Appendix talk:English irregular verbs

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There are currently some irregular verbs missing:

1. clothe (clothed, also clad), Provide with clothes or put clothes on, "Parents must feed and clothe their child"

2. gnaw (gnawed,gnawn), Bite or chew on with the teeth, "gnaw an old cracker"

3. grip (gripped,gripping), Hold fast or firmly "He gripped the steering wheel"

4. lade (laded,laden), Usage: archaic, Remove with or as if with a ladle, "lade the water out of the bowl"

5. melt (melted,molten), Reduce or cause to be reduced from a solid to a liquid state, usually by heating, "melt butter"; "melt down gold"; "The wax melted in the sun"

6. rot (rotted,rotten,rotting), Break down, "The bodies rotted in the heat"

7. shred (shred,shredded,shredding), Tear into shreds

8. stave (stove, also staved), Furnish with staves, "stave a ladder", Burst or force (a hole) into something

9. telecast (telecast,telecasted), Broadcast via television, "The Royal wedding was telecasted"

10. dare (durst,dared), Usage: archaic "I durst not laugh for fear of opening my lips and receiving the bad air"

11. earn (earned/earnt), Receive payment for work, "I earnt £100 yesterday"

There is a very restrictive sense in which fly has a past form of flied. It is found in baseball, where it means to hit a fly ball. Thus, "He flied out to short center field".

That's because it derives from the noun fly, which I forget what it means (something to do with baseball, anyway), but if you read Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct, it's in there somewhere. Also, he says that the past tense of broadcast is often broadcasted for a similar reason; it derives from the noun broadcast; whoever made the list missed that out.
Another similar example is the limited number of situations and meanings where payed is the past tense of pay.

I don't believe that awakened is correctly labeled as the simple past form of 'to awake'. There is a regular verb 'to awaken' for which the simple past and past participle are both 'awakened'.

I think many of these verbs are incorrectly labled as irregular (strong). They may have been at one time, but through analogy, they are now considered regular (weak). A true strong verb will not end with an -ed or even a -t, and will show a stem vowel change. From what I understand, there should only be about 70 remaining strong verbs.

alright, I fixed up a bunch of this. Don't just revert the whole thing--what do you think? 00:28, 4 November 2005 (UTC) ([1])

Changes; separate pages for unusual and archaic verbs?[edit]

I deleted awaken and bust because according to the American Heritage dictionary, they're regular. I also deleted the regular dive for scuba diving. I can say, "The scuba diver dove," but I can't say, "He scuba-dove," because the compound verb "scuba-dive" is regular. I removed seethe because the irregular form is archaic.

I have a database of verbs where I divide the "normal" irregular verbs from those that are uncommon (chide, hew, etc.), compounds (beginning with back-, be-, fore-, cross-, etc.), British (sorry, I'm Amerocentric :( ), archaic (e.g., clothe/clad/clad) and defective - usually the modal verbs like can, shall, etc. that have no infinitives (to can?) and no past participles (have could?). I think dividing the list of verbs in this way is more helpful to English learners so that they don't waste their time learning verbs like "gird/girt/girt."

Question 1: In the UK, can you say, "quitted a job" or can you only use the regular form to mean leave, as in "quitted the room"?

Question 2: Is sweated used in the UK? DBlomgren 03:42, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

To answer those two questions quickly: as a BE speaker, I would use "quit" for a job, but never with the regular past tense: "yesterday I quit my job". On the other hand, I do use the regular past tense of "sweat", and I don't think I'd even heard the other one, though usually I'm quite well up on variants.
Just one comment on the above discussion: please don't use the words "weak" and "strong" as synonyms for "regular" and "irregular". There are good articles over on Wikipedia on "Germanic strong verb" and "Germanic weak verb" which make the difference clear, these are two distinct systems and have nothing to do with the issue of regularity.
Wikipedia also has a list of English irregular verbs; I'm not sure what the point is in having two, but at any rate there is an opportunity there for comparison. The Wikipedia list has the advantage of noting the verb classes and categories in most cases, which is important for anyone wanting a deeper understanding, though not much help really for foreign learners.
--Doric Loon 13:35, 31 October 2006 (UTC)
The AHD is a good dictionary ... for American English. Jimp 02:24, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


Surely the infinitive form of a verb in English should include to? Shouldn't we use another term ('verb stem'?) for the simple forms listed in the table? --Oolong 12:02, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I've changed it to present tense. Jimp 06:47, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to change "present tense" to "simple form" for several reasons:

  1. The present tense has two forms, for example, "have" and "has", "get" and "gets," so the "present tense" heading inaccurately implies there is only one form.
  2. As an English teacher, I've noticed that the definition of "infinitive" varies depending on what side of the Atlantic you're on. On the west side, "to go" is an infinitive while on the east side, "go" is the infinitive, so calling this column an infinitive won't please a lot of people.
  3. I'm guessing that "simple form" will satisfy most people, but I may be wrong.

DBlomgren 04:52, 4 August 2008 (UTC)


The forms drunken, sunken etc., are they verbs? I have always thought that they are adjectives, and not perfect participle. I have nnever heard anybody say: My ship had sunken. But my ship had sunk. --Guest 09:17, 8 June 2007


Why isn't offset in the list? 15:26, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

It means renumbering the list. It is now in Category:English irregular verbs though -- Algrif 17:15, 3 September 2007 (UTC)


Can we get rid of the numbering? What is the use for it anyway? I makes adding new verbs difficult and tedious. H. (talk) 20:21, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

3rd sing. present irregularities[edit]

the irregularity of say, have, and do should also be noted in the 3rd sg present forms. Ishwar 08:45, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Why I removed verbs[edit]

Hey, I was being bold. I removed a lot of verbs because they're not listed in the American Heritage College Dictionary. Tomorrow I plan to continue removing verbs and will fix the numbering. If you have a reason to want the verbs back in the list, please let me know. DBlomgren 05:23, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I've finished editing. I'm really confused why there were so many Germanic-looking past participles (founden, misunderstanden, rewounden, etc.). If someone can clear up that mystery, I'd appreciate it. (Måybe it var de Svedish chef!)

I based my deletions on my American dictionary. If anyone wants to add verbs that are in their English dictionary, please tell us what dictionary you're using and don't base it on the way yor pappy done be used to talk. :) DBlomgren 05:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi! Does the verb swear not have another, archaic form of past simple: sware? Because my dictionary contains and I think it exists because I've heard in films using archaic and formal language. I just wanted to ask before making a change as I am not a native speaker. Thanks Ferike333 11:34, 3 January 2009 (UTC)


What on rot/rotted/rotten?

rotten isnt a verb form Ishwar


This is regular, no? Or is there some stress-related or other "sneaky" irregularity I'm unaware of? --Tropylium 15:16, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

"panicked" and "picnicked" are spelling irregularities rather than irregular forms, but deserve to be included; however the latter needs to be corrected from "picknicked" which is wrong.

Lay Down[edit]

Shouldn't the verb to lay as in "to lay down" be on here? I'm from the U.S. and I've never heard anyone say, "I need to lie down". Here it's almost always, "I need to lay down".

I believe for this one it would be: lay/laid/laid

I'm not quite sure about this, but wouldn't these be justifiable examples of this?

He needs to lay down. (infinitive) I had laid down over there. (past participle) He laid on the sofa. (past tense)

Thoughts? Kr0n05931 12:40, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

It's lie. Jimp 05:29, 13 April 2010 (UTC)


25 April 2010 edits by seem a dodgy. Jimp 10:29, 10 May 2010 (UTC)