Appendix:English irregular verbs

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

This is a list of irregular verbs in the English language. The citation form (the infinitive) comes first (with a link to the Wiktionary article on the verb), together with the present tense forms when they are different, then the preterite or simple past, and finally the past participle. The right hand column notes whether they are weak or strong and whether they belong to a subclass, and links to discussions elsewhere. Typical irregularities in weak verbs are the assimilation of dentals (bendedbent) and vowel reduction (*keepedkept).

Many of these verbs are irregular in British or American English only; in many cases, such as spell (spelt vs. spelled), learn (learnt vs. learned), and spill (spilt vs. spilled), American English uses the regular form, while British English tends to favor the irregular. In other cases, the opposite is true (dived and sneaked in Britain, also dove and snuck in the U.S.). Australian English tends to follow British practice, while Canadian English often sides with American usage. In this table, the preferred or more common usage is generally listed first, though for some words usage is nearly equal for both choices.

This table includes selected archaic forms (marked *).

verb forms verb class and notes
abide abided/abode abided/*abidden Strong, class 1
arise arose arisen Strong, class 1
awake awoke awoken Strong, class 6
be † was/were been Suppletive. See: Indo-European copula.
bear bore/bare born/borne
forbear forbore forborne
*misbear misbore misborne
overbear overbore overborne
underbear underbore underborne
Strong, class 4
beat beat beaten/beat
browbeat browbeat browbeaten
Strong, class 7
become became become
misbecome misbecame misbecome
Strong, class 4
befall befell befallen Strong, class 7
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 assimilation of dentals
bereave bereaved/bereft bereaved/bereft Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
beseech besought/beseeched besought/beseeched Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
beset beset beset Weak with assimilation of dentals
bet bet/betted bet/betted Weak with assimilation of dentals
bid (in cards, auctions, etc.) bid bid
outbid outbid outbid
overbid overbid overbid
underbid underbid underbid
Weak with assimilation of dentals
bid (meaning to request or say) bade/bid/bidded bidden/bid/bidded Strong, class 5
bide bided/bode bided/bidden Strong, class 1
bind bound bound/*bounden
unbind unbound unbound
underbind underbound underbound
Strong, class 3
bite bit bitten Strong, class 1
bleed bled bled Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
bless blessed/blest blessed/blest  
blow blew blown
overblow overblew overblown
Strong, class 7
break broke broken Strong, class 4
breed bred bred
inbreed inbred inbred
interbreed interbred interbred
overbreed overbred overbred
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
bring brought brought/*broughten Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
build built built
overbuild overbuilt overbuilt
rebuild rebuilt rebuilt
Weak with assimilation of dentals
burn burned/burnt burnt/burned Weak
burst burst/bursted/*brast burst/bursted/*bursten Strong, class 3
buy bought bought/boughten
overbuy overbought overbought
underbuy underbought underbought
Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
can (aux. only) could *couth Preterite-present
cast cast cast
broadcast broadcast broadcast
forecast forecast forecast
miscast miscast miscast
overcast overcast overcast
podcast podcast podcast
recast recast recast
simulcast simulcast simulcast
undercast undercast undercast
webcast webcast webcast
Weak with assimilation of dentals
catch caught caught Weak - a French loanword conjugated perhaps by analogy with teach-taught
choose chose chosen
mischoose mischose mischosen
Strong, class 2
cleave (split apart) clove cloven/cleft Strong, class 2
cleave (cling to) cleft/cleaved cleft/cleaved Weak with vowel reduction
*clepe cleped/clept cleped/clept/yclept Weak with assimilation of dentals
cling clang/clung clung Strong, class 3
clothe clothed/clad clothed/clad
unclothe unclothed/unclad unclothed/unclad
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
come came come
overcome overcame overcome
Strong, class 4
cost cost cost Weak with assimilation of dentals
creep crept crept/*cropen Strong, class 2
cut cut cut
crosscut crosscut crosscut
intercut intercut intercut
undercut undercut undercut
Weak with assimilation of dentals
deal dealt dealt
misdeal misdealt misdealt
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
dig dug dug
underdig underdug underdug
 
dive dived/dove dived Strong, class 2
do † did done
misdo misdid misdone
outdo outdid outdone
overdo overdid overdone
redo redid redone
undo undid undone
underdo underdid underdone
Reduplication with past participle springing from OE "gedon"
drag drug/dragged drug/dragged Strong, class 6
draw drew drawn
overdraw overdrew overdrawn
redraw redrew redrawn
underdraw underdrew underdrawn
Strong, class 6
dream dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt Weak with vowel reduction assimilation of dentals
dress dressed/*drest dressed/drest
overdress overdressed/overdrest overdressed/overdrest
underdress underdressed/underdrest underdressed/underdrest
undress undressed/undrest undressed/undrest
 
drink drank/drunk drank/drunk/drunken
overdrink overdrank overdrunk
Strong, class 3
drive drove/*drave driven
overdrive overdrove overdriven
Strong, class 1
dwell dwelt/dwelled dwelt/dwelled Weak with assimilation of dentals
eat ate eaten
overeat overate overeaten
Strong, class 5
fall fell fallen Strong, class 7
feed fed fed
misfeed misfed misfed
overfeed overfed overfed
underfeed underfed underfed
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
feel felt felt Weak with assimilation of dentals
fight fought fought/foughten Strong, class 3
find found found/*founden Strong, class 3
fit fit/fitted fit/fitted Weak with assimilation of dentals
flee fled fled Strong, class 2
fling flung flung Strong, class 3
fly flew flown
overfly overflew overflown
Strong, class 2
forbid forbad/forbade/forbid forbid/forbidden Strong, class 5
forecast forecast forecast/forecasted Weak with assimilation of dentals
forego forewent foregone Suppletive. See: go (verb).
forgo forwent forgone Suppletive. See: go (verb).
forget forgot forgotten Strong, class 5
forgive forgave forgiven Strong, class 5
forsake forsook forsaken Strong, class 6
freeze froze/*frore frozen/*froren Strong, class 2
get got gotten/got
misget misgot misgotten
underget undergot undergotten
Strong, class 5
gird girt/girded girt/girded
undergird undergirt/undergirded undergirt/undergirded
Weak with assimilation of dentals
give gave given
misgive misgave misgiven
Strong, class 5
go went gone
undergo underwent undergone
Suppletive. See: go (verb).
grave grove/graved graven/graved Strong, class 6
grind ground/grinded ground/*grounden Strong, class 3
grow grew grown
outgrow outgrew outgrown
overgrow overgrew overgrown
regrow regrew regrown
undergrow undergrew undergrown
Strong, class 7
hang hung/hanged hung/hanged
underhang underhung underhung
Strong, class 7 weak past tense and present influenced by OE causative "hangian"
have † had had Weak pret. and past participle spring from O.E. haefd
hear heard heard
mishear misheard misheard
overhear overheard overheard
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
hew hew/hewed hewn/hewed
underhew underhewed underhewn/underhewed
Strong, class 7
hide hid hid/hidden Weak vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
hit hit hit
mishit mishit mishit
Weak with assimilation of dentals
hold held held/*holden
behold beheld beheld
Strong, class 7
hurt hurt hurt Weak with assimilation of dentals
keep kept kept
miskeep miskept miskept
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
ken kenned/kent kenned/kent
misken miskenned/miskent miskenned/miskent
&nbsp
kneel knelt/kneeled knelt/kneeled Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
knit knit/knitted knit/knitted Weak with assimilation of dentals
know knew known
foreknow foreknew foreknown
misknow misknew misknown
Strong, class 7
lade laded laden/laded Strong, class 6
lay laid laid
forelay forelaid forelaid
forlay forlaid forlaid
inlay inlaid inlaid
mislay mislaid mislaid
overlay overlaid overlaid
underlay underlaid underlaid
waylay waylaid waylaid
Weak; irregular only in spelling
lead led led
mislead misled misled
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
leap leaped/leapt/lope leaped/leapt/lopen Strong, class 7
learn learned/learnt learned/learnt
mislearn mislearned/mislearnt mislearned/mislearnt
Weak with assimilation of dentals
leave left left
forleave forleft forleft/forlaft
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
lend lent lent
*forlend forlent forlent
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
let (allow) let/*leet let/letten
forlet forlet forlet
sublet sublet sublet
underlet underlet underlet
Strong, class 7
lie (but not talking untruthfully) lay lain
forelie forlay forlain
underlie underlay underlain
Strong, class 5
light lit/lighted lit/lighted Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
lose lost lost Strong, class 2
make made made
remake remade remade
Weak contraction of "maked"
may might Preterite-present
mean meant meant Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
meet met met Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
melt melted/*molt melted/*molten Strong, class 3
misshape misshaped misshaped/misshapen Strong, class 6
misspell misspelled/misspelt misspelled/misspelt Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
mistake mistook mistaken Strong, class 6
misunderstand misunderstood misunderstood Strong, class 6
mow mowed mowed/mown Strong, class 7
nim nam/nimmed nomen/nome/numb/nimmed
benim benam/benimmed benomen/benome/benumb/benimmed
Strong, class 4
outbid outbid outbid Weak with assimilation of dentals
outgrow outgrew outgrown Strong, class 7
overhang overhung/overhanged overhung/overhanged Preterite-present
overlie overlay overlain Strong, class 5
override overrode overridden Strong, class 1
pay paid paid
overpay overpaid overpaid
prepay prepaid prepaid
repay repaid repaid
underpay underpaid underpaid
Weak; irregular only in spelling
plead pleaded/pled pleaded/pled Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
proofread proofread proofread Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
prove proved proved/proven borrowed French verb
put put put
input input input
Weak with assimilation of dentals
*queath or quethe quoth quoth/quethen Strong, class 5
quit quit quit Weak with assimilation of dentals
read read read
lipread lipread lipread
misread misread misread
reread reread reread
Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
*reave reft reft Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
rend rent rent Weak with assimilation of dentals
relay relaid relaid Weak; irregular only in spelling
repay repaid repaid Weak; irregular only in spelling
rethink rethought rethought Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
rewind rewound rewound Strong, class 3
rewrite rewrote rewritten Strong, class 1
rid rid/ridded rid/ridden/ridded  
ride rode ridden
override overrode overridden
Strong, class 1
ring rang rung Strong, class 3
rise rose risen Strong, class 1
rive rived/rove rived/riven Strong, class 1
run ran run
forerun foreran forerun
outrun outran outrun
overrun overran overrun
rerun reran rerun
underrun underran underrun
Strong, class 3
*sake sook saken Strong, class 6
saw sawed sawed/sawn  
say † said said
*forsay forsaid forsaid
*gainsay gainsaid gainsaid
missay missaid missaid
*naysay naysaid naysaid
*withsay withsaid withsaid
Weak
see saw seen
*besee besaw beseen
foresee foresaw foreseen
oversee oversaw overseen
Strong, class 5
seek sought sought Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
sell sold sold
outsell outsold outsold
oversell oversold oversold
resell resold resold
Weak with Rückumlaut
send sent sent
missend missent missent
resend resent resent
Weak with assimilation of dentals
set set set
beset beset beset
inset inset inset
misset misset misset
overset overset overset
preset preset preset
reset reset reset
upset upset upset
*withset withset withset
Weak
sew sewed sewed/sewn
oversew oversewed oversewed/oversewn
 
shake shook shaken
overshake overshook overshaken
Strong, class 6
shall should (none) Preterite-present; defective; see also Shall and will
shape shaped/*shope shapen/shaped
misshape misshaped misshapen/misshaped
shave shove/shaved shaven/shaved Strong, class 6
shear shore/sheared shorn/sheared Strong, class 4
shed shed/shedded shed/shedded 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 shit/shat/shitted shit/shat/shitted/shitten Strong, class 1;
shite shit/shat shit/shat/shitten Strong, class 1
shoe shoed/shod shoed/shod/shodden Weak with vowel reduction
shoot shot shot/shotten
overshoot overshot overshot
reshoot reshot reshot
undershoot undershot undershot
Strong, class 2
show showed/shew shown/showed Weak, with participle shown perhaps by analogy with sow, sown
shrink shrank/shrunk shrunk/shrunken Strong, class 3
shrive shrove shriven Strong, class 1
shut shut shut Weak
sing sang sung
outsing outsang outsung
Strong, class 3
sink sank/sunk sunk/sunken Strong, class 3
sit sat sat Strong, class 5
slay slew/slayed slain/slayed Strong, class 6
sleep slept slept
oversleep overslept overslept
Strong, class 7
slide slid slid/slidden
overslide overslid overslid/overslidden
Strong, class 1
sling slang/slung slung Strong, class 3
slink slunk slunk Strong, class 3
slip slipped/*slipt slipped/*slipt
overslip overslipped/overslipt overslipped/overslipt
 
slit slit slit/slitten Strong, class 1
smell smelled/smelt smelled/smelt Weak with assimilation of dentals
smite smote/smit smitten Strong, class 1
sneak sneaked/snuck sneaked/snuck Weak with naturally developing strong form
sow sowed/sew sowed/sown Strong, class 7
speak spoke/*spake spoken
*bespeak bespoke bespoken
*forspeak forspoke forspoken
misspeak misspoke misspoken
Strong, class 5
speed sped/speeded sped/speeded Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
spell spelled/spelt spelled/spelt
misspell misspelled/misspelt misspelled/misspelt
Weak with assimilation of dentals
spend spent spent
*forspend forspent forspent
misspend misspent misspent
outspend outspent outspent
Weak with assimilation of dentals
spill spilled/spilt spilled/spilt
overspill overspilled/overspilt overspilled/overspilt
Weak with assimilation of dentals
spin span/spun spun strong, class 3
spit spit/spat spit  
split split split Weak with assimilatin of dentals
spoil spoiled/spoilt spoiled/spoilt Weak with assimilation of dentals
spread spread spread
*bespread bespread bespread
Weak with assimilation of dentals
spring sprang/sprung sprung Strong, class 3
stand stood stood/*standen
understand understood understood
withstand withstood withstood
Strong, class 6
stay stayed/staid stayed/staid  
steal stole stolen Strong, class 4
stick stuck stuck  
sting stung/stang stung Strong, class 3
stink stank/stunk stunk Strong, class 3
strew strew/strewed strewn/strewed  
stride strode/strided stridden/strided/strid
overstride overstrode overstridden
Strong, class 1
strike struck stricken/struck Strong, class 1
string strang/strung strung Weak with naturally developing strong form
strive strove/strived striven/strived Strong, class 1
swear swore sworn
forswear forswore forsworn
outswear outswore outsworn
Strong, class 6
sweat sweat/sweated sweat/sweated  
sweep swept swept Weak with vowel reduction and assimilation of dentals
swell swelled/swoll swelled/swollen Strong, class 3
*swelt swolt/swelted swolten/swelted Strong, class 3
swim swam swum Strong, class 3
swing swang/swung swung/*swungen
overswing overswung overswung
Strong, class 3
take took taken
overtake overtook overtaken
partake partook partaken
retake retook retaken
undertake undertook undertaken
Strong, class 6
teach taught taught Weak with Rückumlaut and Germanic spirant law
tear tore torn 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 thrived/thriven Strong, class 1
throw threw thrown
outthrow outthrew outthrown
Strong, class 7
thrust thrust/thrusted thrust/thrusted
outthrust outthrust outthrust
 
tread trod trodden/trod
retread retrod retrodden/retrod
Strong, class 5
unwind unwound unwound Strong, class 3
uphold upheld upheld/*upholden Strong, class 7
wake woke woken Strong, class 6
wax waxed waxed/waxen Strong, class 7
wear wore worn Weak with strong form based on "bear"
weave weaved/wove woven
interweave interwove interwoven
Strong, class 7
wed wed/wedded wed/wedded Weak with assimilation of dentals
weep wept wept Strong, class 7
wend wended/went wended/went weak with assimilation of dentals
wet wet/wetted wet/wetted Weak with assimilation of dentals
will would/willed willed Irregular; see also Shall and will
win won won Strong, class 3
wind wound wound Strong, class 3
withdraw withdrew withdrawn Strong, class 6
withhold withheld withheld/withholden Strong, class 7
work worked/*wrought worked/*wrought
overwork overworked overworked/overwrought
Weak with Rückumlaut and metathesis of r and o
*worth worth worth/worthen Strong, class 3
wreak wreaked/*wroke wreaked/wreaken/*wroken
wring wrang/wrung wrung Strong, class 3
write wrote/*writ written
miswrite miswrote miswritten
overwrite overwrote overwritten
underwrite underwrote underwritten
Strong, class 1
writhe writhed/*wrothe writhed/*writhen Strong, class 1

Present tense irregular verbs[edit]

(†) Though the list of verbs irregular in the preterite or perfect tenses 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, two of which are only irregular in pronunciation (say and do):

  • Be: I am, you are, he is, we are, they are; in addition, the preterite forms are irregular: I was, you were, he was, we were, they were. Its subjunctive mood is also irregular: the past form is always were, and the present form is always be.
  • Do (and compounds such as "undo" and "redo"): I do, you do, he does, we do, they do where "does" is pronounced dəz in contrast to du, the pronunciation of the infinitive and the other present tense forms.
  • Have: I have, you have, he has, we have, they have.
  • Say: I say, you say, he says, we say, they say where "says" is pronounced sɛz or sɛs in contrast to seɪ, the pronunciation of the infinitive and the other present tense forms. Unlike compound forms ending in "-do", other verbs ending in "-say", such as "gainsay" and "naysay" are usually pronounced -seɪz.

Additional note[edit]

These verbs from the list above are spelled the same in the simple past as in the present tense (excluding compounds such as set, beset, inset, upset etc.): beat, bet, burst, cast, cost, cut, hit, hurt, let, put, quit, read, rid, set, shed, shut, slit, split, spread. (Note that of all the preceding, only "read" is pronounced differently in the past tense from the present tense.)

External links[edit]