ABE English Tutorials/simple sentences/Irregular Verbs
Introduction to Irregular Verbs
|Present Tense||Past Tense|
|I buy||I bought|
|They see||They saw|
|Louise runs||Louise ran|
|You drive||You drove|
|The dog is....||The dog was....|
|The dogs are....||The dogs were.....|
There are many of these irregular verbs. Most of them are already familiar to you, and you probably use the right tense (most of the time!) without even thinking about it. For a more detailed list of irregular verbs,click here for more info.
When you look at the list of irregular verbs, you may notice that some "groups" of verbs form their past tense in the same sort of way:
- Some change to -ought: think / thought; bring / brought
- Some change their -d to a -t: send / sent; lend / lent
- Some change an -i- to an -a- :begin / began; sing / sang
- Some change an -ay to an -aid: lay / laid; say / said
- Some change an -ow to an -ew: blow / blew; grow / grew
.... and then there are some irregular verbs whose past tense is exactly the same as their present tense:
- I hit the ball today / I hit the ball yesterday
- You put that book away right now! / You put that book away last week.
Other irregular verbs don't seem to follow any sort of pattern when they form their past tense. These ones just have to be memorized, and practiced.
A present tense verb is shown at the beginning of each of the following sentences.
Some verbs are very similar to other verbs. These "similar-sounding pairs" are often confused:
|Present Tense||Past Tense||Meaning:|
|lay||laid||to put something down|
|rise||rose||to get up|
|raise||raise||to lift something up|
|sit||sat||to take a seat|
|set||set||to place something down|
- Kendra rose out of bed at eight o'clock. We choose rose because she rose herself (got herself up).
- Kendra raised the birdcage out of reach of the cat. We choose raised because she is raising something else (the birdcage).
- Joseph wanted to lie down before dinner. We choose lie because he is lying himself down.
- Joseph needed to lay out the silverware before the guests came. We choose lay because he was laying out something else (the silverware).
Can you see that lie, rise and sit don't take an object, while lay, raise and set do need an object?
- laid is the right answer. First we choose the verb "lay", because this is an action that Martha is doing to someone else (her baby). Then we choose the past tense of lay.
- sat is the right answer. The puppy is sitting itself down; and sat is the past tense of sit.
- raised is the right answer. The workers are raising something else (the roof), so we are looking for the past tense of raise.
Recommended next lesson: Verb Participles