change
Group 7
Infinitive
Past Simple
Dealt
Deal
Leapt
Leap
Past Participle
Dealt
Leapt
Meant
Mean
Meant
One change
Group 8
Infinitive
Past Simple
Past Participle
Shine
Shone
Shone
Stuck
Stick
Struck
Strike
Stuck
Struck
Swung
Swing
Win
Won
Swung
Won
One change
Group 9
Infinitive
Past Simple
Crept
Creep
Felt
Feel
Kept
Keep
Knelt/Kneeled
Kneel
Past Participle
Crept
Felt
Kept
Knelt/Kneeled
Leave
Left
Met
Meet
Sleep
Slept
Sweep
Swept
Wept
Weep
Left
Met
Slept
Swept
Wept
One change
Group 10
Infinitive
Past Simple
Bled
Bleed
Fed
Feed
Fled
Flee
Held
Hold
Past Participle
Bled
Fed
Fled
Held
Lead
Led
Met
Meet
Speed
Sped
Led
Met
Sped
One change
Group 11
Infinitive
Past Simple
Bound
Bind
Found
Find
Past Participle
Bound
Found
Ground
Grind
Wind
Wound
Ground
Wound
One change
Group 12
Infinitive
Past Simple
Brought
Bring
Bought
Buy
Caught
Catch
Fought
Fight
Past Participle
Brought
Bought
Caught
Fought
Seek
Sought
Taught
Teach
Think
Thought
Sought
Taught
Thought
One change
Group 13
Infinitive
Past Simple
Dug
Dig
Hung
Hang*
Past Participle
Dug
Hung
Spun
Spin
Spun

*Hang to suspend something on a surface. Hang - to be killed by being suspended by the neck is a regular verb

One change
Group 14
Infinitive
Past Simple
Stood
Stand
Understood
Understand
Past Participle
Stood
Understood
One change
Regular/Irregular alteratives
Infinitive
Past Simple
Burnt/Burned
Burn
Dreamt/Dreamed
Dream
Dwelt/Dwelled
Dwell
Learnt/Learned
Learn
Past Participle
Burnt/Burned
Dreamt/Dreamed
Dwelt/Dwelled
Learnt/Learned
Smell
Smelt/Smelled
Spell
Spelt/Spelled
Spill
Spilt/Spilled
Spoilt/Spoiled
Spoil
Smelt/Smelled
Spelt/Spelled
Spilt/Spilled
Spoilt/Spoiled
Two changes
Group 1
Infinitive
Past Simple
Blew
Blow
Drew
Draw
Flew
Fly
Grew
Grow
Past Participle
Blown
Drawn
Flown
Grown
Know
Knew
Throw
Threw
Known
Thrown
Two changes
Group 2
Infinitive
Past Simple
Became
Become
Came
Come
Ran
Run
Past Participle
Become
Come
Run
Two changes
Group 3
Infinitive
Past Simple
Began
Begin
Drank
Drink
Rang
Ring
Shrank
Shrink
Past Participle
Begun
Drunk
Rung
Shrunk
Sing
Sang
Sink
Sank
Sung
Sunk
Spin
Span
Spring
Sprang
Swim
Swam
Spun
Sprung
Swum
Two changes
Group 4
Infinitive
Past Simple
Awoke
Awake
Broke
Break
Chose
Choose
Froze
Freeze
Past Participle
Awoken
Broken
Chosen
Frozen
Speak
Spoke
Steal
Stole
Spoken