Irregular Verbs | Definition, Examples & Worksheet

An irregular verb is a verb whose simple past and past participle do not follow specific conjugation rules.

In contrast to irregular verbs, regular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participles are formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb (e.g., “talk” becomes “talked”).

Examples: Irregular verbs
The old man sang a song.

Last week, Melanie accidentally broke her phone.

I have known Karl for years.

Someone has stolen my bike.

Regular vs. irregular verbs

Verbs can be categorized as either regular or irregular.

Regular verbs follow standard conjugation rules. The simple past tense and past participles of regular verbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ed.”

Examples: Regular verbs
I played football with my friends.

Adria has played tennis since she was a child.

In contrast to regular verbs, irregular verbs do not follow a specific pattern and their simple past tense and past participle can be formed in various ways. Additionally, their simple past tense and past participle forms may differ.

Examples: Irregular verbs
We ate at a nearby restaurant.

Ken has eaten takeout every night this week.

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Irregular verbs list (free download)

Below is a table illustrating the simple past and past participle forms of some common irregular verbs.

You can also download our longer list of irregular verbs in the format of your choice below.

Download PDF list Download Google Docs list

Irregular verbs
Infinitive Simple past Past participle
be was/were been
do did done
have had had
say said said
know knew known
get got got
see saw seen
think thought thought
go went gone
take took taken

Worksheet: Irregular verbs

Practice using irregular verbs with the exercises below. In the blank space in each sentence, choose the correct verb form.

  1. You have __________ [eat] dinner.
  2. Enda __________ [take] a short break.
  3. I __________ [see] a bald eagle yesterday.
  4. The criminals had already __________ [leave] by the time the police arrived.
  5. Dave accidentally __________ [break] a vase.
  1. You have eaten dinner.
    • The past participle form of the irregular verb “eat” is “eaten.”
  1. Enda took a short break.
    • The simple past form of the irregular verb “take” is “took.”
  1. I saw a bald eagle yesterday.
    • The simple past form of the irregular verb “see” is “saw.”
  1. The criminals had already left by the time the police arrived.
    • The past participle form of the irregular verb “leave” is “left.”
  1. Dave accidentally broke a vase.
    • The simple past form of the irregular verb “break” is “broke.”

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    Frequently asked questions

    What are the different types of verbs?

    There are many ways to categorize verbs into various types. A verb can fall into one or more of these categories depending on how it is used.

    Some of the main types of verbs are:

    What’s the difference between regular and irregular verbs?

    Regular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participle are formed by adding the suffix “-ed” (e.g., “walked”).

    Irregular verbs are verbs that form their simple past and past participles in some way other than by adding the suffix “-ed” (e.g., “sat”).

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    Eoghan Ryan

    Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.