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Lesson 9: Irregular Verbs

In this section, we will take an in-depth look at irregular verbs—we’ll discuss how they differ from regular verbs and how to use them in our sentences.<


  • To define irregular verbs
  • To discuss the proper way to form irregular verbs
  • To discover the patterns of irregular verbs
  • To use these verbs in sentences

In this lesson, we’ll be taking up irregular verbs. These verbs are important for us to know because they behave differently than regular verbs and may be the cause of a number of mistakes we commit in the future. We’ll be discussing the definition of irregular verbs, how they’re formed and how to use them in a sentence.


Irregular verbs are verbs which can’t be formed by simply adding –d or –ed. They are formed according to their tenses either by changing the spelling of the entire word or by retaining it completely (i.e. the plural of fish is fish).

These include words like grow (you do not say growed), drive (you do not say drived) and swim (you do not say swimmed).

[WpProQuiz 119]

Formation & Usage

While there is no definite way in which irregular verbs form their past, present and future tenses, there are certain patterns which we can see below.

Base-Past-Past Participle


[WpProQuiz 120]

When we use irregular verbs in sentences, we use them the same way we would use regular verbs—we decide based on their tense. This modifies what the sentence means and how the verbs are used within the sentence. Each irregular verb can be altered to fit most of the tenses which we discussed.

For example, the word teach:

Simple past: She taught him.
Simple present: She teaches him.
Simple future: She will teach him.
Present perfect tense: She has taught here for a few years, now.
Past perfect tense: She had taught at a school somewhere out of town before coming here.
Future perfect tense: She will have taught here for three years this July.
Present progressive tense: What is she teaching those children?
Past progressive tense: What has she been teaching those children?
Future progressive tense: Will she still be teaching here next year?

[WpProQuiz 121]

In this lesson, we learned that there are some verbs which don’t subscribe to the usual rules of verb transformation. We were able to look at several of these examples so as to be able to observe the patterns made by the different forms of the base verb. This will keep us from making future mistakes and will aid us in composing good sentences.

Our next lesson will be on Gerunds. We’ll be discussing what gerunds are, when we use them and how they can be used to communicate well in English. We will also be taking a look at different sentences to demonstrate the proper use of gerunds



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