An Introduction to Irregular Verbs
An irregular verb is a verb that is not conjugated (changed according to tense) in the same way as most other verbs. While native English speakers learn which verbs are irregular as young children, memorizing this seemingly random list of irregular verbs can be very difficult for English as a second language (ESL) learners. Still a bit confused?
Let’s start by looking at some common regular verbs:
Makes sense, right? Just add –ed, and you’ve got yourself a verb in the past tense. But this rule does not work for irregular verbs. For example, fly doesn’t become flyed, but flew. Eat doesn’t become eated, but ate, and so on. Here are more examples of irregular verbs:
For a more comprehensive list of irregular verbs, check out this dictionary of irregular verbs. Unfortunately for ESL learners, the only way to be sure about what is an irregular verb and what is a regular verb is to memorize them while reading and speaking English. With lots of time and practice, even a non-native speaker can be an expert in these tricky parts of speech!
Test Your Knowledge!
Think you know all there is to know about irregular verbs? Put that knowledge to the test with this extensive irregular verb quiz created by the language experts at Scribendi.com. For the seasoned English professional, this quiz can be a great way to brush up on some of the lesser-known irregular verbs. For the ESL learner, quizzes like this one can be a great way to test your learning progress!
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