Regular Verbs | Meaning, Examples & List

A regular verb is a verb whose simple past and past participle are formed by adding the suffix “-ed” (e.g., “walk” becomes “walked”).

In contrast to regular verbs, irregular verbs are verbs whose simple past and past participles are formed in some way other than by adding “-ed” to the infinitive of the verb.

Regular verb forms
Infinitive Simple past Past progressive
ask asked asked
look looked looked
start started started
talk talked talked
want wanted wanted

What is a regular verb?

Regular verbs follow standard conjugation rules. For most regular verbs, both their simple past and past participle (i.e., the form used in perfect tenses and passive constructions) are formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb.

Examples: Regular verbs
Paula started to cook.

I had just started to study when my neighbor called.

Andy walked to the shop.

You have walked to the office every day for the past week.

While the simple past and past participle of regular verbs are usually formed by adding the suffix “-ed,” this can vary depending on the verb’s ending.

Original ending Simple past and past participle ending Example
-e -add “d” move; moved
short verbs, where the last three letters follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern -double the last letter and add “-ed” grab; grabbed

clap; clapped

long verbs with a stressed syllable at the end, where the last three letters follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern -double the last letter and add “-ed” regret; regretted

debug; debugged

Consonant + y -ied (replacing the “y”) cry; cried
Note
For verbs that end in a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern where the final letter is “w,” “x,” or “y,” you typically don’t double the final letter (e.g., “fix” becomes “fixed”).

For verbs that end in a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern where the final syllable is not stressed, you also don’t double the final letter (e.g., “open” becomes “opened”).

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Regular and irregular verbs

Unlike regular verbs, irregular verbs do not follow a specific conjugation pattern, and their simple past and past participles can be formed in various ways.

Additionally, the past participle of an irregular verb may differ from its simple past form (e.g., “saw” and “seen”).

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

Irregular verb forms
Infinitive Simple past Past participle
be was/were been
do did done
have had had

Regular verbs list (free download)

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

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

Download PDF list Download Google Docs list

Regular verbs list
Infinitive Simple past Past participle
arrive arrived arrived
call called called
dance danced danced
fail failed failed
help helped helped
listen listened listened
love loved loved
play played played
regret regretted regretted
thank thanked thanked
try tried tried
update updated updated
use used used
visit visited visited
wait waited waited

Worksheet: Regular verbs

Practice using regular verbs correctly with the exercises below. In the blank space in each sentence, fill in the correct simple past form based on the verb specified.

  1. Darren __________ [cook] a delicious meal.
  2. The band __________ [stop] playing at midnight.
  3. I __________ [move] house last summer.
  4. We __________ [try] to fix the car, but it still didn’t work.
  1. Darren cooked a delicious meal.
    • As a regular verb, the simple past of “cook” is formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the verb.
  1. The band stopped playing at midnight.
    • The simple past form of some short verbs (where the last three letters follow a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern) are formed by doubling the last letter and adding “-ed.”
  1. I moved house last summer.
    • The simple past form of regular verbs that end in “e” is formed by adding “d.”
  1. We tried to fix the car, but it still didn’t work.
    • The simple past form of regular verbs that end in a consonant + “y” is formed by dropping the “y” and adding “-ied.”

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      Frequently asked questions

      What is an irregular verb?

      While the simple past and past participle of regular verbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ed” (e.g., “call” becomes “called”), the simple past and past participle of irregular verbs do not follow a specific pattern (e.g., “eat” becomes “ate”).

      Additionally, unlike regular verbs, the past participle of an irregular verb may differ from its simple past form (e.g., “ate” and “eaten”).

      What is the past participle of “come”?

      The past participle form of “come” is “come.” It’s used to form perfect tenses (e.g., “I have come to ask for help”).

      “Come” is an irregular verb. While the simple past and past participle of regular verbs are formed by adding the suffix “-ed,” the simple past and past participle forms of irregular verbs don’t follow a specific pattern.

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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.