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  • Writer's pictureNur Deniz Mutlu

40 English Irregular Verbs You Should Know in English

Did you know most irregular verbs exist as remnants of historical conjugation systems? While the grammatical rules behind some verbs changed, some verbs kept the old pattern. For instance, before the Great Vowel Shift, vowels of the verb "keep" were shortened, as in crept, wept, leapt, or left. Verbs such as peep, which have similar form but arose after the vowel shift, take the regular -ed ending. Nowadays, most English learners have difficulty learning irregular verbs or keeping them in their memory. In fact, if their native language is not anywhere near the English language, it can be a lot harder to adjust to irregular verb conjugations. If you want to get help to be fluent in English, we can help you! Here at ReDefiners World Languages, we offer Arabic, Spanish, English, and Mandarin classes for students from all levels. You can click here for more information. In this post, the most commonly used 40 irregular verbs will be mentioned and supported with additional information such as meanings, conjugations, example sentences, and more. Let’s go over these irregular verbs one by one. Bear in mind that the same forms of the verb conjugations (such as leave-left-left) can be used with different tenses or can be used differently in a grammatical way. There is only one example sentence given for the same forms of the verb conjugation in this post. If you want to see more example sentences of the irregular verb you can visit an online monolingual dictionary or use SkELL. Also, remember that some verbs can have more than one meaning or be used as a different part of speech. In this post, you will see the first and general meaning of words, so you may want to consult a dictionary for the other meanings and parts of speech. 1. arise Level: B2 Meaning: to happen; to start to exist Conjugation: arise (infinitive) – arose (past simple) – arisen (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: A serious problem can arise if the heart stops pumping effectively. Example sentence for the simple past form: An opportunity arose to work in the United States. Example sentence for the past participle form: A new crisis has arisen. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: arise, arose, arisen 2. bear Level: B2 Meaning: to be able to accept and deal with something Conjugation: bear (infinitive) – bore (past simple) – borne/born (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: The pain was almost more than he could bear. Example sentence for the simple past form: She bore it all with her usual patience. Example sentence for the past participle form: I haven’t borne/born it, so I just left. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: bear, bore, borne, born 3. beat Level: A2 Meaning: to defeat somebody in a game or competition Conjugation: beat (infinitive) – beat (past simple) – beaten (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive & simple past forms: He beat me at chess. Example sentence for past participle form: She was narrowly beaten by the German in the final. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: beat, beaten 4. become Level: A1 Meaning: linking verb, to start to be something Conjugation: become (infinitive) – became (past simple) – become (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive & past participle forms: The bill will become law next year. Example sentence for the simple past form: It soon became apparent that no one was going to come. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: become, became 5. begin Level: A1 Meaning: to start doing something; to do the first part of something Conjugation: begin (infinitive) – began (past simple) – begun (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: Let's begin on page 9. Example sentence for the simple past form: She began by thanking us all for coming. Example sentence for the past participle form: We have already begun to address the problem. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: begin, began, begun 6. bite Level: B1 Meaning: to use your teeth to cut into or through something Conjugation: bite (infinitive) – bit (past simple) – bitten (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: Does your dog bite? Example sentence for the simple past form: She bit into a ripe juicy pear. Example sentence for the past participle form: She was bitten by the family dog. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: bit, bite, bitten 7. bleed Level: C1 Meaning: to lose blood, especially from a wound or an injury Conjugation: bleed (infinitive) – bled (past simple) – bled (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: The small blood vessels in the nose bleed easily. Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: She slowly bled to death. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: bleed, bled 8. blow Level: A2 Meaning: to send out air from the mouth Conjugation: blow (infinitive) – blew (past simple) – blown (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: The policeman asked me to blow into the breathalyser. Example sentence for the simple past form: He drew on his cigarette and blew out a stream of smoke. Example sentence for the past participle form: You haven’t blown the candles hard enough! For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: blow, blew, blown 9. break Level: A1 Meaning: to be damaged and separated into two or more parts, as a result of force; to damage something in this way Conjugation: break (infinitive) – broke (past simple) – broken (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: He always breaks his chocolate in two for me. Example sentence for the simple past form: All the windows broke with the force of the blast. Example sentence for the past participle form: My watch has broken. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: break, broke, broken 10. bring Level: A1 Meaning: to come to a place with somebody or something Conjugation: bring (infinitive) – brought (past simple) – brought (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: Can we bring the children? Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: Mismanagement had brought the company to the brink of bankruptcy. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: bring, brought 11. burn Level: A2 Meaning: to produce flames and heat Conjugation: burn (infinitive) – burned/burnt (past simple) – burned/burnt (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: A small candle burns brightly. Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: The fire burned/burnt fiercely. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: burn, burned, burnt 12. buy Level: A1 Meaning: to obtain something by paying money for it Conjugation: buy (infinitive) – bought (past simple) – bought (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: They buy all their groceries in bulk. Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: He bought me a new coat. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: buy, bought 13. catch Level: A2 Meaning: to stop and hold a moving object or person, especially in your hands Conjugation: catch (infinitive) – caught (past simple) – caught (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: ‘Throw me over that towel, will you?’ ‘OK. Catch!’ Example sentence for the simple past & past participle form: I caught him when he fell. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: catch, caught 14. choose Level: A1 Meaning: to decide which thing or person you want out of the ones that are available Conjugation: choose (infinitive) – chose (past simple) – chosen (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: There are several different options you can choose. Example sentence for the simple past form: Sarah chose her words carefully. Example sentence for the past participle form: This site has been chosen for the new school. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: choose, chose, chosen 15. come Level: A1 Meaning: to move to or towards a person or place Conjugation: come (infinitive) – came (psat simple) – come (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive & past participle forms: She comes to work by bus. Example sentence for the simple past form: He came into the room and shut the door. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: come, came 16. cut Level: A1 Meaning: to make an opening or a wound in something, especially with a sharp tool such as a knife or scissors Conjugation: cut (infinitive) – cut (past simple) – cut (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive, simple past & past participle forms: She cut her finger on a piece of glass. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb: cut 17. deal Level: A2 Meaning: to take action in order to solve a problem or complete a task Conjugation: deal (infinitive) – dealt (past simple) – dealt (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: The company deals with its customers mainly through its website. Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: The book specifically dealt with the southern part of Alberta and Saskatchewan. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: deal, dealt 18. draw Level: A1 Meaning: to make pictures, or a picture of something, with a pencil, pen or chalk (but not paint) Conjugation: draw (infinitive) – drew (past simple) – drawn (past participle) Example sentence for the infinitive form: You draw beautifully. Example sentence for the simple past form: He drew a circle in the sand with a stick. Example sentence for the past participle form: This crudely drawn child's face seems so interesting. For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: draw, drew, drawn


A person drawing a sketch.
A person drawing a sketch.

19. dream

Level: A2

Meaning: to experience a series of images, events and feelings in your mind while you are asleep

Conjugation: dream (infinitive) – dreamed/dreamt (past simple) – dreamed/dreamt (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: You should dream as much as you can, only then you can reach your goals.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: I dreamed/dreamt about you last night.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: dream, dreamed, dreamt


20. drink

Level: A1

Meaning: to take liquid into your mouth and then down your throat into your stomach

Conjugation: drink (infinitive) – drank (past simple) – drunk (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: I don't drink coffee.

Example sentence for the simple past form: She drank from a tall glass.

Example sentence for the past participle form: He had drunk himself unconscious on vodka.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: drink, drank, drunk


21. drive

Level: A1

Meaning: to operate a vehicle so that it goes in a particular direction

Conjugation: drive (infinitive) – drove (past simple) – driven (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Don't drive so fast!

Example sentence for the simple past form: I drove to work this morning.

Example sentence for the past participle form: I haven’t driven my car since last year.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: drive, drove, driven


22. eat

Level: A1

Meaning: to put food in your mouth, bite it and swallow it

Conjugation: eat (infinitive) – ate (past simple) – eaten (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: She doesn't eat properly.

Example sentence for the simple past form: We ate at a pizzeria.

Example sentence for the past participle form: He'd barely eaten any breakfast.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: eat, ate, eaten


23. fall

Level: A1

Meaning: to drop down from a higher level to a lower level

Conjugation: fall (infinitive) – fell (past simple) – fallen (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: The seeds fall to the ground and germinate.

Example sentence for the simple past form: He fell 20 metres onto the rocks below.

Example sentence for the past participle form: Several of the books had fallen onto the floor.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: fall, fell, fallen


24. feed

Level: A2

Meaning: to give food to a person or an animal

Conjugation: feed (infinitive) – fed (past simple) – fed (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: The baby can't feed itself yet.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: Have you fed the cat yet?

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: feed, fed



Cats fed by an old woman.
Cats fed by an old woman.

25. feel

Level: A1

Meaning: linking verb to experience a particular feeling or emotion

Conjugation: feel (infinitive) – felt (past simple) – felt (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: I feel sorry for him.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: She felt betrayed.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: feel, felt


26. fight

Level: A2

Meaning: to take part in a war or battle against an enemy

Conjugation: fight (infinitive) – fought (past simple) – fought (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Didn't we fight a war for freedom?

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: He fought in Vietnam.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: fight, fought


27. find

Level: A1

Meaning: to discover somebody or something unexpectedly or by chance Conjugation: find (infinitive) – found (past simple) – found (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: It's so good when you find someone you can talk to.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: Look what I've found!

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: find, found


28. fly

Level: A1

Meaning: to move through the air, using wings

Conjugation: fly (infinitive) – flew (past simple) – flown (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Penguins can't fly.

Example sentence for the simple past form: A stork flew slowly past.

Example sentence for the past participle form: A wasp had flown in through the window.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: fly, flew, flown


29. forget

Level: A1

Meaning: to not remember to do something that you ought to do

Conjugation: forget (infinitive) – forgot – (past simple) – forgot/forgotten (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Hey, don't forget me!’

Example sentence for the simple past form: In the excitement I forgot all about my little brother.

Example sentence for the past participle form: I think you have forgot/forgotten to do something.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: forget, forgot, forgotten


30. forgive

Level: B2

Meaning: to stop feeling angry with somebody who has done something to harm, annoy or upset you; to stop feeling angry with yourself

Conjugation: forgive (infinitive) – forgave (past simple) – forgiven (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Can you ever forgive me?

Example sentence for the simple past form: She never forgave him for losing her ring.

Example sentence for the past participle form: I suspect that Rodney has never quite forgiven either of them.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: forgive, forgave, forgiven


31. freeze

Level: B1

Meaning: to become hard, and often turn to ice, as a result of extreme cold

Conjugation: freeze (infinitive) – froze (past simple) – frozen (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Water freezes at 0°C.

Example sentence for the simple past form: The clothes froze solid on the washing line.

Example sentence for the past participle form: It's so cold that even the river has frozen.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: freeze, froze, frozen


32. give

Level: A1

Meaning: to hand something to somebody so that they can look at it, use it or keep it for a time

Conjugation: give (infinitive) – gave (past simple) – given (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Give the letter to your mother.

Example sentence for the simple past form: She gave her ticket to the woman.

Example sentence for the past participle form: They were all given a box to carry.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: give, gave, given

33. grow

Level: A1

Meaning: to increase in size, number, strength or quality

Conjugation: grow (infinitive) – grew (past simple) – grown (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: That number will grow to two billion users in 2025.

Example sentence for the simple past form: The performance improved as their confidence grew.

Example sentence for the past participle form: The business has grown exponentially over the past ten years.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: grow, grew, grown


34. hear

Level: A1

Meaning: to be aware of sounds with your ears

Conjugation: hear (infinitive) – heard (past simple) – heard (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: I can't hear very well.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: He heard a noise and went to investigate.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: hear, heard


35. hide

Level: A2

Meaning: to put or keep somebody or something in a place where they or it cannot be seen or found

Conjugation: hide (infinitive) – hid (past simple) – hidden (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: She hides herself away in her office all day.

Example sentence for the simple past form: He hid the letter in a drawer.

Example sentence for the past participle form: I’ve hidden my private papers, so they are safe.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: hide, hid, hidden



Children playing Hide and Seek.
Children playing Hide and Seek.

Sourced from Buzzfeed.com.

36. hit

Level: A2

Meaning: to bring your hand, or an object you are holding, against somebody or something quickly and with force

Conjugation: hit (infinitive) – hit (past simple) – hit (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive, simple past & past participle forms: She hit him with her umbrella.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb: hit


37. hold

Level: A2

Meaning: to have somebody or something in your hand, arms, etc.

Conjugation: hold (infinitive) – held (past simple) – held (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: I will hold you whenever you need me.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: The lovers held each other close.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: hold, held


38. hurt

Level: A2

Meaning: to cause physical pain to somebody or yourself; to injure somebody or yourself

Conjugation: hurt (infinitive) – hurt (past simple) – hurt (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive, simple past & past participle forms: He hurt his back playing squash.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb: hurt


39. keep

Level: A1

Meaning: keep something to continue to have something and not give it back or throw it away

Conjugation: keep (infinitive) – kept (past simple) – kept (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: Always keep a backup of the file.

Example sentence for the simple past & past participle forms: He kept all her letters.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: keep, kept


40. know

Level: A1

Meaning: to have information in your mind as a result of experience or because you have learned or been told it

Conjugation: know (infinitive) – knew (past simple) – known (past participle)

Example sentence for the infinitive form: No one knows the answer.

Example sentence for the simple past form: I knew where he was hiding.

Example sentence for the past participle form: Strobe lights are known to cause seizures.

For pronunciation practice, please click on the verb you want to hear: know, knew, known


If you completed this blog post, this means you are ready to learn the rest of the most common English irregular verbs gathered for you! Follow our blog to read the second post in this series, “45 English Irregular Verbs You Should Know in English.”


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