Sophie has just arrived home after a work trip to the United States which turned into a nightmare.

Some verbs are irregular. Their past forms do not end in -ed.

So how do I know which verbs are regular and which are irregular?

You have to learn them!

Learn them from the list? Oh no!

It's not so bad. There aren't really so many verbs to learn and remember that English is much easier than many languages. The past forms don't change.

I took a taxi to the airport. (take → took)
That was when we spoke. (speak → spoke)
One person gave me his last bar of chocolate. (give → gave)

I see what you mean. I made, you made, he made, she made, it made, we made, they made!

Exactly! They're all the same. And the negatives are all formed with did + not + the infinitive without to. The question forms are very similar: did + subject pronoun + the infinitive without to.

What did you do all day in the airport?
Did you have enough food?
We didn't think you would get home in time for your birthday.

OK, you're right, that's not too bad. Are there any exceptions?

Yes the verb to be. The past form is was for I, he, she and it, but were for you, we and they.

It was horrible not being able to phone you two!
There wasn't any food. I was so hungry!
We were stuck in the airport.

So what about this verb list?

Right, here it is!

Present Past Simple Present Past Simple
be was / were begin began
break broke bring brought
build built buy bought
catch caught choose chose
come came cost cost
cut cut do did
draw drew drink drank
drive drove eat ate
fall fell feel felt
fight fought find found
fly flew forget forgot
freeze froze get got
give gave go went
have had hear heard
hold held hit hit
keep kept know knew
learn learnt leave left
lead led let let
lie lay lose lost
make made mean meant
meet met pay paid
put put read read
ride rode run ran
say said see saw
sell sold send sent
set set shut shut
sing sang sit sat
sleep slept speak spoke
spend spent stand stood
steal stole swim swam
take took teach taught
tell told think thought
understand understood wake woke
wear wore win won
write wrote    

Wow! OK, so how do I learn these verbs?

There are lots of things you can try:

  • Make cards to test yourself – put the infinitive on one side and the past on the other.
  • Write sentences with different verbs in them. Include some negatives.
  • Make up stories and record yourself. The story could just be about what you did last weekend.
  • Do practice activities online. You can start by doing the ones below on this page!

OK, I'm going to start learning them now!


Have you ever been stuck in some terrible weather?

Language level: 


Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
Jonathan - Coor... 14 December, 2012 - 03:31

Hi jojo 001. Thanks for your comment! Why not try this page and exercise (going to / will / present continuous) on the LearnEnglish website. You can also try this more difficult one (future continuous and future perfect). Good luck with your English, and let us know if they helped you! 

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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lady96's picture
lady96 17 July, 2012 - 13:18

That was quite easy for me, but I think that these exercises are really useful!!! Thank you so much! :)

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JoEditor's picture
JoEditor 17 July, 2012 - 15:06

Thank you lady96 - glad to hear the Grammar snacks are useful. :)

Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 9 July, 2012 - 17:50

Hi Mnara, Thanks for your comments, I'm glad you like the exercise. If you want something more challenging, why don't your try something from English Skills Practice - Improve your reading Level 2 or 3, for example? Let us know how it goes.

Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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yuni's picture
yuni 28 June, 2012 - 04:40

Thanks. The website is verry useful for people who is learning English. I hope can improve my English Skill, thanks again.

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 23 June, 2012 - 15:34

Thanks 3bcar!  It's great to hear you like it.  Enjoy!


Joanna (LearnEnglishTeens team)

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Jo - Coordinator's picture
Jo - Coordinator 21 May, 2012 - 10:36

Hi Mimi, Thanks for your comment - great to hear you like the site! Well done for this exercise.  The more you do, the more your English will improve.  Good work!

Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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