This is the final post in my series about the proper use of common irregular verbs in English. The previous post I did on this subject was back in March of this year. To find the others, just enter the term “irregular verbs” into the Search Box which is located on the top right corner of this blog page. So, here’s the fifth and final installment on this subject:
The English language is famous (or infamous!) for its many irregular verbs. For irregular verbs, most dictionaries list all of the irregular forms along with the base form of the verb. If you aren’t sure whether a verb is regular or irregular, and the dictionary only lists the base form, you can assume it is a regular verb. Following is a list of some of the most common irregular verbs (beginning with the letters “s” through “w”), along with a usage example for each tense.
For each verb, the three forms listed are: Base Form, Past Tense, and Past Participle.
stand, stood, stood
– When he enters the room you are to stand at attention.
– They stood waiting in the rain for many hours.
– I would have stood there all night if necessary.
steal, stole, stolen
– He plans to steal the laptop as he leaves the room.
– He stole it as he left the building.
– At first, we didn’t realize it had been stolen.
sting, stung, stung
– Be careful, or that bee will sting you on the hand.
– She was stung on the lip while eating an ice cream cone.
– I would have run faster, had I not been stung on the leg by a wasp.
strike, struck, struck or stricken
– As soon as the troops are in position they will strike the enemy.
– He struck out every time he was at bat today.
– She would be here had she not been struck/stricken by the measles.
swear, swore, sworn
– I plan to swear to it when I am questioned.
– He swore that it would never happen again.
– I could have sworn that she was at the meeting.
swim, swam, swum
– He plans to swim in the lake a soon as he gets there.
– After the boat capsized they swam to safety.
– She would have broken the record had she swum a little faster.
swing, swung, swung
– After supper the monkeys will swing from the trees.
– I held on tight and swung there for dear life.
– Had I swung to the left I would have been killed.
take, took, taken
– I will take my files when I leave the office.
– He took that course of action as far as he could.
– She could have taken it when she left, but she forgot.
teach, taught, taught
– He will teach us how to move properly during the second session.
– I taught him everything he knows about that subject.
– Given more time, I would have taught them more advanced techniques.
throw, threw, thrown
– I have been asked to throw the first pitch at tonight’s game.
– Jake threw the first pitch at last week’s game.
– With more practice, I could have thrown it harder.
wake, woke or waked, woken or waked
– Typically, I wake up at the crack of dawn.
– We woke up suddenly as soon as the thunder struck.
– They were waked by the sound of the truck backfiring.
– Had I been there I’m sure I would have woken/waked up when that happened.
wear, wore, worn
– They will wear their uniforms to the office every Friday.
– She wore her best formal gown to the gala.
– I should have worn better padding to protect my shins.
wring, wrung, wrung
– After washing the car, please wring out the cloths as dry as you can.
– I wrung it out as well as I was able to.
– Had she wrung it out more thoroughly, it would have worked very well.
write, wrote, written
– I intend to write a new resume from scratch.
– They wrote their exams last week.
– He should have written to them sooner.
The above simple examples are provided to show how these verbs can be used in typical life situations using the base form, the past tense, and the past participle.
You can see my previous blog posts on common irregular verbs as follows: March 2014 (letters “a” to “c”), August 2014 (letters “d” to “g”), November 2014 (letters “h” to “r”), and March 2015 (letter “s”). Or, enter the phrase “irregular verbs” into the Search Box at the top right of this page.