Regular and Irregular Verbs

Regular and Irregular Verbs: Types and Categories

Regular and Irregular Verbs are yet another Types of Verbs that need to be closely examined in relation to how we make use of them in our day-to-day linguistic activities.

Regular Verbs

The regular verbs are the verbs whose past tense end with the ‘ed’. E.g. jump/jumped, talk/talked, look/looked, expect/expected, shout/shouted, etc.

The regular form of the verbs is usually expressed in four (4) forms. These include:

  1. The Infinitive or Base form: jump, talk, expect, shout, etc.
  2. The Third Person Singular form: jumps, talks, expects, shouts, etc.
  3. The Progressive (-ing) form: jumping, talking, expecting, shouting, etc.
  4. The Past tense or Past Participle form: jumped, talked, expected, shouted, etc.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are those verbs that do not conform to the usual patterns of verbs in that some of their forms deviate from the expected pattern of regular verbs. They usually do not admit the ‘ed’ pattern for their past tense forms. They are in various categories…

Five (5) Categories of Irregular Verbs

Category 1

These have to do with those verbs that have the same form in their past tense and past participle forms as the infinitive and do not end in ‘ed’ like regular verbs. Examples include:

Present Past Perfective
Hit Hit Hit
Set Set Set
Hurt Hurt Hurt
Cut Cut Cut
Burst Burst Burst
Bet Bet Bet
Spread Spread Spread
Slit Slit Slit
Cost Cost Cost
Cast Cast Cast
Let Let Let
Put Put Put
Split Split Split
Shed Shed shed

Category 2

These have to do with those verbs that have two forms both in their past tense and past participle forms. Examples include:

Present Past Perfective
Wet Wetted/Wet Wetted/Wet
Burn Burned/Burnt Burned/Burnt
Weave Weaved/Woven Weaved/Woven
Dwell Dwelled/Dwelt Dwelled/Dwelt
Spoil Spoiled/Spoilt Spoiled/Spoilt
Hang Hanged/Hung Hanged/Hung
Spill Spilled/Spilt Spilled/Spilt
Kneel Kneeled/Knelt Kneeled/Knelt
Speed Speeded/Sped Speeded/Sped
Lean Leaned/Leant Leaned/Leant
Smell Smelled/Smelt Smelled/Smelt
Leap Leaped/Leapt Leaped/Leapt
Light Lighted/Lit Lighted/Lit
Learn Learned/Learnt Learned/Learnt

Category 3

These have to do with those verbs that have past tenses that do not end in ‘ed’ and have the same form as the past participle forms. Examples include:

Present Past Perfective
Wring Wrung Wrung
Bend Bent Bent
Strike Struck Struck
Sling Slung Slung
Cling Clung Clung
Grind Ground Ground
Lend Lent Lent
Lead led led
Spend Spent Spent
Lay Laid Laid
Breed Bred Bred
Rend Rent Rent
Shine Shone Shone
stick Stuck Stuck

Category 4

These have to do with those verbs that have regular past tense forms but two possible past participles, one of which is regular. Examples include:

Present Past Perfective
Mow Mowed Mowed/Mown
Prove Proved Proved/Proven
Sew Sewed Sewed/Sewn
Show Showed Showed/Shown
Sow Sowed Sowed/Sown
Swell Swelled Swelled/Swollen

Category 5

These have to do with those verbs that have their present, past tenses and past participles different from one another. Examples include:

Present Past Perfective
Begin Began Begun
Bid Bade Bidden
Blow Blew Blown
Drink Drank Drunk
Forbear Forbore Forborne
Forbid Forbade Forbidden
Freeze Froze Frozen
Forswear forswore Forsworn
Hew Hewed Hewn
Lie Lay Lain
Ring Rang Rung
Saw Sawed Sawn
Shrink Shrank Shrunk
Spring Sprang Sprung
Slay Slew Slain
Stink Stank Stunk
Stride Strode Stridden
Strive Strove Striven
Swim Swam Swum

 

Read more on Nine (9) Other Types of Verbs

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