Talk:List of English irregular verbs

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Listing logic[edit]

Is there any logic to why some derived verbs (e.g. "overtake") are listed under the base word ("take"), while others (e.g. "mistake") are listed as separate entries, and yet others (e.g. "misshape") are listed twice (both sperately and under the base word)? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:30, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Nope. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 00:09, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Resolved: Fixed.

Shew is actually an archaic spelling of show and was never the past tense of show. Shew itself formed shew, shewed and have shewn. -- {{User|||, 22:20, 24 June 2011‎ (UTC)

Yep. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 00:08, 19 February 2012 (UTC)

Take: "uptake"[edit]

I have deleted "uptakeed" as a past tense of "uptake" (under take). Wiktionary does show this spelling, redlinked; but even if there were such a word, it would be spelled uptaked.

This raises the question in any event as to why Wikipedia should rely on the equally home-made Wiktionary for "authority" rather than on OED, Merriam-Webster, or American Heritage, which are essentially the only three publishers of general English dictionaries that depend wholly upon their own professional lexicographers.

This is the great difference between Wikipedia and Wiktionary: while Wikipedia is "home-made", it is self-correcting, if only gradually so, by the enormous number of editors with at least some expertise in their subjects. Lexicography is a specialized subject that requires not only expertise but also original research throughout in order to claim being "authoritative". Wiktionary is useful primarily for current usages, neologisms, slang, etc, regional variants, and translations. Even so, it should never be claimed as authority. Milkunderwood (talk) 10:45, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Per WP:V and WP:RS, Wikipedia articles are expressly forbidden to cite reader-edited sources like wikis, including Wiktionary. Unless an a reliable source can be found for it, any suspect entry in this list should be deleted. The statements that this spellign or that are "preferred" is also a major WP:NPOV problem, unless specific sources that say this are cited as to saying it and in what context (American English, Scottish English, whatever). — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒〈°⌊°〉 Contribs. 00:06, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


The use of the term assimilation is very misleading here. Synchronicly, the past tense is often thought of as /-d/. You get bent from bend-d by devoicing (dissimilation) + deletion of the suffix. You get spilt from spill-d from devoicing of the suffix. – ishwar  (speak) 12:15, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

True, it's not assimilation. I'm not sure the suffix is deleted, as that would make devoicing alone the marker of the past tense (which synchronically is obviously true, but historically an unlikely process); I think it is more likely that the dentals merged, so that the past-tense dental is still in there somewhere. Could we say:
  • spilled > spilt = devoicing + loss of suffix vowel
  • bended > bent = devoicing + loss of suffix vowel and merging of dentals
  • *keeped > kept = devoicing + loss of suffix vowel + reduction of stem vowel
--Doric Loon (talk) 14:56, 27 June 2012 (UTC)


Any thoughts on merging this article with English irregular verbs? It will save readers having to hop about between pages, and the resulting article won't be excessively long. Victor Yus (talk) 07:37, 8 February 2013 (UTC)

If there are no objections to this, I'm planning to have a go shortly. Victor Yus (talk) 11:03, 26 March 2013 (UTC)
On second thoughts, maybe it will be better just to include a shortened version of the list on the English irregular verbs page, without all the prefixed and archaic forms, and link back from there to this one. Victor Yus (talk) 10:22, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

I actually like the idea of merging them. If the list is too long, we could make it collapsible. JIMp talk·cont 11:06, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

I agree. Go ahead. In the process you might also make the adjustment about "assimilation" mentioned further up this page. And I would include a note on the few verbs with irregular present tenses in the right-hand column instead of just cross-referencing to an article else where. (Including the pronunciation of does which is mentioned at the bottom.) The text at the bottom of this page is rather weak and can probably just be deleted when the articles are merged. Good luck! --Doric Loon (talk) 12:36, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
Well, ironically, although I made the suggestion, I now feel the pages should not be merged. It looks in fact to be useful to have the two versions of the list - the abbreviated version at English irregular verbs#List (which still needs a bit of work, but I envisage it in basically the form it is now), and the full version we have here. For many users (e.g. teachers and learners) the simplified list will be more useful, without the distraction of the (often very rare) prefixed and archaic forms, whereas those with a more academic interest in the subject will appreciate the fuller list given on this page. Victor Yus (talk) 12:54, 30 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree with the other changes suggested by Doric, however, particularly the thing about assimilation, which seems to be used rather oddly here at present. Victor Yus (talk) 13:13, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

This doesn't quite add up[edit]

Currently the article says "Some of these verbs are irregular in British or American English only; ... Australian English, New Zealand English, and South African English tend to follow the British practice, while Canadian English often sides with the American usage." If the past tense of spill is split in British English and Australian, New Zealand, South African, etc. English follow this practice, then it's not irregular in British English only. If the Canadians side with the Americans in saying snuck, it's not irregular in American English only. Some rephrasing would be in order. JIMp talk·cont 11:05, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

<<If the past tense of spill is split>>
 Wow! I didn't think "split" was a past tense of "spill" anywhere. That would create confusion. Maybe you mean "spilt"? (talk) 02:36, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, spilt. JIMp talk·cont 15:38, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
It is more complicated than that. Past tenses like "dreamt", "spilt", "spelt" etc. are not unheard of in American English, they can occur, they are just less common that the regular "dreamed", "spilled", "spelled" etc. (talk) 03:59, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
You're right, things are never black & white. JIMp talk·cont 04:24, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

"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."

Not so, the article lists modal verbs which have no infinitive. The article lists the preterite for these. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:44, 4 February 2017 (UTC)