Sergey Sulimov


Sergey Sulimov



школа английского языка

Why is it possible to add -ed to some verbs in English in order to form the past tense, but other verbs seem to defy logic? The point is that there are regular and irregular verbs in English. The latter, course, have to be learned, but there are ways to do it quickly.

How to know if a verb is Irregular

In short, irregular verbs in English, or irregular verbs, are verbs that you cannot change into the past tense simply by adding –ed or –d at the end. To use these verbs correctly, you need to learn their Past Simple and Participle II forms, because they do not fit into the regular pattern.

The main difference between these verbs lies in the way they change in the past tense.

Let’s look at some concrete examples

Regular verbsIrregular verbs
The verb to play (играть). The past tense is played.The verb to run (бегать). The past tense is run and run.
The verb to dance (танцевать). The past tense is danced.The verb to read (читать). The past tense is read and read.
The verb to look (смотреть). The past tense – lookedThe verb to see (видеть). The past tense – saw and seen.

Correct verbs in the Past tense get the ending -ed or -d. Irregular verbs in Past Simple and Participle II can take forms a variety, most often with a vowel change in the root or with the addition of an ending.

  • if you look at all irregular verbs and their past tense forms list, you will notice that there is a pattern to these forms formation. Globally, you can four groups think:
  • verbs that have the same form in the infinitive, Past Simple и Past Participle — hurt -hurt-hurt (повредить), put -put –put (класть);
  • verbs with the same form in Past Simple and Past Participle
  • catch-caught-caught (ловить), sell-sold-sold (продавать);
  • verbs with the same form in the infinitive and Past Participle — become-became-become (становиться), run-ran-run (бегать);
  • verbs with different forms in all three cases — break-broke-broken (ломать), write-wrote-written (писать).

Learn irregular verbs quickly? It’s possible!

There are around 200 irregular verbs in English, so you should be able to learn the 50 most common ones for everyday conversation. One of the most obvious ways to learn irregular verbs quickly is to learn them by dividing them into the above groups.

The next way is to use the mnemonic method, i.e. learning irregular verbs by rhyming. This option is especially good for children. Use rhymes like this, for example:

Если друга meetsmetmet (meet), Его крепко keep-kept-kept (держать).

Ну, а если lose-lost-lost (потерять),

То того он cost-cost-cost (стоить).

1.     It also helps to remember things by practising them.

2.   Pay attention whenever you see an irregular verb. Write such verbs down in a separate notebook and return to them regularly (read them, memorise them).

3.   Make up your own example sentences with each new irregular verb.

4.   Keep a diary and write down each day what you did today.

5.   Use additional methods: games, songs, and flashcards.

6.   Learn verbs in three forms at once.

Interestingly, irregular verbs in English are more common than their correct “counterparts”. If you want to speak English fluently in its varied forms, you need to learn irregular verbs. We’re sure you’ll find it easy to do after using our ti.

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