A few months ago I started this little mini-series on the use and abuse of irregular verbs in English. Here’s the second installment:
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 d to g), along with a usage example for each tense.
For each verb, the three forms listed are: Base Form, Past Tense, and Past Participle.
deal, dealt, dealt
– Let’s deal with that matter right now.
– He dealt with that issue after the game.
– By the time we arrived they had already dealt with it.
dig, dug, dug
– I am going to dig the hole this morning.
– The contractor dug the sewer trench yesterday.
– By the time we got there the foundation had already been dug.
dive, dived/dove, dived
– I think I’ll dive in the pool to cool off.
– She dove/dived off the cliff into the reservoir.
– I would have been there had I not dived in just before.
do, did, done
– I plan to do it when I get there.
– She did the examination yesterday.
– Having done the task, we returned to camp.
drag, dragged, dragged
– Please drag it into the hallway.
– We dragged it as far as we could.
– Had they dragged it farther, it would have been hidden from view.
draw, drew, drawn
– I asked them to draw a pen and ink country scene on sketch paper.
– After an hour of observation, he drew the picture completely from memory.
– I would have drawn it differently if the sun had been shining.
dream, dreamed/dreamt, dreamed/dreamt
– I always dream after eating a late night snack.
– She often dreamed/dreamt about her childhood.
– I was ready, since I had already dreamed/dreamt about it.
drink, drank, drunk
– You can drink your fill at the water fountain.
– He drank whiskey until he couldn’t see straight anymore.
– If she hadn’t been drunk she wouldn’t have crashed her car.
drive, drove, driven
– I can drive a car with a standard transmission.
– We drove to Chicago and back last summer.
– By that point, he had been driven to distraction.
eat, ate, eaten
– We will eat when we get there.
– They ate supper before the reception.
– We will have eaten by the time they get here.
fall, fell, fallen
– They will fall off if they aren’t careful.
– The company share price fell by 12% in one morning.
– By the time the emergency crew arrived, the boys had already fallen.
fight, fought, fought
– We will fight until we win.
– The couple fought about it loudly for the entire evening.
– Having fought that battle before, he remained quiet this time.
find, found, found
– You will find it to be the truth.
– We found it behind the cottage.
– Once you see that tree, you will have found the place.
fly, flew, flown
– We will fly there rather than drive.
– Last year we flew to Paris, and then to Rome.
– By the time we arrived there, he had already flown south.
forget, forgot, forgotten/forgot
– I often forget the names of people.
– Last week I forgot the Director’s reception.
– By morning I had already forgotten/forgot about it.
freeze, froze, frozen
– After I catch a few fish I will clean and freeze them.
– When he heard the siren he froze in his tracks.
– The pond frozen, we commenced our hockey game.
get, got, gotten/got
– I will get it at the grocery store.
– They got them at the pharmacy.
– I would have gotten/got them there, had I known.
give, gave, given
– You can give it back when we get there.
– She gave it to him last week.
– I would, had I not already given at the office.
go, went, gone
– We will go when we are ready to go.
– He went back to his hometown.
– She had gone home by the time we got there.
grow, grew, grown
– I will grow a beard during my holidays.
– She grew vegetables in her back garden.
– The children have grown considerably in height since last summer.
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.
To see the common irregular verbs beginning with the letters a to c, please check out the March 2014 post on this blog.
I will be posting additional articles in this irregular verbs series in the future.
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