Regular and Irregular verbs

More about verbs

A verb may consist of one, two or more words.

Two or more verbs may be found within one sentence.


  • Salim has been admitted to a good national high school.

  • Salome was playing tennis.

  • They will soon remember what they had long forgotten.

 A verb has five forms and may be regular or irregular.

Regular Verbs

Most verbs are regular verbs.

Regular verbs are those whose past tense and past participles are formed by adding a -d or an -ed to the end of the verb.

"To roll" is a good example of a regular verb:

Regular verb; roll,

Past tense; rolled,

Past participle; rolled

Sometimes the last consonant in the verb must be doubled before adding the -ed ending.

For example:

Verb; plan,

Past tense; planned,

Past participle; planned

Irregular Verbs

There is no formula to predict how an irregular verb will form its past-tense and past-participle forms.

There are over 250 irregular verbs in English.

Although they do not follow a formula, there are some fairly common irregular forms.

Some of these forms are:

Verb; break,

Past-tense; broke,

Past-Participle; broken

Verb; cut,

Past-tense; cut,

Past-participle; cut

Verb; run,

Past-tense; ran,

Past-participle; run

Verb; meet,

Past-tense; met,

Past-participle; met

Verb; come,

Past-tense; came,

Past-participle; come

Verb; repay,

Past-tense; repaid,

Past-participle; repaid

Verb; swim,

Past-tense; swam,

Past-participle; swum

Distinguishing Regular and Irregular Verbs

Dictionaries are perhaps the most valuable tool one can use in distinguishing between regular and irregular verbs.

If only one form of the verb is listed, the verb is regular.

If the verb is irregular, the dictionary will list the principal parts of the other forms

Forms of regular and irregular verbs