irregular verbs swim swam swum

Irregular Verbs

Swim, Swam, Swum

Regular Verbs

Verbs in English have three forms: the base form (or infinitive without “to”), the past simple, and the past participle.

With regular verbs, the past simple and past participles are formed by adding -d or -ed, or -ied (in place of most y endings) to the end.

Most English verbs are regular.

Irregular verbs do not follow this rule.

Irregular Verbs

1. One kind of irregular verb changes in the past tense and then keeps that same form in the past participle. Examples include feed, fed, fed; and win, won, won.

2. Another kind adds an -n or -en to the base form or to the past tense form to make the past participle. Examples include know, knew, known; and speak, spoke, spoken.

3. Other verbs have irregular changes in spelling for each principal part, as in slay, slew, slain.

Cut, Cut, Cut

4. Still others use the same form for all principal parts. They include cost, cut, set, and shut. These verbs are called invariables.

5. A group of irregular verbs shows a change of vowel in both the past tense and past participle: drink, drank, drunk; ring, rang, rung; swim, swam, swum.

Through usage, many verbs of this type are gradually changing into regular verbs with -ed endings. For example, the verb strive has the irregular forms strive, strove, striven and also has the regular forms strive, strived, strived.

In this lesson, we look at the fifth group. Answer the following questions or respond to the statements.

Begin, Began, Begun

1. begin, began, begun
My class began studying English when we were 5. True or false? Is this the ideal time to learn a foreign language?

2. drink, drank, drunk
In the past people in our country drank traditional beverages; nowadays it’s mostly cappuccino, soda, and beer. Yes or no?

What’s the most interesting drink you have drunk?

3. ring, rang, rung
Sometimes strangers ring our doorbell. Oftentimes, I don’t answer it. Why not?

A few years ago, Mr. and Mrs. Mendoza went on a vacation to Europe. What happened?

Shrink, Shrank, Shrunk

4. shrink, shrank, shrunk
Charles used to play sports, read books, paint, and play the guitar. They he was falsely imprisoned. Describe what happened to him.

5. sing, sang, sung
When you were in school, did you learn many songs? Did you sing many different songs?

6. sink, sank, sunk
What can you say about the Bermuda Triangle?

Asher went swimming in the Dead Sea. Then he went to Lake Baikal. Did he notice any difference?

7. spring, sprang, sprung
A dog sprang at the thief. Why? Was this good or bad?

8. stink, stank, stunk
In 1977, a fishing boat pulled in a semi-decomposed carcass of a “sea dinosaur”. What happened?

9. swim, swam, swum
Can you swim? Gerald is very brave. What did he do? Can you swim by whales?


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