List of English irregular verbs

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

Past tense irregular verbs[edit]

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 with the present form identical for all persons.

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. It is also worth noting that the irregular form tends to indicate duration, whereas the regular form often describes a short-term action (The fire burned for weeks. vs. He burnt his finger.), and in American English, the regular form is associated with the literal sense of a verb, while the irregular form with a figurative one.

The preterite and past participle forms of irregular verbs follow certain patterns. These include ending in -t (e.g. build, bend, send), stem changes (whether it is a vowel, such as in sit, win or hold, or a consonant, such as in teach and seek, that changes), or adding the [n] suffix to the past participle form (e.g. drive, show, rise). English irregular verbs are now a closed group, which means that newly formed verbs are always regular and do not adopt any of the irregular patterns.

This list only contains verb forms which are listed in the major dictionaries as being standard usage in modern English. There are also many thousands of archaic, non-standard and dialect variants. Modern English still has remnants of formerly irregular verbs in other parts of speech. Most obviously, adjectives like clean-shaven, beholden, or forlorn fossilize what are originally the past participles of the verbs shave and behold, and Old English forleosan. However, forleosan has fallen out of use and shave is now regular, so these verbs are not listed, and behold, while still irregular, can no longer be listed this participle form.


Verb forms Verb class and notes
ache – ached – ached Strong, class 6; now regular.
be (am, is, are) – was, were – been Suppletive. See Indo-European copula.
bear – bore – borne/born
forbear – forbore/forbare – forborne/forborn
overbear – overbore/overbare – overborne/overborn
underbear – underbore/underbare – underborne/underborn
Strong, class 4. The spelling born is used in passive or adjectival contexts relating to birth.
beat – beat – beaten/beat
browbeat – browbeat – browbeaten/browbeat
overbeat – overbeat – overbeaten/overbeat
Strong, class 7
become – became – become
misbecome – misbecame – misbecome
Strong, class 4
beget – begot/begat – begot/begotten
misbeget – misbegot/misbegat – misbegotten/misbegot
Strong, class 5
begin – began – begun Strong, class 3
bend – bent – bent
overbend – overbent – overbent
unbend – unbent – unbent
Weak, class 1, with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending
beseech – beseeched/besought – beseeched/besought Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law (now regularized)
bet – bet/betted – bet/betted
underbet – underbet/underbetted – underbet/underbetted
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] – bid/bade – bid/bidden Strong, class 5
bide – bided/bode – bided/bidden Strong, class 1
bind – bound – bound
unbind – unbound – unbound
Strong, class 3
bite – bit – bitten Strong, class 1
bleed – bled – bled Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
blend – blended – blended Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
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, class 1, with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
bring – brought – brought Weak, class 1, subclass (i), with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law.
build – built – built
overbuild – overbuilt – overbuilt
rebuild – rebuilt – rebuilt
underbuild – underbuilt – underbuilt
Weak, class 1, with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending
burn – burned/burnt – burned/burnt
sunburn – sunburned/sunburnt – sunburned/sunburnt
Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
burst – burst – burst Strong, class 3
bust – busted/bust – busted/bust Strong, class 3 (or regular)
buy – bought – bought
overbuy – overbought – overbought
underbuy – underbought – underbought
Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), 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 Norse loanword 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; regular forms are now dialectal.
chide – chided/chid – chided/chid/chidden Strong, class 1 (or regular)
choose – chose – chosen
mischoose – mischose – mischosen
Strong, class 2
clad – clad – clad Developed from clad, the past form of clothe (see below).
cleave [meaning to split] – cleft/clove/cleaved – cleft/cloven/cleaved Strong, class 2, sometimes switching to weak with vowel shortening. When meaning "adhere" the verb is regular.
cling – clung – clung Strong, class 3
clothe – clad/clothed – clad/clothed
overclothe – overclad/overclothed – overclad/overclothed
unclothe – unclad/unclothed – unclad/unclothed
underclothe – underclad/underclothed – underclad/underclothed
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]
comb – combed – combed/kempt
come – came – come
forthcome – forthcame – forthcome
overcome – overcame – overcome
(see also under become)
Strong, class 4
cost [intransitive sense] – cost/costed – cost/costed Weak French loanword 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)
cut – cut – cut
clearcut – clearcut – clearcut
crosscut – crosscut – crosscut
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, class 1, with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
dig – dug – dug
underdig – underdug – underdug
Originally weak; past form dug developed by analogy with stick–stuck[2]
dive – dived/dove – dived/dove Weak, the alternative dove (found mainly in American usage) arising by analogy with strong verbs
do (does /dʌz/) – did – done
bedo (bedoes) – bedid – bedone
misdo (misdoes) – misdid – misdone
outdo (outdoes) – outdid – outdone
overdo (overdoes) – overdid – overdone
redo (redoes) – redid – redone
underdo (underdoes) – underdid – underdone
undo (undoes) – undid – undone
Irregular since Proto-Germanic: past tense formed by reduplication. Past participle from Old English gedon. Related to deed.
dow – dowed/dought – dowed/dought Related to doughty.
draw – drew – drawn
bedraw – bedrew – bedrawn
downdraw – downdrew – downdrawn
outdraw – outdrew – outdrawn
overdraw – overdrew – overdrawn
redraw – redrew – redrawn
underdraw – underdrew – underdrawn
updraw – updrew – updrawn
withdraw – withdrew – withdrawn
Strong, class 6; related to draft/draught
dream – dreamed/dreamt – dreamed/dreamt
bedream – bedreamed/bedreamt – bedreamed/bedreamt
Weak with vowel shortening and devoiced ending (or regular)
dress – dressed – dressed Weak with alternative (archaic) spelling
drink – drank – drunk Strong, class 3; related to drench
drive – drove – driven
bedrive – bedrove – bedriven
overdrive – overdrove – overdriven
test-drive – test-drove – test-driven
Strong, class 1; related to drift
dwell – dwelt/dwelled – dwelt/dwelled
bedwell – bedwelt/bedwelled – bedwelt/bedwelled
outdwell – outdwelt/outdwelled – outdwelt/outdwelled
Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
earn – earned/earnt – earned/earnt Weak, class 2 with devoiced ending (or regular)
eat – ate – eaten
forfret – forfretted – forfretted/forfretten
fret – fretted/frate – fretted/fretten
outeat – outate – outeaten
overeat – overate – overeaten
undereat – underate – undereaten
Strong, class 5. Past tense usually /eɪt/, sometimes /ɛt/ in British English.
fall – fell – fallen
befall – befell – befallen
Strong, class 7
feed – fed – fed
bottle-feed – bottle-fed – bottle-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
spoon-feed – spoon-fed – spoon-fed
underfeed – underfed – underfed
Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
feel – felt – felt
forefeel – forefelt – forefelt
Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
fight – fought – fought
befight – befought – befought
outfight – outfought – outfought
Strong, class 3
find – found – found
refind – refound – refound
Strong, class 3
fit – fitted/fit – fitted/fit
misfit – misfitted/misfit – misfitted/misfit
Weak with coalescence of dentals
flee – fled – fled Originally strong, class 2, switched to weak with vowel shortening
fling – flung – flung By analogy with 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 – forbid/forbade/forbad – forbidden Strong, class 5
forget – forgot – forgotten Strong, class 5
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 – got/gotten
wikt:beget – begot/begat – begot/begotten
forget – forgot – forgotten
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, class 1, with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending (or regular)
give – gave – given
forgive – forgave – forgiven
misgive – misgave – misgiven
overgive – overgave – overgiven
Strong, class 5
glide – glided/glid – glided/glid Originally Strong, class 1, but now often regular.
go – went – gone
forego – forewent – foregone
forgo – forwent – forgone
undergo – underwent – undergone
Suppletive. See article on the verb go.
grind – ground – ground Strong, class 3
grow – grew – grown
outgrow – outgrew – outgrown
overgrow – overgrew – overgrown
regrow – regrew – regrown
Strong, class 7
hang – hung/hanged – hung/hanged
overhang – overhung – overhung
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 hæfde. Third person present has also a result of contraction.
hear – heard – heard
behear – beheard – beheard
forehear – foreheard – foreheard
mishear – misheard – misheard
outhear – outheard – outheard
overhear – overheard – overheard
rehear – reheard – reheard
unhear – unheard – unheard
Weak, class 1, originally with vowel shortening (the modern pronunciation of heard in RP has the long vowel /ɜː/)
help – helped – helped Originally strong, class 6, but now regular.
hew – hewed – hewed/hewn 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
uphold – upheld – upheld
withhold – withheld – withheld
Strong, class 7
hurt – hurt – hurt Weak French loanword with coalescence of dentals
keep – kept – kept
miskeep – miskept – miskept
overkeep – overkept – overkept
underkeep – underkept – underkept
Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening
ken – kenned/kent – kenned/kent
beken – bekenned/bekent – bekenned/bekent
foreken – forekenned/forekent – forekenned/forekent
misken – miskenned/miskent – miskenned/miskent
outken – outkenned/outkent – outkenned/outkent
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
beknit – beknit/beknitted – beknit/beknitted
hand-knit – hand-knit/hand-knitted – hand-knit/hand-knitted
Weak, class 1, with coalescence of dentals (or regular); related to knot
know – knew – known Strong, class 7
lade – laded – laden/laded
overlade – overladed – overladen/overladed
Strong, class 6, often regularized (past participle laden is common adjectivally)
lay – laid – laid
belay – belaid – belaid
inlay – inlaid – inlaid
mislay – mislaid – mislaid
overlay – overlaid – overlaid
waylay – waylaid – waylaid
Weak, irregular in spelling only
lead – led – led
mislead – misled – misled
offlead – offled – offled
onlead – onled – onled
outlead – outled – outled
overlead – overled – overled
underlead – underled – underled
Weak, class 1, 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 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, class 2, with devoiced ending (or regular)
leave – left – left Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
lend – lent – lent Weak with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending
let – let – let
sublet – sublet – sublet
underlet – underlet – underlet
Strong, class 7
lie – lay – lain
overlie – overlay – overlain
underlie – underlay – underlain
Strong, class 5. Regular in the meaning "tell an untruth".
light – lit/lighted – lit/lighted
alight – alit/alighted – alit/alighted
backlight – backlit/backlighted – backlit/backlighted
green-light – green-lit/green-lighted – green-lit/green-lighted
relight – relit/relighted – relit/relighted
Weak, class 1, 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, class 1, with vowel shortening and devoiced ending
meet – met – met Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
melt – melted – melted/molten Strong, class 3. Now regularized, but molten survives in adjectival uses.
mix – mixed – mixed 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 – paid
overpay – overpaid – overpaid
prepay – prepaid – prepaid
repay – repaid – repaid
underpay – underpaid – underpaid
Weak, irregular in spelling only.
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 – pled/pleaded – pled/pleaded Weak French loanword with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals. In North America, this verb is usually irregular.
prove – proved – proved/proven
reprove – reproved – reproved/reproven
Weak French loanword with the alternative past participle proven by analogy with some strong verbs
put – put – put
input – input – input
output – output – output
Weak with coalescence of dentals.
bequeath – bequeathed/bequethed/bequoth/bequod – bequeathed/bequethed/bequoth/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 Weak French loanword with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
read /riːd/read /rɛd/read /rɛd/
lipread – lipread – lipread
misread – misread – misread
proofread – proofread – proofread
reread – reread – reread
sight-read – sight-read – sight-read
Weak, class 1, with vowel shortening and coalescence of dentals
reave – reaved/reft – reaved/reft
bereave – bereaved/bereft – bereaved/bereft
Weak, class 2, 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, class 1, with coalescence of dentals and devoiced ending
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 By analogy with strong, class 3. Regular when meaning "surround", etc.
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
outrun – outran – outrun
overrun – overran – overrun
rerun – reran – rerun
underrun – underran – underrun
Strong, class 3
saw – sawed – sawed/sawn Weak; sawn by analogy with strong verbs[5]
say (says /sɛz/) – said – said
missay – missaid – missaid
soothsay – soothsaid – soothsaid
Weak, with vowel shortening in said /sɛd/ and in the third person present says /sɛz/
see – saw – seen
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, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
sell – sold – sold
outsell – outsold – outsold
oversell – oversold – oversold
resell – resold – resold
undersell – undersold – undersold
upsell – upsold – upsold
Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut; related to sale
send – sent – sent
missend – missent – missent
resend – resent – resent
Weak, class 1, with coalescence of dentals
set – set – set
beset – beset – beset
offset – offset – offset
preset – preset – preset
reset – reset – reset
upset – upset – upset
Weak, class 1, with coalescence of dentals
sew – sewed – sewn/sewed
handsew – handsewed – handsewn/handsewed
oversew – oversewed – oversewn/oversewed
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
shear – sheared/shore – shorn/sheared Strong, class 4 (or regular)
shed – shed – shed Strong, class 7
shine – shone/shined – shone/shined Strong, class 1
shit – shit/shitted/shat – shit/shitted/shat
shite – shited/shit – shited/shit
Strong, class 1. The form shite is chiefly Scottish and Irish.
shoe – shod/shoed – shodden/shod/shoed
reshoe – reshod/reshoed – reshodden/reshod/reshoed
Weak with vowel shortening (or regular); shodden by analogy with strong verbs
shoot – shot – shot
misshoot – misshot – misshot
overshoot – overshot – overshotn
reshoot – reshot – reshot
undershoot – undershot – undershot
Strong, class 2
show – showed – shown/showed
reshow – reshowed – reshown
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
shut – shut – shut
reshut – reshut – reshut
Weak, class 1, 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 – sat
babysit – babysat – babysat
housesit – housesat – housesat
resit – resat – resat
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 – slung Strong, class 3
slink – slunk/slinked/slank – slunk/slinked/slank Strong, class 3
slit – slit – slit/slitten Strong, class 1
smell – smelled/smelt – smelled/smelt Weak with devoiced ending (or regular)
smite – smote/smit – smitten/smitted 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 – sown/sowed Strong, class 7, with weak past tense sowed
speak – spoke – spoken
bespeak – bespoke – bespoken
*forespeak – forespoke – forespoken
*forspeak – forspoke – forspoken
misspeak – misspoke – misspoken
Strong, class 5
speed – sped/speeded – sped/speeded Weak, class 1, 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
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 – 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 French loanword with devoiced ending (or regular)
spread – spread – spread
outspread – outspread – outspread
overspread – overspread – overspread
underspread – underspread – underspread
Weak with coalescence of dentals
spring – sprang/sprung – sprung/*sprang
handspring – handsprang/handsprung – handsprung/*handsprang
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
stave – stove/staved – stove/staved/stoven Originally weak; irregular forms developed by analogy with strong verbs.[6]
steal – stole – stolen Strong, class 4
stick – stuck – stuck Originally weak, irregular forms by analogy with strong verb class 3
sting – stung – stung Strong, class 3
stink – stank/stunk – stunk Strong, class 3
strew – strewed – strewn/strewed
bestrew – bestrewed – bestrewn/bestrewed
overstrew – overstrewed – overstrewn/overstrewed
Originally weak, irregular forms by analogy with strong verbs
stride – strode – stridden
bestride – bestrode – bestridden
outstride – outstrode – outstridden
overstride – overstrode – overstridden
Strong, class 1
strike – struck – struck/stricken
overstrike – overstruck – overstruck/overstricken
Strong, class 1. The form stricken is limited to certain adjectival and specialist uses.
string – strung/*stringed – strung/*stringed
hamstring – hamstrung/*hamstringed – hamstrung/*hamstringed
overstring – overstrung/*overstringed – overstrung/*overstringed
Originally weak, irregular forms developed by analogy with strong verbs
strip – stripped/stript – stripped/stript
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. Replaced OE strong class 7 verb swápan, with the same meaning, but the form is not a regular development from it.
swell – swelled/swole – swollen/swelled Strong, class 3, with regularized forms
swim – swam/*swum – swum
outswim – outswam/*outswum – outswum
Strong, class 3
swing – swang/swung – swung
overswing – overswang/overswung – overswung
Strong, class 3 Strong, class 3
take – took – taken
betake – betook – betaken
mistake – mistook – mistaken
overtake – overtook – overtaken
partake – partook – partaken
retake – retook – retaken
undertake – undertook – undertaken
*uptake – uptook – uptaken
*withtake – withtook – withtaken
Strong, class 6
teach – taught – taught Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
tear – tore – torn
uptear – uptore – uptorn
Strong, class 4
*tee – teed/tow – teed/town
betee – beteed/betow – beteed/betown
fortee – forteed/fortow – forteed/fortown
tell – told – told
foretell – foretold – foretold
forthtell – forthtold – forthtold
mistell – mistold – mistold
Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut; related to tale
think – thought – thought
outthink – outthought – outthought
rethink – rethought – rethought
Weak, class 1, subclass (ii), with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
thrive – throve/thrived/*thrave – thriven/thrived Of Old Norse origin; followed strong class 1 (now archaic) or weak (regular) pattern[7]
throw – threw – thrown
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 – trodden/trod
retread – retrod/*retread/*retreaded/*retrodden – retrodden/retrod/*retread/*retreaded
Strong, class 5 (or regularized)
vex – vexed – vexed Regular, with alternative (archaic) spelling
wake – woke/waked – woken/waked
awake – awoke – awoken
Strong, class 6
wear – weared/wore – weared/worn
outwear – outweared/outwore – outweared/outworn
overwear – overweared/overwore – overweared/overworn
Originally weak, fell into a strong pattern by analogy with bear
weave – wove – woven
interweave – interwove – interwoven
Strong, class 7
wed – wed/wedded – wed/wedded
miswed – miswed/miswedded – miswed/miswedded
rewed – rewed/rewedded – rewed/rewedded
Weak, class 2, with coalescence of dentals (or regular)
weep – wept/weeped – wept/weeped Originally strong, class 7, now weak with vowel shortening (or regular)
wend – wended/went – wended/went Weak, class 1, 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 Weak, now regular, formerly with Rückumlaut and metathesis of r and o
wreak – wreaked/wrought – wreaked/wrought 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).
wring – wrang/wrung – wrung Strong, class 3
write – wrote – written
cowrite – cowrote – cowritten
ghostwrite – ghostwrote – ghostwritten
handwrite – handwrote – handwritten
miswrite – miswrote – miswritten
overwrite – overwrote – overwritten
rewrite – rewrote – rewritten
underwrite – underwrote – underwritten
Strong, class 1
writhe – writhed – writhed Strong, class 1, now regularized
zinc – zinced/zinked/zincked – zinced/zinked/zincked Regular, with spelling complications because of the final letter C

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, thou art, you are, he is, we are, they are. The contracted/reduced forms, used in unstressed positions and in particular as auxiliary verbs, are as follows: I’m, you’re, he’s, we’re, they’re.
  • do (and compounds such as "undo" and "redo"): I do, you do, he does, we do, they do where "does" is pronounced /ˈdʌz/ (instead of /ˈdz/) in contrast to /ˈd/, the pronunciation of the infinitive and the other present tense forms. The reduced forms of the verb do are pronounced /du/, /də/, /d/, or /dəz/, /dz/ for does and usually appear only in questions. The contracted forms of do are used only in the negative: I do not = I don’t, you do not = you don’t, he does not = he doesn’t, we do not = we don’t, they do not = they don’t.
  • have: I have, you have, he has, we have, they have. If used as an auxiliary verb in the present perfect, past perfect and future perfect, its contracted forms can be used: I’ve, you’ve, he’s, we’ve, they’ve.
  • say (and compounds such as "gainsay" and "naysay"): I say, you say, he says, we say, they say where "says" has the standard pronunciation /sɛz/ (instead of /sz/) in contrast to the /s/ used for the infinitive and 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]