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Arts & Letters Daily

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Irregular Verbs - Level II

Irregular Verbs

Notes

The verb ‘Be’

The verb ‘be’ is not only the most important linking verb, it is also the most irregular verb in the English Language. It should be committed to memory. The following chart lists the singular and plural forms of the present, past and future tenses.

be Present Tense Past Tense Future Tense

Add ‘shall’ or ‘will’

First Person singular I am I was I will be
Second Person Singular You are You were You will be
Third Person Singular He/she/it is He/she/it was He/she/it will be
First Person Plural We are We were We shall shall
Second Person Plural You are You were You will be
Third Person Plural They are They were They will will

Chart 1. Verb ‘be’ – Present, Past and Future Tenses

Irregular verbs

Irregular verbs are verbs in which the past tense does not end in ‘ed’ but is formed in various ways. The most common way is to change the vowel: for example, ‘ring’ to ‘rang’. The future tense is formed by adding ‘shall’ or ‘will’ to the present tense.

Present Tense Past Tense Future Tense
am. are, is

begin

break

catch

choose

come

do

eat

find

fly

hold

know

make

pay

read

ride

see

sing

speak

think

write

was,were

began

broke

caught

chose

came

did

ate

found

flew

held

knew

made

paid

read

rode

saw

sang

spoke

thought

wrote

shall be, will be

begun

broken

catch

choose

come

do

eat

find

fly

hold

know

make

pay

read

ride

see

sing

speak

think

write

Chart 2. Present, past and future tense of irregular verbs.

Assignment

Underline the correct irregular verb in brackets.

1. Kevin has (know, knew, known) for a long time that driving over the speed limit (is, am, are) costly.

2. Please (lie, lay, lain) down and (go, went, gone) to sleep.

3. She (lie, lay, lain) on the couch and (sleep, slept) for an hour.

4. She has (lie, lay, lain) on that couch before when she (feel, felt) ill.

5. The workmen (lay, laid) the carpet as soon as it (become, became) available.

6. The workmen will (lay, laid, laid) the carpet as soon as it (becomes, became, become) available from the factory.

7. The workmen have (lay, laid) carpet before without having to (shrink, shrunk) it.

8. The police were (mistake, mistook, mistaken) about the evidence in the case.

9. The police (mistake, mistook, mistaken) the stolen papers for evidence in the case.

10.  Today the police almost never (mistake, mistook, mistaken) evidence because they (understand, understood) their work.

11.  What has he (do, did, done) to deserve such terrible punishment?

12.  What (do, did, done) he (do, did, done) to deserve such terrible punishment?

13.  He has never (do, did, done) anything like that before.

14.  We will (begin, began, begun) our holiday by going to the movies.

15.  We (begin, began, begun) our holiday after we (fly, flew, flown) into town.

16.  We have (begin, began, begun) to relax and take time out.

17.  We saw the mountains (rise, rose, risen) far above the sea.

18.  Yesterday the plane (rise, rose, risen) far above the mountains to (find, found) clear air space.

19.  Planes have (rise, rose, risen) to the height of 50, 000 feet.

20.  Do not (raise, raised) your hand if you do not (know, knew, known) the answer.

Answer Key

Irregular Verbs

1.  Kevin has (know, knew, known) for a long time that driving over the speed limit (is, am, are) costly.

Answer: known; is

2.  Please (lie, lay, lain) down and (go, went, gone) to sleep.

Answer: lie; go

3.  She (lie, lay, lain) on the couch and (sleep, slept) for an hour.

Answer: lay; slept

4.  She has (lie, lay, lain) on that couch before when she (feel, felt) ill.

Answer: lain; felt

5.  The workmen (lay, laid) the carpet as soon as it (become, became) available.

Answer: laid; became

6.  The workmen will (lay, laid, laid) the carpet as soon as it (becomes, became, become) available from the factory.

Answer: lay; becomes

7.  The workmen have (lay, laid) carpet before without having to (shrink, shrunk) it.

Answer: laid; shrink

8.  The police were (mistake, mistook, mistaken) about the evidence in the case.

Answer: Mistaken

9    The police (mistake, mistook, mistaken) the stolen papers for evidence in the case.

Answer: Mistook

10. Today the police almost never (mistake, mistook, mistaken) evidence because they (understand, understood) their work.

Answer: mistake; understand

11,. What has he (do, did, done) to deserve such terrible punishment?

Answer: Done

12. What (do, did, done) he (do, did, done) to deserve such terrible punishment?

Answer: did; do

13. He has never (do, did, done) anything like that before.

Answer: Done

14. We will (begin, began, begun) our holiday by going to the movies.

Answer: Begin

15. We (begin, began, begun) our holiday after we (fly, flew, flown) into town.

Answer: began, flew

16. We have (begin, began, begun) to relax and take time out.

Answer: Begun

17. We saw the mountains (rise, rose, risen) far above the sea.

Answer: Rise

18. Yesterday the plane (rise, rose, risen) far above the mountains to (find, found) clear air space.

Answer: rose; find

19. Planes have (rise, rose, risen) to the height of 50, 000 feet.

Answer: Risen

20. Do not (raise, raised) your hand if you do not (know, knew, known) the answer.

Answer: raise; know