The English language is famous (or infamous!) for its many irregular verbs. For irregular verbs, most dictionaries list all of the irregular forms along with the base form of the verb. If you aren’t sure whether a verb is regular or irregular, and the dictionary only lists the base form, you can assume it is a regular verb. Following is a list of some of the most common irregular verbs (beginning with letters a to c), along with a usage example for each tense.
For each verb, the three forms listed are: Base Form, Past Tense, and Past Participle.
arise, arose, arisen
– Let us arise at dawn.
– They arose at the crack of dawn.
– That issue had already arisen by the time we got there.
awake, awoke, awoken
– They are awake.
– We awoke at dawn.
– She had already awoken when we arrived.
be, was/were, been
– We will be there for lunch.
– I was there at lunch time. We were there at lunch time.
– By the time I arrived, he had already been there and gone.
beat, beat, beaten
– He will beat him senseless.
– They beat him into submission.
– When we got there, he had been badly beaten.
become, became, become
– He will become famous after that.
– After he won he became famous.
– By the end of the war he had become famous.
begin, began, begun
– We will begin work at 9:00 a.m.
– I began to get hungry by mid-morning.
– By noon be had already begun to paint the walls.
bend, bent, bent
– I will bend it into a curve.
– After the accident he bent it back into place.
– By then, it will have been badly bent out of shape.
bite, bit, bitten
– Take a bite and see what you think.
– He bit into it with great force.
– The puppy had been bitten to death.
blow, blew, blown
– Blow on it until it cools.
– The wind blew it away.
– By that point, his cover story had been completely blown.
break, broke, broken
– If it falls, it will break.
– It broke when it landed on the floor.
– Little did he know that her heart had already been broken.
bring, brought, brought
– We will bring it with us.
– I brought mine with me.
– Had I known, I would have brought it.
build, built, built
– We will build the house here.
– It was built in the hill.
– For more strength, I would have built it out of concrete.
burst, burst, burst
– It will burst very soon.
– The pipe burst under the pressure.
– By the time we get there it will have already burst.
buy, bought, bought
– I suggest you buy it now.
– She bought it yesterday.
– I had already bought it by the time I saw the article.
catch, caught, caught
– I will catch it with this trap.
– He caught two large fish.
– I have caught it like that before.
choose, chose, chosen
– I will choose the one that I want.
– She chose the less expensive one.
– I have chosen the same type before.
cling, clung, clung
– I will cling to hope until the end.
– They clung onto the ledge for dear life.
– She has clung to that one many times.
come, came, come
– I will come with you.
– He came to the game with us.
– If so, I will have come too late.
cost, cost, cost
– The cost of changing will be great.
– It cost him plenty to travel home.
– Once all is included, it will have cost a small fortune.
The simple examples given above are provided to show how these verbs can be used in typical situations using the base form, the past tense, and the past participle.
I will be posting additional articles in this irregular verbs series in the future.
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