Past simple – irregular verbs

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


As you watch the video, look at the examples of past simple irregular verbs. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, the past simple irregular verbs.


Sophie: I am so happy to be home!

Oliver: I bet. So, tell us what happened.

Sophie: Well, on Thursday afternoon I saw the weather forecast on the TV in the hotel and it said there was a big storm coming.

Oliver: Yes, that was when we spoke.

Sophie: That’s right. So, I took a taxi to the airport straight away. I wanted to leave before the storm came.

Daisy: Good idea. Did you get to the airport OK?

Sophie: Yes, I got there, but hundreds of other people had the same idea. The storm arrived faster than anybody expected so there were no flights! The road to the airport was completely flooded, so nobody could go back into town. We got stuck in the airport!

Oliver: Did you think it would be for so long?

Sophie: Not at all. We all thought one night ... possibly two ...

Daisy: Did you have enough food?

Sophie: I bought some food on the first day, but it wasn’t very good by the third day. On my birthday I had a packet of crisps and a two-day-old sandwich for lunch.

Oliver: Poor Mum.

Daisy: What about the bathrooms at the airport? Were you able to have a shower?

Sophie: No! The water pipes froze so after the first day there wasn’t any water. It wasn’t nice!

Oliver: That’s disgusting!

Sophie: Don’t worry. I’m clean now!

Daisy: So, what did you do all day in the airport?

Sophie: I met some really nice people! We talked, read, played cards. When they found out it was my birthday, one of them gave me his last bar of chocolate!

Daisy: Ah, cute!

Sophie: It was a strange feeling having no Internet connection, no phone line. It was horrible not being able to phone you two! We’re all so used to being connected all the time. It was hard. I know you think I’m on holiday when I’m working, but it’s not always easy you know!

Oliver and Sophie: Happy Birthday, Mum!

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?

Average: 3.7 (26 votes)
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Submitted by Fencingisthebest on Fri, 03/03/2023 - 15:43

No, I haven't. Infact I live in an area where the weather is usually warm.

Submitted by Hirthic on Fri, 09/02/2022 - 15:28

yes, i have been stuck inside my house with limited food due to flood.

Submitted by cherry00 on Sat, 07/23/2022 - 13:39

No, I don't think I've benn stuck in terrible weather.

Submitted by Baldbanana on Mon, 07/11/2022 - 13:43

No, I never got stuck in some terrible weather. Maybe I'm lucky, but we don't have any seriously dangerous weather in my region.

Submitted by Dsas16 on Tue, 06/21/2022 - 19:38

No, i didn't or i just don't remember, but there was few time where i was outside and randomly started raining to much and had to hide somewhere till it stops.

Submitted by Vaillamarmariaa on Sun, 06/05/2022 - 03:32

Yes, one day I was trapped in terrible weather. The day was rainy with thunder and lightning, there was no car to bring me home so I had to walk through the flooded street and the water was up to my waist.

Submitted by Sol04 on Wed, 05/25/2022 - 11:39

No, I didn't fortunately
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Submitted by Diva69 on Wed, 05/25/2022 - 11:36

Yes I was, I got stuck at the mall during a very bad thunderstorm.
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Submitted by I_Love_English on Mon, 05/02/2022 - 10:59

It remembered me about the How It Ends movie (2018year)

Submitted by student53 on Wed, 01/05/2022 - 14:42

Fortunately never

Submitted by Ira1321 on Mon, 11/22/2021 - 12:57

Fortunately,I have not been stuck in the terrible weather.

Submitted by KirV on Sun, 11/21/2021 - 11:33

Yes, I have been stuck in terrible weather. One day my family and I went to Lake Baikal. We slept in a tent. On 5 day it started raining. We decided finishing our trip as was a bed wether, though we had to travel for 7 days.

Submitted by Juana_Valerio on Wed, 10/27/2021 - 02:35

the activity was interesting and easy to do Juana

Submitted by Leticiadv1405 on Tue, 10/26/2021 - 20:53

The grammar is very well understood.

Submitted by jesica_tomas on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 22:59

I can understand grammar easily and it is not such a complicated subject. 5°A T-LOG

Submitted by Graceherrera on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 21:32

The activity is understandable as well as the explanation, I managed to understand better with this great support 5°A logística

Submitted by fernasilv18 on Mon, 10/25/2021 - 21:25

The exercises helped me to understand the grammar, the explanation is very good. 5- A T-LOG

Submitted by GUADALUPESIXTOS on Tue, 10/19/2021 - 04:25

The grammar was easy to understand, so I could do what he requested, he concluded that this issue was clearer.

Submitted by Ema_tavo on Tue, 08/31/2021 - 13:06

Not really, I've never been outside during storms.
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Submitted by FlowerQueen on Thu, 06/24/2021 - 13:26

I had to be stuck at home, but not because of the wheather, that was because of the Corona Virus last year.

Submitted by Abrahamua on Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:16

yes, when i'm little it happened
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Submitted by GenesisPerezUAE on Thu, 06/03/2021 - 14:03

yes when i was little

Submitted by Arivelde on Tue, 03/16/2021 - 15:55

Yes, once when I was doing snowboard with my dad and brothers, suddenly a really bad storm began. There was snow everywere, wind in our faces, we couldn't see a hand in front of us. It was awfully cold, but we were half way down, so we had to stop in the middle of that giant moutain together and waited for the storm to go away. When it passed and we got down the mountain we heard that the temperature was lower than -15 C°, that is 5 Fahrenheit! But then my mum bought us some hot chocolate and it was all over, just another story to tell.
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Submitted by Cfvdv on Tue, 03/09/2021 - 16:48

Yes, when I was a babby, I was in the car with my family in the mountains of Sierra Nevada. It was snowing really bad and our car began to slip and turn. We stopt in the nearest place, a restaurant, and waited there for about 4 hours until the snow stopped.

Submitted by LULLABYCASTR23 on Sat, 02/27/2021 - 10:03

Hello everyone, I want to ask you guys about this question exercise, why the answer like this "who met you at the airport?" not "who did you meet at the airport?" thank you! this question sentence I took from this exercise. I know there is a difference, but I just want to make sure of you guys who are English natives. Thanks for helping me explain this.
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Submitted by JoModerator on Mon, 03/01/2021 - 09:07


That's a good question. Have a look at this page from Cambridge dictionary - you'll see that 'meet' can have slightly different meanings.

'Who met you at the airport' = who waited at the airport for you to arrive?

'Who did you meet at the airport' = who did you see and talk to at the airport? 


I hope that helps!


Jo (LearnEnglish Teens team)

In reply to by LULLABYCASTR23

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Submitted by Kostantinus on Sat, 01/23/2021 - 08:48

Yes. Once I've been stuck in the airport because of the weather. My flight was delayed an d I had to wait for a few hours near the boarding gate. I was not alone. There were my parents and my younger sister with me. During that time I wasn't boring as I had my phone and my tablet so I was learning English online.

Submitted by 11mo on Mon, 11/09/2020 - 10:05

No, I have not. Because in terrible weather, I always at home. I live in Hong Kong where does not have terrible weather.

Submitted by Luna on Fri, 08/14/2020 - 08:07

No, l haven't
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Submitted by Giovannichoi on Mon, 07/20/2020 - 07:27

Fortunately, I don't. Only rain poured hard. But-nowdays-COVID 19 is bothering my trip.

Submitted by bathayo on Tue, 07/07/2020 - 14:07

Thank you.

Submitted by TR790 on Fri, 05/22/2020 - 11:59

Yes, I got stuck in a terrible weather once in school. On that day, it was raining since morning and when we were taking our language classes the storm started. The doors and windows were shaking very fast. We were all scared. When the storm ended, our school field was like a swimming pool. It really was a terrible experience.
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Submitted by Sherry4869 on Wed, 05/13/2020 - 13:56

I had stuck one time. I went to the Saint Martins Island. We planned that we would stay there for 2 days. But, because of the storm, the did not come. Then we stock. We have to stay there for 2 more days there. I spend time on the sea beach. The food became cheaper. and the fee for hotels became cheaper too. We stay there in a nice hotel named -HOTEL FANTASY-. It was a special trip for me. Because we stay at a nice hotel near the sea beach for 4 days!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by bloomybloom on Mon, 05/11/2020 - 17:48

yes , last year ,my sister and I got stuck in the mall because of the bad weather , luckely we found a restaurant and we stayed there until the storm disappeared

Submitted by sofka on Sun, 04/19/2020 - 17:53

Yes! one day while I was walking a heavy downpour began. and I was far from home

Submitted by FedericoB8 on Wed, 03/25/2020 - 18:33

yes, a few years ago I was traveling with my family when a strong hailstorm hit the car.

Submitted by marchese on Mon, 03/23/2020 - 08:50

Yes, I often went to volleyball in the rain. At half past four I went out of the house and in the middle of the stardom it started to rain so I often got wet training, because I went there on foot and usually I didn't keep my umbrella in the bag.

Submitted by asiasantin on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 17:28

No,in a terrible climate no, but very often I find myself in bad situations and also very uncomfortable.

Submitted by Micheleanto on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 17:25

Yes, I have, when i was 10. Me and my father were in mountain (we were skiing) and in the afteroon it started to snow very hard; we went in a chalet and we waited for the end of the snowfall.

Submitted by BttChiara on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 15:50

No, I haven’t but my friends were stuck in the airport for snow storm during the Christmas holiday. It was really scary...

Submitted by ballerinichiara on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 15:00

No, I never had a times that I was in a terrible weather. Luckily!

Submitted by gattifederica on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:55

No. I haven’t. However 8 years ago, I went to my grandparents’ house. This day was very rainy. When I was in the lift, the power went out and I my mum where stucked inside. Then, the firefighters arrived and we went out from the lift.

Submitted by Naogiosu7 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 14:16

Yes when we were returning from Romania with my parentele tok a very powerful storm. And de started to stop

Submitted by rrfalletto on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:27

Yes, once I was returning from the sea and a very bad storm arrived. I was wet and the new day i was sick

Submitted by Carolina000 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 13:22

Yes, I remember when two years ago I went camping with my family and a bad storm forced us to look for a hotel in which to spend the night so as not to get wet. The following day we managed to return to the campsite.

Submitted by beasam0109 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:41

No I haven't but a few years ago when back from the beach the wind rose, it was cold, the sea swelled and many beach umbrellas flew away, on that occasion I was afraid.

Submitted by JasmineD03 on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 11:20

No, I've never been stuck in a terrible weather and I hope it never happens to me. But once I was coming home from school and a very bad storm broke with hail and went home all wet. That's why I stayed at home for a week since I had a very high fever.

Submitted by Desy on Fri, 03/20/2020 - 10:55

Yes, I been stuck in some terrible weather about 5 years ago. I was in holiday in Pescara when one day My family and I were at the beach and suddenly there was a heavy rain so we ran fast and finally we was arrived at home wet!

Submitted by Ely on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 18:18

no,i've never been stuck in a terrible weather

Submitted by MatildePace on Thu, 03/19/2020 - 10:15

No, I've never been stuck in a horrible time and I hope it never happens to me. But once I was leaving school and there was a strong strom, my backpack got wet. It was really harmful. However, I managed to do everything.
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