8 Tips to Make Irregular English Verbs Easier to Learn
There is nothing more frustrating than discovering irregular verbs when you finally think you understand English grammar. There is a rule of thumb for words in the English language: today I use, yesterday I use.
You can’t learn one rule to deal with irregular verbs because they don’t follow any rules. There is no pattern to them. It’s just a matter of memorizing them. You don’t have to worry! By following this guide, you will be able to recognize irregular verbs beginning with I collected Pathgather wherever you see them in English.
Common Irregular English Verbs
The most common verbs are irregular, so it’s important to learn them!
Every day, you use irregular words in your conversations. It may be necessary for you to inform someone that you have already begun working on the new project at work. Maybe you want to tell a friend: “I saw you in the park yesterday, but didn’t say anything because I thought you were busy.” See how the past tense of both words is irregular?
It is not a very long list of irregular verbs when you consider that the English language has over a million words! If you have no idea where to begin, it can still be challenging to learn them.
Now it’s time to learn them! It’s not impossible to learn irregular verbs with these tips.
1. Group Common Irregular Verbs Together
The reason irregular verbs are so difficult to remember is that they don’t follow any rules. However, some irregular verbs follow a similar pattern. Consider grouping the verbs according to their similarity instead of alphabetically.
Here are some suggestions for grouping the verbs according to whatever works best for you:
- Past, present, and past participle verbs remain unchanged.
- Examples: cost and set.
- Past forms of verbs are not the same as present forms.
- Examples: breed, bred and shoot, shot.
- Verbs ending in -en in the past participle.
- Examples: speak, spoken and wake, woken.
Take a look at the irregular verb list and discover your own patterns!
2. Learn Vocabulary With Its Tense Forms
It is better to learn irregular verbs right from the beginning if you want to make them easier for yourself in the future. When learning a new verb, you should also learn its tenses.
You shouldn’t only learn that stealing means taking something without permission. In addition, you should be familiar with the simple past tense and past participle of the verb stole.
3. Memorize Common Irregular Verbs
Some irregular verbs are less commonly used than others. The word broadcast might not be used often, and the word abide might only be found in the phrase law-abiding citizen (a person who follows the law).
Take a look at the words that are most commonly used first instead of going through the list alphabetically.
- Say, said, said
- Go, went, gone
- Come, came, come
- Know, knew, known
- Get, got, gotten
- Give, gave, given
- Become, became, become
- Find, found, found
- Think, thought, thought
- See, saw, seen
That’s right, all of these tiny but crucial verbs are irregular! It’s important to know their irregular forms so you can use them in everyday conversation.
4. Turn Memorizing into a Game
Flashcards might help you remember irregular verbs, but if you’re having trouble, why not turn them into a game?
You can make remembering the verbs fun and easy by playing games online. Quia has a game similar to Jeopardy, the MacMillan Dictionary has a verb wheel, and the British Council offers a quiz-like game.
With index cards, you can even make your own game by writing the verb and its past or past participle (or both). Turn the cards over with their backs facing up in front of you.
Here’s a memory game you can play. Flip a card over, then another. Leaving the cards face up is the best solution if the two cards match. Turn them back over if they don’t.
Practice is the key to success – but it’s important to practice correctly as well! If you make a mistake when you speak to an English speaker, ask them to correct you. Not only is this useful for irregular verbs, but for any English, you speak.