Verbs generally are action words. When written in a sentence, verbs may change in form to suit the verb tense used in the sentence. However, verb forms do not always change. There are instances when the forms remain the same no matter what the tense. That’s why there is a need to learn regular and irregular verbs.
Verbs that have quite the same spelling and pronunciation in any tense are called regular verbs. On the other hand, verbs that remain unchanged or are spelt differently are called irregular verbs.
Examples of regular verbs in use:
All the verbs below come from the root word collect. The change in spelling and sound is very minimal.
- I collect stamps. (simple present)
- I collected stamps last time. (simple past)
- I have collected stamps before. (present perfect)
Examples of irregular verbs in use:
All the verbs below come from the root word drink. Notice that the spelling and pronunciation change as the tenses change.
- She drinks milk. (simple present)
- She drank milk a few minutes ago. (simple past)
- She has drunk a bottle of milk. (present perfect)
In the following examples, nothing changes! 😀 You’ll see that the verb “put” is spelt the same in all tenses.
- They put their books on the desk. (simple present)
- They put their books on the desk and left. (simple past)
- They have put their books on the desk. (present perfect)
Here are some examples of irregular verbs:
|be||was / were||been|
|dream||dreamt / dreamed||dreamt / dreamed|
|find||found||found * – not founded
|lose ** – not loose
|shine||shined||shined / shone|
* founded (v.) = established, started – it’s not the same meaning as “found”
** loose (adj.) = The word “loose” is an adjective, not a verb. Take note of the difference in spelling, too.