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Regular and Irregular English Verbs


English For Israel Regular and Irregular English Verbs

Regular and Irregular English verbs are classified in the English language based on how they form their past tense and past participle forms. 


These classifications determine how the verb changes when expressing actions or states in the past. 


  • Regular Verbs


Regular verbs follow a consistent pattern when forming their past tense and past participle forms. The typical rule for regular verbs is to add "-ed" to the base form to create the past tense and past participle. 


For example:


The verb walk - past tense - walked - past participle walked

The verb talk - past tense - talked - past participle - talked

The verb play - past tense - played - past participle - played


This pattern is applicable to the majority of verbs in English.


  • Irregular Verbs


Irregular verbs, on the other hand, do not follow the standard "-ed" pattern for forming their past tense and past participle forms. Each irregular verb has its own unique way of changing in the past. 


For example:


The verb go - past tense - went - past participle - gone

The verb eat - past tense - ate - past participle - eaten

The verb swim - past tense - swam - past participle - swum


As you see, irregular verbs do not have a consistent rule for their past forms, so they must be memorized. Some irregular verbs may have the same form for both the past tense and past participle, while others have different forms for each.

It's important to note that irregular verbs are generally more common in English than regular verbs. 


Some of the most frequently used verbs, such as be, have, and do, are irregular.


Here are two examples of the sentences with the same meaning, using a regular and an irregular verb:


  • Sentence: I walked to the store. 


The regular verb in this sentence is walk.

Present tense: I walk to the store.

Past tense: I walked to the store.

Past participle: I have walked to the store.


  • Using an irregular verb in this sentence we use the verb go.


Present tense: I go to the store.

Past tense: I went to the store.

Past participle: I have gone to the store.


  • Sentence: She played the piano beautifully.


The regular verb in this sentence is play.

Present tense: She plays the piano beautifully.

Past tense: She played the piano beautifully..

Past participle: She has played the piano beautifully.


  • Using an irregular verb in this sentence we use the verb sing.


Present tense: She sings the piano beautifully.

Past tense: She sang the piano beautifully.

Past participle: She has sung the piano beautifully.


  • When do I use a regular or an irregular verb?


The choice between regular and irregular verbs depends on the specific verb and its corresponding past tense or past participle form. It's important to note that irregular verbs are more common in English than regular verbs. 

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