Irregular verbs are an interesting branch of the English tree. Just when you got the hang of past and present participles, irregular verbs enter the scene. These verbs don't follow the simple rules of conjugation, such as turning "walk" into "walked."
Irregular verbs simply need to be reviewed and memorized. The more you practice them, the more you'll recognize them and use them properly. In the irregular verb list below, you'll find an alphabetical list of verbs whose present and past participle forms do not end in -ed.
Usually, there are three columns on an irregular verb list.
The first column contains the base form of the verb. The base form is the verb in its purest form - not present, past or continuous, and not even infinitive (meaning there is no "to" preceding it). It's just the verb, plain and simple.
This serves as the foundation on which you conjugate the verb into all its different tenses and forms. With regular verbs, conjugating to other forms is much more straightforward, as they tend to follow the same basic formulas. However, irregular verbs do not follow these same formulas and must be memorized.
The second column usually contains the verb in its past tense form. This is the form you use when you talk about something that happened in the past - just one event, not relative to any other event.
For example, in the following sentence, we see the verb "eat" in its past simple form "ate." You'll notice that this is irregular, as you don't simply add -ed to the end to form the word "eated," which would be incorrect.
We have been to Rome several times.
I've gotten sick every winter since I was a kid.
He had never flown in an airplane before his trip to Guatemala.
We can also use the past participle as an adjective. In the first example below, "broken" is a verb, but it functions as an adjective in the second example:
I've broken my arm four times. (verb)
The stereo is broken. (adjective)
It may look like a lot but, again, getting the hang of working with irregular verbs is just something that can easily be mastered with a little time and practice. It's just straight memorization, so don't expect to remember all of them overnight.
The irregular verb list provided here contains the most common irregular verbs used in American English. So, if you concentrate on learning this list, you'll be well on your way to mastering these tricky verbs.
And, once you're familiar with the list of irregular verbs, feel free to take on any of these Verb Games. If you've mastered irregular verbs, then you're well on your way to total English mastery.