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Grammar Guide : Irregular Verbs

Updated: Mar 4, 2023

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 one 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

irregular verb list
Download • 139KB


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