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Regular and Irregular Verbs

Regular and Irregular Verbs

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Author: Caroline Labrie
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Tutorial

Regular and Irregular Verbs

The distinction between regular verbs and irregular verbs is a very simple one:

Regular Verbs

Those verbs that form their past participle with ‘d’ or ‘ed’ are regular verbs. These verbs do not undergo substantial changes while changing forms between tenses.

1. If the verb ends with a vowel, only ‘d’ is added. For example:

PRESENT TENSE                                      

Share                                                               

Scare                                                              

Dare                                                                

PAST TENSE

Shared

Scared

Dared

 

2. If the verb ends with a consonant, ‘ed’ is added. For example:

PRESENT TENSE                                       

Want                                                                

Shout                                                              

Kill                                                                   

PAST TENSE

Wanted

Shouted

Killed

 

Irregular Verbs

Those verbs that undergo substantial changes when changing forms between tenses are irregular verbs. The changed forms of these verbs are often unrecognizably different from the originals. For example:

PRESENT TENSE                                     

Go                                                                  

Run                                                                

Think    

PAST TENSE                     

Went 

Ran  

Thought                               

There is no way to tell what form an irregular verb is going to take in a changed tense; the only option for an English speaker is to commit the changes to memory. With practice, it will become a matter of habit.