List of English irregular verbs

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For details about the types and origin of irregular verbs in English, see English irregular verbs. For information about verbs generally, see English verbs.

This is a list of irregular verbs in the English language.

For each verb listed, the citation form (the bare infinitive) is given first, with a link to the relevant Wiktionary entry. This is followed by the simple past tense (preterite), and then the past participle. If there are irregular present tense forms (see below), these are given in parentheses after the infinitive. (The present participle and gerund forms of verbs, ending in -ing, are always regular. In English, these are used as verbs, adjectives, and nouns.) In the case of modal verbs the present and preterite forms are listed, since these are the only forms that exist.

The right-hand column notes whether the verb is weak or strong and whether it belongs to a subclass, and links to descriptions elsewhere. Information about the development of these verbs generally can be found at English irregular verbs; details of the etymology and usage of specific verbs can be found by consulting Wiktionary.

In some cases, there are two or more possibilities for a given form. In the table, the preferred or more common usage is generally listed first, though for some words the usage is nearly equal for the two choices. Sometimes the usage depends on the dialect. In many cases, such as spell (spelt vs. spelled), learn (learnt vs. learned), and spill (spilt vs. spilled), American English normally uses the regular form, while British English tends to favor the irregular. In other cases, such as dive (dived vs. dove) and sneak (sneaked vs. snuck), the opposite is true. Australian, New Zealand and South African English tend to follow the British practice, while Canadian English often sides with the American usage.

The table includes selected archaic forms, marked * (some of these forms may survive in dialectal or specialist uses).

Verb forms Verb class and notes
be (am, is, are) – was, were – been Suppletive. See Indo-European copula.
bear – bore – born/borne
forbear – forbore – forborne
*misbear – *misbore – *misborne
overbear – overbore – overborne
underbear – underbore – underborne
Strong, class 4. The spelling born is used in passive or adjectival contexts relating to birth.
beat – beat – beaten/beat
browbeat – browbeat – browbeaten
overbeat – overbeat – overbeaten/overbeat
Strong, class 7
become – became – become
misbecome – misbecame – misbecome
Strong, class 4
beget – begot/*begat – begotten/begot
misbeget – misbegot – misbegotten/misbegot
Strong, class 5
begin – began – begun Strong, class 3
bend – bent/bended – bent/bended
overbend – overbent – overbent
unbend – unbent – unbent
Weak with coalescence of dentals
beseech – beseeched/*besought – beseeched/*besought Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law (now regularized)
bet – bet/betted – bet/betted
underbet – underbet – underbet
Weak with coalescence of dentals
beware (no other forms) Defective; formed from be with predicate adjective, used as infinitive, imperative and subjunctive only. Inflected forms (bewares, bewared, bewaring) are considered obsolete.
bid [in auctions etc.] – bid – bid
outbid – outbid – outbid
overbid – overbid – overbid
rebid – rebid – rebid
underbid – underbid – underbid
Weak with coalescence of dentals
bid [meaning to request or say] – bade/bid/bidded – bidden/bid/bidded Strong, class 5
bide – bided/bode – bided/bidden
abide – abided/*abode – abided/*abidden
Strong, class 1
bind – bound – bound
unbind – unbound – unbound
underbind – underbound – underbound
Strong, class 3
bite – bit – bitten Strong, class 1
bleed – bled – bled Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
bless – blessed/*blest – blessed/*blest Weak, regular with alternative (archaic) spelling
blow – blew – blown
overblow – overblew – overblown
Strong, class 7
break – broke – broken
outbreak – outbroke – outbroken
rebreak – rebroke – rebroken
Strong, class 4
breed – bred – bred
inbreed – inbred – inbred
interbreed – interbred – interbred
overbreed – overbred – overbred
Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
bring – brought – brought Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
build – built – built
overbuild – overbuilt – overbuilt
rebuild – rebuilt – rebuilt
underbuild – underbuilt – underbuilt
Weak with coalescence of dentals
burn – burned/burnt – burnt/burned Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
burst – burst/bursted – burst/bursted Strong, class 3 (or regular)
buy – bought – bought/*boughten
*abuy – *abought – *abought
overbuy – overbought – overbought
underbuy – underbought – underbought
Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
can [auxiliary verb] – could – (none) Preterite-present, defective. See English modal verbs
cast – cast – cast
broadcast – broadcast – broadcast
downcast – downcast – downcast
forecast – forecast – forecast
miscast – miscast – miscast
overcast – overcast – overcast
podcast – podcast – podcast
precast – precast – precast
recast – recast – recast
simulcast – simulcast – simulcast
telecast – telecast – telecast
typecast – typecast – typecast
undercast – undercast – undercast
upcast – upcast – upcast
webcast – webcast – webcast
Weak with coalescence of dentals. Many of the prefixed forms can also take -ed.
catch – caught – caught Weak, French loanword conjugated perhaps by analogy with teach–taught
chide – chided/*chid/*chode – chided/*chid/*chidden Strong, class 1
choose – chose – chosen
mischoose – mischose – mischosen
Strong, class 2
clad – clad/cladded – clad/cladded Developed from clad, the past form of clothe (see below).
cleave [meaning to split] – clove/cleft – cloven/cleft Strong, class 2, sometimes switching to weak with vowel shortening. When meaning "adhere" the verb is regular.
*clepe – *cleped/*clept – *cleped/*clept Weak with vowel shortening, or regular. Obsolete or dialectal.
cling – clung – clung Strong, class 3
clothe – clothed/clad – clothed/clad
overclothe – overclothed/overclad – overclothed/overclad
unclothe – unclothed/unclad – unclothed/unclad
underclothe – underclothed/underclad – underclothed/underclad
Weak; the regular clothed is from OE claþian, while clad (weak with coalescence of dentals) is from OE clæþan (both OE verbs having similar meaning).[1]
come – came – come
overcome – overcame – overcome
see also under become
Strong, class 4
cost [intransitive sense] – cost – cost Weak with coalescence of dentals. Regular when meaning "calculate the cost of".
creep – crept/creeped – crept/creeped Originally strong, class 2; switched to weak with vowel shortening (or regular)
crow – crowed/*crew – crowed/*crown Strong, class 7. Now usually regular, but crew can still be used of a cock's crowing.
cut – cut – cut
clearcut – clearcut – clearcut
crosscut – crosscut – crosscut
*forcut – *forcut – *forcut
intercut – intercut – intercut
recut – recut – recut
undercut – undercut – undercut
Weak with coalescence of dentals
dare (dares/dare) – dareddared Preterite-present, now regular except in the use of dare in place of dares in some contexts. See English modal verbs
deal – dealt – dealt
misdeal – misdealt – misdealt
redeal – redealt – redealt
Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
dig – dug/*digged – dug/*digged
underdig – underdug – underdug
Originally weak; past form dug developed by analogy with stick–stuck[2]
dive – dived/dove – dived Weak, the alternative dove (found mainly in American usage) arising by analogy with strong verbs
do (does /dʌz/) – did – done
*fordo – *fordid – *fordone
misdo – misdid – misdone
outdo – outdid – outdone
overdo – overdid – overdone
redo redid – redone
undo – undid – undone
underdo – underdid – underdone
Irregular since Proto-Germanic: past tense formed by reduplication. Past participle from Old English gedon
drag – dragged/drug – dragged/drug Strong, class 6, now usually regular; drug is used in some dialects
draw – drew – drawn
outdraw – outdrew – outdrawn
overdraw – overdrew – overdrawn
redraw – redrew – redrawn
underdraw – underdrew – underdrawn
withdraw – withdrew – withdrawn
Strong, class 6
dream – dreamed/dreamt – dreamed/dreamt Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending (or regular)
dress – dressed/*drest – dressed/*drest Weak with alternative (archaic) spelling
drink – drank – drunk/drank
outdrink – outdrank – outdrunk
overdrink – overdrank – overdrunk
Strong, class 3
drive – drove – driven
overdrive – overdrove – overdriven
test-drive – test-drove – test-driven
Strong, class 1
dwell – dwelt/dwelled – dwelt/dwelled Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
eat – ate – eaten
overeat – overate – overeaten
undereat – underate – undereaten
Strong, class 5. Past tense usually /eɪt/, sometimes /ɛt/ in British English.
fall – fell – fallen
befall – befell – befallen
*misbefall – *misbefell – *misbefallen
*misfall – *misfell – *misfallen
Strong, class 7
feed – fed – fed
breastfeed – breastfed – breastfed
force-feed – force-fed – force-fed
hand-feed – hand-fed – hand-fed
misfeed – misfed – misfed
overfeed – overfed – overfed
self-feed – self-fed – self-fed
spoonfeed – spoonfed – spoonfed
underfeed – underfed – underfed
Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
feel – felt – felt Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
fight – fought – fought Strong, class 3
find – found – found
refind – refound – refound
Strong, class 3
fit – fit/fitted – fit/fitted
misfit – misfit/misfitted – misfit/misfitted
Weak with coalescence of dentals
flee – fled – fled Originally strong, class 2, switched to weak with vowel shortening
fling – flung – flung Strong, class 3
fly – flew – flown
outfly – outflew – outflown
overfly – overflew – overflown
test-fly – test-flew – test-flown
Strong, class 2. Regular when used for hitting a fly ball in baseball.
forbid – forbade/forbid – forbidden Strong, class 5
forget – forgot – forgotten Strong, class 5
*forlese – *forlore – forlorn Past participle remains in use adjectivally.
forsake – forsook – forsaken Strong, class 6
freeze – froze – frozen
quick-freeze – quick-froze – quick-frozen
refreeze – refroze – refrozen
unfreeze – unfroze – unfrozen
Strong, class 2
get – got/*gat – gotten/got
*beget – *begat – *begotten
*misget – *misgot – *misgotten
*overget – *overgot – *overgotten
*underget – *undergot – *undergotten
Strong, class 5. Past participle is got in British usage (except in fossilized phrases such as "ill-gotten"), and gotten in American (but see have got).
gild – gilded/gilt – gilded/gilt Weak with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending (or regular)
gird – girded/*girt – girded/*girt
undergird – undergirt/undergirded – undergirt/undergirded
Weak with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending (or regular)
give – gave – given
forgive – forgave – forgiven
misgive – misgave – misgiven
overgive – overgave – overgiven
Strong, class 5
go – went – gone
*bego – *bewent – *begone
forego – forewent – foregone
forgo – forwent – forgone
*overgo – *overwent – *overgone
undergo – underwent – undergone
*withgo – *withwent – *withgone
Suppletive. See article on the verb go.
*grave – *grove/*graved – graven/*graved Strong, class 6. Past participle graven remains in use adjectivally, as in graven images in archaic language, e.g. from the 17th century. The verb engrave is regular.
grind – ground/grinded – ground/grinded Strong, class 3
grow – grew – grown
outgrow – outgrew – outgrown
overgrow – overgrew – overgrown
regrow – regrew – regrown
undergrow – undergrew – undergrown
upgrow – upgrew – upgrown
Strong, class 7
hang – hung/hanged – hung/hanged
overhang – overhung – overhung
underhang – underhung – underhung
uphang – uphung – uphung
Strong, class 7. Regularized alternative hanged was influenced by OE causative hangian, and is used chiefly for hanging as a means of execution.
have (has) – had – had Weak; had results from contraction, from OE haefd. Third person present has also a result of contraction.
hear – heard – heard
mishear – misheard – misheard
overhear – overheard – overheard
unhear – unheard – unheard
Weak, originally with vowel shortening (the modern pronunciation of heard in RP has the long vowel /ɜː/)
heave – heaved/hove – heaved/hove/hoven
upheave – upheaved/uphove – upheaved/uphove/uphoven
Strong, class 6, now usually regular except in nautical uses
help – *holp/helped – *holpen/helped Originally strong, class 6, but now weak.
hew – hewed/hew – hewn/hewed
*underhew – *underhewed – *underhewn/*underhewed
Strong, class 7 (or regular)
hide – hid – hidden Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals, influenced by strong verbs
hit – hit – hit
mishit – mishit – mishit
overhit – overhit – overhit
underhit – underhit – underhit
Weak with coalescence of dentals
hoist – hoisted/hoist – hoisted/hoist Weak, hoist was originally the past form of the now archaic verb hoise
hold – held – held
behold – beheld – beheld
inhold – inheld – inheld
mishold – misheld – misheld
uphold – upheld – upheld
withhold – withheld – withheld
Strong, class 7
hurt – hurt – hurt Weak with coalescence of dentals
keep – kept – kept
miskeep – miskept – miskept
underkeep – underkept – underkept
Weak with vowel shortening
ken – kenned/kent – kenned/kent
misken – miskenned/miskent – miskenned/miskent
Northern and Scottish dialect word. Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
kneel – knelt/kneeled – knelt/kneeled Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending (or regular)
knit – knit/knitted – knit/knitted Weak with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
know – knew – known
*acknow – *acknew – *acknown
foreknow – foreknew – foreknown
misknow – misknew – misknown
Strong, class 7
lade – laded – laden/laded
overlade – overladed – overladen/overladed
Strong, class 6, often regularized (past participle laden is common adjectivally)
laugh – laughed/*laught – laughed/*laught Originally strong, now weak, regular, with alternative (archaic) spelling
lay – laid – laid
belay – belaid – belaid
*forelay – *forelaid – *forelaid
*forlay – *forlaid – *forlaid
inlay – inlaid – inlaid
interlay – interlaid – interlaid
mislay – mislaid – mislaid
onlay – onlaid – onlaid
outlay – outlaid – outlaid
overlay – overlaid – overlaid
re-lay – re-laid – re-laid
underlay – underlaid – underlaid
unlay – unlaid – unlaid
*uplay – *uplaid – *uplaid
waylay – waylaid – waylaid
Weak, irregular in spelling only
lead – led – led
*belead – *beled – *beled
*forthlead – *forthled – *forthled
inlead – inled – inled
mislead – misled – misled
offlead – offled – offled
onlead – onled – onled
outlead – outled – outled
overlead – overled – overled
underlead – underled – underled
*uplead – *upled – *upled
Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
lean – leaned/leant – leaned/leant Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending (or regular)
leap – leaped/leapt – leaped/leapt
beleap – beleaped/beleapt – beleaped/beleapt
forthleap – forthleaped/forthleapt – forthleaped/forthleapt
outleap – outleaped/outleapt – outleaped/outleapt
overleap – overleaped/overleapt – overleaped/overleapt
Originally strong, class 7, now weak with vowel shortening (or regular)
learn – learned/learnt – learned/learnt
mislearn – mislearned/mislearnt – mislearned/mislearnt
overlearn – overlearned/overlearnt – overlearned/overlearnt
relearn – relearned/relearnt – relearned/relearnt
unlearn – unlearned/unlearnt – unlearned/unlearnt
Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
leave – left – left
beleave – beleft – beleft
*forleave – *forleft – *forleft/*forlaft
overleave – overleft – overleft
Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
lend – lent – lent
*forlend – forlent – forlent
Weak with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending
let – let – let
*forlet – *forlet – *forlet
sublet – sublet – sublet
*underlet – *underlet – *underlet
Strong, class 7
lie – lay – lain
*forelie – *forelay – *forelain
*forlie – *forlay – *forlain
overlie – overlay – overlain
underlie – underlay – underlain
Strong, class 5. Regular in the meaning "tell an untruth".
light – lit/lighted – lit/lighted
backlight – backlit/backlighted – backlit/backlighted
green-light – green-lit/green-lighted – green-lit/green-lighted
relight – relit/relighted – relit/relighted
Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals (or regular)
lose – lost – lost Originally strong, class 2, now weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
make – made – made
remake – remade – remade
unmake – unmade – unmade
Weak; made formed by contraction from "maked"
may – might – (none) Preterite-present, defective. See English modal verbs
mean – meant – meant Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
meet – met – met Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
melt – melted/*molt – melted/molten Strong, class 3. Now regularized, but molten survives in adjectival uses.
mix – mixed/*mixt – mixed/*mixt Weak, regular, with alternative (mostly archaic) spelling
mow – mowed – mowed/mown Strong, class 7. Now regularized in past tense and sometimes in past participle.
must (no other forms) Defective; originally a preterite. See English modal verbs
need (needs/need) – neededneeded Weak, regular except in the use of need in place of needs in some contexts, by analogy with can, must, etc.[3] See English modal verbs
ought (no other forms) Defective; originally a preterite. See English modal verbs
pay – paid/payed – paid/payed
overpay – overpaid – overpaid
prepay – prepaid – prepaid
repay – repaid – repaid
underpay – underpaid – underpaid
Weak, irregular in spelling only. The spelling payed is used in the meaning of letting out a rope etc.
pen – penned/pent – penned/pent Weak with devoiced ending, but usually regular; pent is sometimes used when the verb has the meaning "to enclose", and mainly adjectivally
plead – pleaded/pled – pleaded/pled French loanword, weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals. In North America, this verb is usually irregular.
prove – proved – proved/proven French loanword, weak, with the alternative past participle proven by analogy with some strong verbs
put – put – put
input – input – input
output – output – output
*underput – *underput – *underput
Weak with coalescence of dentals
*queath/*quethe – quoth – *quoth/*quethen
bequeath – bequeathed/bequoth – bequeathed/bequethen
Strong, class 5. Past tense quoth is literary or archaic; other parts of that verb are obsolete. Bequeath is normally regularized in -ed.
quit – quit/quitted – quit/quitted French loanword, weak, with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
reach – reached/*raught – reached/*raught Weak, now regular (archaic raught from original conjugation like teach)
read /riːd/read /rɛd/read /rɛd/
*foreread – *foreread – *foreread
lipread – lipread – lipread
misread – misread – misread
proofread – proofread – proofread
reread – reread – reread
sight-read – sight-read – sight-read
Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
*reave – *reft – *reft
bereave – bereaved/*bereft – bereaved/bereft
Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending. The verb bereave is usually regular, but bereft survives as past participle, with distinct meanings.
rend – rent – rent Weak with coalescence of dentals
rid – rid/ridded – rid/ridden/ridded Weak with coalescence of dentals, or regular; ridden by analogy with strong verbs.
ride – rode – ridden
outride – outrode – outridden
override – overrode – overridden
Strong, class 1
ring – rang – rung Strong, class 3
rise – rose – risen
arise – arose – arisen
uprise – uprose – uprisen
Strong, class 1
rive – rived/rove – rived/riven From Old Norse, originally followed pattern of strong class 1, later regularized.[4] Now rarely used.
run – ran – run
*forerun – *foreran – *forerun
outrun – outran – outrun
overrun – overran – overrun
rerun – reran – rerun
underrun – underran – underrun
Strong, class 3
saw – sawed – sawn/sawed Weak; sawn by analogy with strong verbs[5]
say (says /sɛz/) – said – said
*forsay – *forsaid – *forsaid
*gainsay – *gainsaid – *gainsaid
missay – missaid – missaid
*naysay – *naysaid – *naysaid
*withsay – *withsaid – *withsaid
Weak, with vowel shortening in said /sɛd/ and in the third person present says /sɛz/
see – saw – seen
*besee – *besaw – *beseen
foresee – foresaw – foreseen
missee – missaw – misseen
oversee – oversaw – overseen
sightsee – sightsaw – sightseen
undersee – undersaw – underseen
Strong, class 5
seek – sought – sought
beseek – besought – besought
Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
seethe – seethed/*sod – seethed/*sodden Strong, class 2. Now regular, but sodden survives in some adjectival uses.
sell – sold – sold
outsell – outsold – outsold
oversell – oversold – oversold
resell – resold – resold
undersell – undersold – undersold
upsell – upsold – upsold
Weak with Rückumlaut
send – sent – sent
missend – missent – missent
resend – resent – resent
Weak with coalescence of dentals
set – set – set
beset – beset – beset
handset – handset – handset
inset – inset – inset
misset – misset – misset
offset – offset – offset
overset – overset – overset
preset – preset – preset
reset – reset – reset
upset – upset – upset
*withset – *withset – *withset
Weak with coalescence of dentals
sew – sewed – sewn/sewed
handsew – handsewed – handsewed/handsewn
oversew – oversewed – oversewed/oversewn
Weak; sewn by analogy with strong verbs
shake – shook – shaken
overshake – overshook – overshaken
Strong, class 6
shall – should – (none) Preterite-present; defective. See English modal verbs, and shall and will
shape – shaped – shaped/*shapen
*forshape – *forshaped – *forshapen/*forshaped
misshape – misshaped – misshapen/misshaped
Originally strong, class 6, now regular, but with misshapen (and archaically shapen) still used adjectivally
shave – shaved/*shove – shaved/shaven Strong, class 6, now regular, but shaven sometimes used adjectivally
shear – shore/sheared – shorn/sheared Strong, class 4 (or regular)
shed – shed – shed Strong, class 7
shine – shined/shone – shined/shone
*beshine – *beshone – *beshone
outshine – outshined/outshone – outshined/outshone
overshine – overshined/overshone – overshined/overshone
Strong, class 1
shit/shite – shat/shitted/shit – shat/shitted/shit/*shitten Strong, class 1
shoe – shoed/shod – shoed/shod/shodden
reshoe – reshod – reshod
Weak with vowel shortening (or regular); shodden by analogy with strong verbs
shoot – shot – shot
misshoot – misshot – misshot
overshoot – overshot – overshot
reshoot – reshot – reshot
undershoot – undershot – undershot
Strong, class 2
show – showed – shown/showed
foreshow – foreshowed – foreshown
reshow – reshowed – reshown/reshowed
Weak, with participle shown perhaps by analogy with sown (from sow)
shrink – shrank/shrunk – shrunk/shrunken
overshrink – overshrank/overshrunk – overshrunk/overshrunken
Strong, class 3; shrunken is mostly used adjectivally
*shrive – *shrove – *shriven Strong, class 1
shut – shut – shut
reshut – reshut – reshut
Weak with coalescence of dentals
sing – sang – sung
resing – resang – resung
Strong, class 3
sink – sank/sunk – sunk/sunken Strong, class 3. The form sunken appears in some adjectival uses.
sit – sat/*sate – sat/*sitten
babysit – babysat – babysat
housesit – housesat – housesat
resit – resat – resat
*withsit – *withsat – *withsat/*withsitten
Strong, class 5
slay – slew/slayed – slain/slayed Strong, class 6 (or regular)
sleep – slept – slept
oversleep – overslept – overslept
undersleep – underslept – underslept
Originally strong, class 7, now weak with vowel shortening
slide – slid – slid/slidden
backslide – backslid – backslid/backslidden
overslide – overslid – overslid/overslidden
Strong, class 1
sling – slung/slang – slung Strong, class 3
slink – slunk – slunk Strong, class 3
slip – slipped/*slipt – slipped/*slipt
*overslip – *overslipped/*overslipt – *overslipped/*overslipt
Regular, with alternative (archaic) spelling
slit – slit – slit Strong, class 1
smell – smelled/smelt – smelled/smelt Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
smite – smote/*smit – smitten Strong, class 1. Largely archaic; smitten is quite commonly used adjectivally.
sneak – sneaked/snuck – sneaked/snuck Weak, alternative form snuck (chiefly American) by analogy with strong verbs
sow – sowed/sew – sown/sowed Strong, class 7, with regularized past tense sowed
speak – spoke/*spake – spoken/spoke
bespeak – bespoke – bespoken
*forespeak – *forespoke – *forespoken
*forspeak – *forspoke – *forspoken
misspeak – misspoke – misspoken
Strong, class 5
speed – sped/speeded – sped/speeded Weak with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals (or regular)
spell – spelled/spelt – spelled/spelt
misspell – misspelled/misspelt – misspelled/misspelt
Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
spend – spent – spent
*forspend – *forspent – *forspent
misspend – misspent – misspent
outspend – outspent – outspent
overspend – overspent – overspent
Weak with coalescence of dentals
spill – spilled/spilt – spilled/spilt
overspill – overspilled/overspilt – overspilled/overspilt
Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
spin – spun/span – spun
outspin – outspun – outspun
Strong, class 3
spit – spat/spit – spat/spit Weak with coalescence of dentals (for past form spit, which is common in America), or spat by analogy with strong verbs. (In the meaning of roast on a spit, the verb is regular.)
split – split – split Weak with coalescence of dentals
spoil – spoiled/spoilt – spoiled/spoilt Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
spread – spread – spread
*bespread – *bespread – *bespread
Weak with coalescence of dentals
spring – sprang/sprung – sprung
handspring – handsprang – handsprung
Strong, class 3
stand – stood – stood
forstand – forstood – forstood
misunderstand – misunderstood – misunderstood
overstand – overstood – overstood
understand – understood – understood
upstand – upstood – upstood
withstand – withstood – withstood
Strong, class 6
starve – starved/starf/storve – starved/storven Strong, class 3
stave – staved/stove – staved/stove/stoven Originally weak; irregular forms developed by analogy with strong verbs.[6]
stay – stayed/*staid – stayed/*staid Regular, with alternative spelling staid (now limited to certain adjectival uses)
steal – stole – stolen Strong, class 4
stick – stuck – stuck Originally weak, irregular forms by analogy with strong verbs
sting – stung/stang – stung Strong, class 3
stink – stank/stunk – stunk Strong, class 3
stretch – stretched/*straught – stretched/*straught Weak, now regular; obsolete past form straught as with teach–taught
strew – strewed/strew – strewed/strewn
bestrew – bestrewed – bestrewn
overstrew – overstrewed – overstrewn
Originally weak, irregular forms by analogy with strong verbs
stride – strode/strided – stridden/strode/strided
bestride – bestrode/bestrid – bestridden
outstride – outstrode – outstridden
overstride – overstrode – overstridden
Strong, class 1
strike – struck – struck/stricken
overstrike – overstruck – overstruck
Strong, class 1. The form stricken is limited to certain adjectival and specialist uses.
string – strung – strung
hamstring – hamstrung – hamstrung
overstring – overstrung – overstrung
Originally weak, irregular forms developed by analogy with strong verbs
strive – strove/strived – striven/strived
outstrive – outstrove – outstriven
overstrive – overstrove – overstriven
Strong, class 1 (or regularized)
swear – swore – sworn
forswear – forswore – forsworn
outswear – outswore – outsworn
Strong, class 6
sweat – sweated/sweat – sweated/sweat Weak, usually regular, possible past form sweat with coalescence of dentals
sweep – swept – swept
upsweep – upswept – upswept
Weak with vowel shortening
swell – swelled/*swole – swelled/swollen
upswell – upswelled – upswelled/upswollen
Strong, class 3, with regularized forms
*swelt – *swelted/*swolt – *swelted/*swolten Strong, class 3 (or regularized). Archaic
swim – swam – swum/swam
outswim – outswam – outswum/outswam
Strong, class 3
swing – swung/swang – swung
overswing – overswung/overswang – overswung
Strong, class 3
*swink – *swank/*swonk – *swonken Strong, class 3
take – took – taken
betake – betook – betaken
intake – intook – intaken
mistake – mistook – mistaken
overtake – overtook – overtaken
partake – partook – partaken
retake – retook – retaken
undertake – undertook – undertaken
*uptake – *uptook – *uptaken
Strong, class 6
teach – taught – taught Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
tear – tore – torn
uptear – uptore – uptorn
Strong, class 4
tell – told – told
foretell – foretold – foretold
retell – retold – retold
*outtell – *outtold – *outtold
Weak with Rückumlaut
think – thought – thought
outthink – outthought – outthought
rethink – rethought – rethought
Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
thrive – thrived/*throve/*thrave – thrived/*thriven Of Old Norse origin; followed strong class 1 (now archaic) or weak (regular) pattern[7]
throw – threw – thrown
misthrow – misthrew – misthrown
outthrow – outthrew – outthrown
overthrow – overthrew – overthrown
underthrow – underthrew – underthrown
upthrow – upthrew – upthrown
Strong, class 7
thrust – thrust/thrusted – thrust/thrusted
outthrust – outthrust – outthrust
Weak, with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
tread – trod/treaded – trodden/trod/treaded
retread – retrod – retrodden/retrod
Strong, class 5 (or regularized)
wake – woke – woken
awake – awoke/awaked – awoken/awaked
Strong, class 6
wax – waxed – waxed/*waxen Strong, class 7, now regularized
wear – wore – worn
*forwear – *forwore – *forworn
outwear – outwore – outworn
overwear – overwore – overworn
Originally weak, fell into a strong pattern by analogy with bear
weave – wove/weaved – woven/weaved
interweave – interwove/interweaved – interwoven/interweaved
*unweave – *unwove – *unwoven
Strong, class 7
wed – wed/wedded – wed/wedded
rewed – rewed/rewedded – rewed/rewedded
Weak with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
weep – wept – wept
*beweep – *bewept – *bewept
Originally strong, class 7, now weak with vowel shortening
wend – wended/*went – wended/*went Weak, once with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending, but now regular; went is used as the past of go
wet – wet/wetted – wet/wetted
overwet – overwet/overwetted – overwet/overwetted
Weak with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
will – would – (none) Preterite-present, defective. See English modal verbs, and shall and will. (In non-auxiliary uses the verb is regular.)
win – won – won Strong, class 3
wind – wound – wound
rewind – rewound – rewound
unwind – unwound – unwound
Strong, class 3. (The identically spelt verb wind /wɪnd/, with meanings connected with air flow and breathlessness, is regular.)
work – worked/*wrought – worked/*wrought
overwork – overworked/*overwrought – overworked/*overwrought
Weak, now regular, formerly with Rückumlaut and metathesis of r and o
*worth – *worth/*worthed – *worth/*worthed/*worthen Strong, class 3, or regularized
wreak – wreaked/wrought/wrack/wroke – wreaked/wrought/*wreaken/*wroken Weak, usually regular; wrought (which is in fact from work) has come sometimes to be identified with this verb (perhaps by analogy with seek–sought). Other forms by analogy with strong verbs.
wring – wrang/wrung – wrung Strong, class 3
write – wrote/*writ – written/*writ
cowrite – cowrote – cowritten
ghostwrite – ghostwrote – ghostwritten
miswrite – miswrote – miswritten
overwrite – overwrote – overwritten
rewrite – rewrote – rewritten
underwrite – underwrote – underwritten
Strong, class 1
writhe – writhed/*wrothe – writhed/*writhen Strong, class 1, now regularized

Present tense irregular verbs[edit]

Though the list of verbs irregular in the preterite or past participle is long, the list of irregular present tense verbs is very short. Excepting modal verbs like "shall", "will", and "can" that do not inflect at all in the present tense, there are only four (only two if pronunciation is ignored):

  • be: I am, you are, he is, we are, they are.
  • do (and compounds such as "undo" and "redo"): I do, you do, he does, we do, they do where "does" is pronounced /ˈdʌz/ in contrast to /ˈd/, the pronunciation of the infinitive and the other present tense forms.
  • have: I have, you have, he has, we have, they have.
  • say (and compounds such as "gainsay" and "naysay"): I say, you say, he says, we say, they say where "says" may be, dependent on regional accent, pronounced /ˈsɛz/ as opposed to /ˈsz/ in the manner of the infinitive and the other present tense forms.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entries for "clothe" and "clad".
  2. ^ The strong-type past form dug arose as a past participle in the 16th century, by analogy with stuck, and was used as a past tense from the 18th century. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entry for "dig".
  3. ^ The use of need for needs, which has become the norm in contexts where the verb is used analogously to the modal verbs, became common in the 16th century. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entry for "need" (verb).
  4. ^ Regularized (weak-type) forms of this verb are found from the 16th century onward. There is also an obsolete verb rive meaning arrive, for which weak-type forms are attested earlier. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entries for "rive".
  5. ^ Strong-type past forms of this verb were sometimes used in the 15th century; the past participle sawn is a survival of this. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entry for "saw".
  6. ^ The forms stove and stoven are found from the 18th century onward. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entry for "stave".
  7. ^ The strong-type past forms leading to thrave (Northern) and throve are attested from the 13th and 14th centuries onward, and weak forms (leading to thrived) from the 14th. See Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, entry for "thrive".

External links[edit]