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Irregular Verbs

Tables of Irregular Verbs

Table 1 contains the principal parts of all irregular verbs whose past tense and perfect participle are unlike.

Most errors in the use of irregular verbs occur with those in Table 1. The past tense must not be used with have (has, had). Do not use such expressions as have drove and has went. Equally disagreeable is the use of the perfect participle for the past tense; as, she seen, they done.

Table I
Present Tense Past Tense Perf. Part.
arise arose arisen
be or am was been
bear, bring forth bore born[1], borne
bear, carry bore borne
beat beat beaten, beat
begin began begun
bid bade, bid bidden, bid
bite bit bitten, bit
blow blew blown
break broke broken
chide chid chidden, chid
choose chose chosen
cleave, split{cleft, clove(clave)[2]{cleft, cleaved,cloven
come came come
do did done
draw drew drawn
drink drank drunk, drunken
drive drove driven
eat ate (eat) eaten (eat)
fall fell fallen
fly flew flown
forbear forbore forborne
[Pg 41]forget forgot forgotten, forgot
forsake forsook forsaken
freeze froze frozen
give gave given
go went gone
grow grew grown
hide hid hidden, hid
know knew known
lie, recline lay lain
ride rode ridden
ring rang, rung rung
rise rose risen
run ran run
see saw seen
shake shook shaken
shrink shrank, shrunk shrunk, shrunken
sing sung, sang sung
sink sank, sunk sunk
slay slew slain
slide slid slidden, slid
smite smote smitten
speak spoke (spake) spoken
spring sprang, spring sprung
steal stole stolen
stride strode stridden
strike struck struck, stricken
strive strove striven
swear swore (sware) sworn
swim swam, swum swum
take took taken
tear tore torn
throw threw thrown
tread trod trodden, trod
wear wore worn
weave wove woven
write wrote written


<a name="Page_42">[Pg 42]Table II

This table contains the principal parts of all irregular verbs whose past tense and perfect participles are alike.

Present Tense Past Tense andPerf. Part. Present Tense Past Tense andPerf. Part.
abide abode mean meant
behold beheld meet met
beseech besought pay paid
bind bound put put
bleed bled read read
breed bred rend rent
bring brought say said
build built seek sought
burst burst sell sold
buy bought send sent
cast cast set set
catch caught shed shed
cling clung shoe shod
cost cost shoot shot
creep crept shut shut
cut cut sit sat
deal dealt sleep slept
feed fed sling slung
feel felt slink slunk
fight fought spend spent
find found spin spun (span)
flee fled spit spit (spat)
fling flung split split
get got (gotten) spread spread
grind ground stand stood
have had stick stuck
hear heard sting stung
hit hit string strung
hold held sweep swept
hurt hurt swing swung
keep kept teach taught
lay laid tell told
[Pg 43]lead led think thought
leave left thrust thrust
lend lent weep wept
let let win won
lose lost wring wrung
make made


Table III

This table includes verbs that are both regular and irregular.


Verbs in which the regular form is preferred.

bend bended, bent bended, bent bereave bereaved, bereft bereaved, bereft blend blended, blent blended, blent bless blessed, blest blessed, blest burn burned, burnt burned, burnt cleave, stick cleaved (clave) cleaved clothe clothed, clad clothed, clad curse cursed, curst cursed, curst dive dived (dove) dived (dove) dream dreamed, dreamt dreamed, dreamt dress dressed, drest dressed, drest gild gilded, gilt gilded, gilt heave heaved, hove heaved, hove hew hewed hewed, hewn lade laded laded, laden lean leaned, leant leaned, leant leap leaped, leapt leaped, leapt learn learned, learnt learned, learnt light lighted, lit lighted, lit mow mowed mowed, mown [Pg 44]pen, shut up penned, pent penned, pent plead{pleaded (plead orpled){pleaded (plead orpled) prove proved proved, proven reave reaved, reft reaved, reft rive rived rived, riven saw sawed sawed, sawn seethe seethed (sod) seethed, sodden shape shaped shaped, shapen shave shaved shaved, shaven shear sheared sheared, shorn smell smelled, smelt smelled, smelt sow sowed sowed, sown spell spelled, spelt spelled, spelt spill spilled, spilt spilled, spilt spoil spoiled, spoilt spoiled, spoilt stave staved, stove staved, stove stay stayed, staid stayed, staid swell swelled swelled, swollen wake waked, woke waked, woke wax, grow waxed waxed (waxen) wed wedded wedded, wed whet whetted, whet whetted, whet work worked, wrought worked, wrought


The verbs of the following list also are irregular; but as they lack one or more of the principal parts, they are called defective verbs.

Defective Verbs

Present Past Present Past
can could ought .....
may might ..... quoth
must ..... beware .....
shall should methinks methought
will would


All the participles are wanting in defective verbs.

The verb ought, when used to express past duty or obligation, is followed by what is called the perfect infinitive—a use peculiar to itself because ought has no past form.

Example: I ought to have gone yesterday.

Other verbs expressing past time are used in the past tense followed by the root infinitive.

Example: I intended to go yesterday.

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