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.
Christina Yong says
Khaled mahmoud says
Needless to say I enjoy reading your emails and I want to suggest a topic for you to write about; that is, writing for professionals like engineers, doctors, IT developers and all kind of professionals. Since I am a professional English language trainer I could use and incorporate your tips into my courses. In addition, in our part of the world; and Egypt in particular, we need some good advice on writing and essentials that help professionals to better communicate, especially since we do not acquire those skills in formal education. So, you may if you will formulate a product that we could use for that purpose. I will be happy to test and try your products and give you needed feedback while suggesting your products to others.
Your comments on Tokyo games are very interesting and send me some of your favorite autumn colors if you can. By the way, I visited Ontario 15 years ago when I lived in Hamtramck Michigan.
Your story on your place and situation in Montreal, Canada, makes me think further and realize that our world is really tiny, small and narrow. How could some people are still in disputes and war each other?
About your Blog posts; I find them encouraging and they motivate me to compare and study further on your North American English (NAmE), which is in fact, I think, no difference from BrE. I appreciate your writings.
Thank you, Shaun.
— Regards, Ashari.
Nasir Ahmed Elmustafa says
Ogunyebi Joshua Olu. says
This is very good.
M. Hussein says
It’s great that we are gaining a lot over the five years since I joined your wonderful teaching method.
Thank you Shaun, as usual I found this refreshing.
Thank you Shaun. I really enjoyed it.
Mariam Hussain says
Thanks for the valuable piece that increases my learning and helps me learn the meaning of more words.
I appreciate your continuous support.
— Mariam Hussain
Wow! These verbs taught me how to use the right words in constructing sentences, it corrects my grammar errors.
Thanks for having Shaun here 🙂
Carlos Vera says
All of your writings have been really helpful. I’ve used them for my university lectures, some suitable topics. Keep up with the great job. Thanks a lot.
Thank you very much. I really appreciate your writings. This one will help me greatly.
Very refreshing. Thanks Shaun!
Daniel Obam says
Great! A good refresher on common irregular verbs
Babatunde Ojebuyi says
Thank you for this post.
It’s really refreshing….
I really appreciate your meticulous approach (listing all the previous posts, the comprehensiveness of information etc)- it must have taken a lot of your time and energy…
I also like your posts about current developments in your country.
Just one tiny remark – irregular verbs are usually taught to intermediate students yet some of the vocabulary used in the examples seems a bit inappropriate for this proficiency level. Overall however, great job! Thanks a lot!
Tahiru issahaku Moomin says
Thanks for the wonderful piece. It’s really fantastic and educational. There is no little knowledge. I appreciate your efforts. Thanks.
sandra johnson says
Loved this article and thank you for reminding where to find past articles – I look forward
to your posts –
Julius Kenneth Okurut says
I enjoy reading your articles and get refreshed especially verbs. I’m at times challenged while assisting my primary school going son with his English home work.
Thank you for keeping me updated with the tenses among others.
Naima Jaffar says
Thanks for this article.
arif jamal says
Thank you for this lesson. It will be very useful for improving my writing skills.
When learning a new word it’s also very important to know how to use it properly. So this post is very useful! Thank you!
It is very useful. I enjoy reading it.