Irregular verbs in English
Do you want to learn English well, but you're always stuck on something?
That's okay, today we'll show you how to do one of the most important chapters in English ever, namely irregular verbs. Don't you know what they are? Never mind, we'll explain them and illustrate them with 2 examples.
What are irregular verbs anyway?
English irregular verbs are a type of verb that, unlike regular verbs, cannot be formed using the -ed ending. But how do we know if we have encountered this type of verb? Unfortunately, we don't. The forms of irregular verbs cannot be deduced and we must therefore know them all by heart.
English irregular verbs and their forms
Every irregular verb has 3 basic forms in English. These are:
- The infinitive
- The past tense form
- The past participle form
The first form or infinitive is used for the present tense of the 1st and 2nd person singular and 1st-3rd person plural. However, it is also used to express the negative of the past simple tense.
• Do you like coffee?
• He didn't think it was you.
• I like you very much.
We use this verb form to express the past simple tense.
- I went to the hospital yesterday.
- I read a book a week ago.
- I took my medicine.
The past participle is the most difficult of the 3 forms. It allows us to form more complex tenses and sentences, such as:
- Pre-present tense - He has just gone to the library.
- Past tense - When he came, she had gone to the supermarket.
- Pre-future tense - He will have gone to Italy in two weeks.
- It's all gone and will never be back again.
- Past form of the causative verb - He should have gone out with us, but he stayed at home.
How to learn irregular verbs as easily as possible?
To make learning irregular verbs easier and less of a shock, we've put together some tips to make learning them as easy as possible.
1. Make a plan.
If you learn all the verbs at once, you'll pretty much go crazy. In fact, there are over 200 of them. Try to learn maybe 3-5 verbs a day and it will go easier.
2. Use the verbs you learn immediately.
For example, make up sentences with these verbs, look on the internet using these verbs, or watch a TV show where these verbs might appear. It's easier to commit the verbs to memory and you'll remember them forever.
Before learning a new verb, always review the ones you learned the previous days. Repetition is the mother of wisdom.
4. Learn smart.
For example, make mnemonics to help you remember the verb. If you are learning from a table of irregular verbs, always cover one column and try to remember the correct forms.
5. Write down the verbs you have learnt and read them aloud.
By rehearsing, you learn important pronunciations and by writing words down, you increase the chance that you will remember something better. This goes double for drawing pictures. So try to associate each word with a picture or story.
6. If you make a mistake, don't beat yourself up and give up.
Rather, think about it and repeat it until it becomes clear to you.
7. Be patient.
These are over 200 verbs that cannot be learned in one day. Regular practice and repetition will always eventually show you that you are on the right track. You can apply the irregular verbs you have learned straight away in conversation with yourself or with someone who speaks English better than you.
Before long, you'll get to the point where you won't even think about using and remembering the correct forms. And that's exactly what we want to achieve.