To Top

English Irregular Verbs: Simple Past and Past Participles

English Irregular Verbs: Simple Past and Past Participles

Irregular English verbs are verbs whose conjugations differ from the conjugation patterns of regular verbs. Many common English verbs are irregular in the simple past and the past participle. Irregular verbs are verbs in Germanic languages that express the simple past tense by means of changes to the stem vowel (ablaut). Irregular verbs are also referred to as strong verbs.

The simple past is a verb form that expresses discrete, completed, non-continuous actions or states that occurred in the past. Regular English verbs take an -ed suffix in the simple past; however, irregular English verbs undergo stem, consonant, and other phonological changes that do not follow any real pattern in the simple past.

Past participles, or -en participles, are a nonfinite verb form in English that perform verbal and adjectival functions. Regular English verbs take an -ed suffix to form the past participle; however, irregular English verbs also experience stem, consonant, and other phonological changes that do not follow any real pattern to form the past participle

Note that the listing of two forms indicates a shift in the verb from irregular to regular. Both forms are currently acceptable.

Base Simple Past
Past Participle
arise arose arisen
awake awoke awoken
backslide backslid backslidden/backslid
be was/were been
bear bore born
beat beat beat
become became become
begin began begun
bend bent bent
beset beset beset
bet bet bet
bid bade bidden
bid bid bid
bind bound bound
bite bit bitten
bleed bled bled
blow blew blown
break broke broken
breed bred bred
bring brought brought
broadcast broadcast broadcast
browbeat browbeat browbeaten/browbeat
build built built
burn burned/burnt burned/burnt
burst burst burst
bust busted/bust busted/bust
buy bought bought
cast cast cast
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
cling clung clung
clothe clothed/clad clothed/clad
come came come
cost cost cost
creep crept crept
crossbreed crossbred crossbred
cut cut cut
deal dealt dealt
dig dug dug
disprove disproved disproved/disproven
dive dived/dove dived
do did done
draw drew drawn
dream dreamed/dreamt dreamed/dreamt
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
dwell dwelt/dwelled dwelt/dwelled
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
feed fed fed
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fit fit fit
flee fled fled
fling flung flung
fly flew flown
forbid forbade/forbid forbidden
forecast forecast forecast
forego (forgo) forewent foregone
foretell foretold foretold
foresee foresaw foreseen
forget forgot forgotten
forgive forgave forgiven
forsake forsook forsaken
freeze froze frozen
frostbite frostbit frostbitten
get got gotten
give gave given
go went gone
grind ground ground
grow grew grown
hand-feed hand-fed hand-fed
handwrite handwrote handwritten
hang hung hung
have had had
hear heard heard
hew hewed hewn/hewed
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
inbreed inbred inbred
inlay inlaid inlaid
input input input
interbreed interbred interbred
interweave interwove/interweaved interwoven/interweaved
interwind interwound interwound
jerry-build jerry-built jerry-built
keep kept kept
kneel knelt knelt
knit knit knit
know knew known
lay laid laid
lead led led
leap leaped/leapt leaped/leapt
learn learned/learnt learned/learnt
leave left left
lend lent lent
let let let
lie lay lain
light lighted/lit lighted
lip-read lip-read lip-read
lose lost lost
make made made
mean meant meant
meet met met
miscast miscast miscast
misdeal misdealt misdealt
misdo misdid misdone
mishear misheard misheard
mislay mislaid mislaid
mislead misled misled
mislearn mislearned/mislearnt mislearned/mislearnt
misread misread misread
misset misset misset
misspeak misspoke misspoken
misspell misspelled/misspelt misspelled/misspelt
misspend misspent misspent
mistake mistook mistaken
misteach mistaught mistaught
misunderstand misunderstood misunderstood
miswrite miswrote miswritten
mow mowed mowed/mown
offset offset offset
outbid outbid outbid
outbreed outbred outbred
outdo outdid outdone
outdraw outdrew outdrawn
outdrink outdrank outdrunk
outdrive outdrove outdriven
outfight outfought outfought
outfly outflew outflown
outgrow outgrew outgrown
outride outrode outridden
outrun outran outrun
outsell outsold outsold
outshine outshined/outshone outshined/outshone
outshoot outshot outshot
outsing outsang outsung
outsit outsat outsat
outsleep outslept outslept
outspeak outspoke outspoken
outspeed outsped outsped
outspend outspent outspent
outswear outswore outsworn
outswim outswam outswum
outthink outthought outthought
outthrow outthrew outthrown
outwrite outwrote outwritten
overbid overbid overbid
overbreed overbred overbred
overbuild overbuilt overbuilt
overbuy overbought overbought
overcome overcame overcome
overdo overdid overdone
overdraw overdrew overdrawn
overdrink overdrank overdrunk
overeat overate overeaten
overfeed overfed overfed
overhang overhung overhung
overhear overheard overheard
overlay overlaid overlaid
overpay overpaid overpaid
override overrode overridden
overrun overran overrun
oversee oversaw overseen
oversell oversold oversold
oversew oversewed oversewn/oversewed
overshoot overshot overshot
oversleep overslept overslept
overspeak overspoke overspoken
overspend overspent overspent
overtake overtook overtaken
overthink overthought overthought
overthrow overthrew overthrown
overwind overwound overwound
overwrite overwrote overwritten
partake partook partaken
pay paid paid
plead pled pled
prebuild prebuilt prebuilt
predo predid predone
premake premade premade
prepay prepaid prepaid
presell presold presold
preset preset preset
preshrink preshrank preshrunk
proofread proofread proofread
prove proved proved/proven
put put put
quick-freeze quick-froze quick-frozen
quit quit quit
read read read
reawake reawoke reawaken
rebid rebid rebid
rebind rebound rebound
rebroadcast rebroadcast/rebroadcasted rebroadcast/rebroadcasted
rebuild rebuilt rebuilt
recast recast recast
recut recut recut
redeal redealt redealt
redo redid redone
redraw redrew redrawn
refit refit/refitted refit/refitted
regrind reground reground
regrow regrew regrown
rehang rehung rehung
rehear reheard reheard
reknit reknitted/reknit reknitted/reknit
relay relaid relaid
relearn relearned/relearnt relearned/relearnt
relight relit/relighted relit/relighted
remake remade remade
repay repaid repaid
reread reread reread
rerun reran rerun
resell resold resold
resend resent resent
reset reset reset
resew resewed resewn/resewed
retake retook retaken
reteach retaught retaught
retear retore retorn
retell retold retold
rethink rethought rethought
retread retread retread
retrofit retrofitted/retrofit retrofitted/retrofit
rewake rewoke/rewaked rewaken/rewaked
rewear rewore reworn
reweave rewove/reweaved rewoven/reweaved
rewed rewed/rewedded rewed/rewedded
rewet rewet/rewetted rewet/rewetted
rewin rewon rewon
rewind rewound rewound
rewrite rewrote rewritten
rid rid rid
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
roughcast roughcast roughcast
run ran run
saw sawed sawed/sawn
say said said
see saw seen
seek sought sought
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
sew sewed sewed/sewn
shake shook shaken
shave shaved shaved/shaven
shear shore shorn
shed shed shed
shine shone shone
shoe shoed shoed/shod
shoot shot shot
show showed showed/shown
shrink shrank shrunk
shut shut shut
sight-read sight-read sight-read
sing sang sung
sink sank sunk
sit sat sat
slay slew slain
sleep slept slept
slide slid slid
sling slung slung
slink slinked/slunk slinked/slunk
slit slit slit
smell smelled/smelt smelled/smelt
smite smote smitten
sneak sneaked/snuck sneaked/snuck
sow sowed sowed/sown
speak spoke spoken
speed sped sped
spend spent spent
spill spilled/spilt spilled/spilt
spin spun spun
spit spit/spat spit
split split split
spoon-feed spoon-fed spoon-fed
spread spread spread
spring sprang/sprung sprung
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
stick stuck stuck
sting stung stung
stink stank stunk
strew strewed strewn/strewed
stride strod stridden
strike struck struck/stricken
string strung strung
strive strove striven
sublet sublet sublet
sunburn sunburned/sunburnt sunburned/sunburnt
swear swore sworn
sweat sweat/sweated sweat/sweated
sweep swept swept
swell swelled swelled/swollen
swim swam swum
swing swung swung
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
telecast telecast telecast
tell told told
test-drive test-drove test-driven
test-fly test-flew test-flown
think thought thought
thrive thrived/throve thrived
throw threw thrown
thrust thrust thrust
tread trod trodden
typecast typecast typecast
typeset typeset typeset
typewrite typewrote typewritten
unbend unbent unbent
unbind unbound unbound
underbid underbid underbid
undercut undercut undercut
underfeed underfed underfed
undergo underwent undergone
underlie underlay underlain
undersell undersold undersold
underspend underspent underspent
understand understood understood
undertake undertook undertaken
underwrite underwrote underwritten
undo undid undone
unfreeze unfroze unfrozen
unhang unhung unhung
unhide unhid unhidden
unlearn unlearned/unlearnt unlearned/unlearnt
unsew unsewed unsewn/unsewed
unsling unslung unslung
unspin unspun unspun
unstick unstuck unstuck
unstring unstrung unstrung
unweave unwove/unweaved unwoven/unweaved
unwind unwound unwound
uphold upheld upheld
upset upset upset
wake woke woken
waylay waylaid waylaid
wear wore worn
weave weaved/wove weaved/woven
wed wed/wedded wed/wedded
weep wept wept
wet wet/wetted wet/wetted
wind wound wound
win won won
withdraw withdrew withdrawn
withhold withheld withheld
withstand withstood withstood
wring wrung wrung
write wrote written


Also download a free printable copy of the list of irregular English verbs: English Irregular Verbs Simple Past and Past Participles.


Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kilby, David. 1984. Descriptive syntax and the English verb. Dover, New Hampshire: Croom Helm.
Leech, Geoffrey N. 2004. Meaning and the English verb. Harlow, English: Pearson Longman.

More in English Verbs

  • Grammatical Aspect

    Grammatical aspect is the grammaticalized expression of the temporal structure of an action or state. Temporal structure roughly relates to duration....

    Heather JohnsonJune 20, 2018
  • ESL Recipe Lesson Plan: Practice the Imperative Mood

    Many English language learners hope to function fully and completely in the English language. Learning to follow and write recipes is...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 25, 2018
  • English Auxiliary Verbs

    Auxiliary verbs are a subcategory of English verbs that provide additional semantic or syntactic information about the main verb in the...

    Heather JohnsonMarch 1, 2016
  • Ambitransitive English Verbs

    Verbs are traditionally defined as “words that describe actions or states of being.” Main or principal English verbs may be either...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 25, 2016
  • Attributive Ditransitive English Verbs

    Traditional notional grammars define verbs as “action or state of being words.” Transitive verbs in English grammar are main verbs that...

    Heather JohnsonFebruary 23, 2016