English Grammar: Irregular Verb List & Exercises (Beginner & Intermediate ESL)

English Level: Beginner, Intermediate

Language Focus: A review of conjugations of irregular verbs in the past tense and past participle form

Grammar Worksheetirregular-verb-exercises-esl.docx (scroll down to study the exercises online)

Jump to: Grammar Review (below), Beginner Irregular Verb ListIntermediate Irregular Verbs List, Beginner Exercises, Intermediate Exercises


Review: Irregular Verbs in English


An irregular verb is a verb that has a past tense or past participle form that does not end in ~ed.

  • Here is a regular verb: walk (present), walked (past tense), walked (past participle)
  • Here is an irregular verb: break (present), broke (past tense), broken (past participle)

Naturally, the past simple form is used for the past, e.g. I broke my arm yesterday.. View this lesson to review the past simple.

The past participle, (also called the ‘P.P’) form is used for in these situations:

  • the present perfect (have + P.P.): I have broken my arm twice in my life.
  • the past perfect (had + P.P.): I hadn’t broken my arm until I started snowboarding.
  • the passive voice (be + P.P.): My arm was broken yesterday.

There are over 400 English verbs that use an irregular form. Here is a list of irregular verbs that beginner ESL students should learn.

Beginner Irregular Verbs List

VerbSimple PastPast Participle
bewas/werebeen
becomebecamebecome
breakbrokebroken
buyboughtbought
choosechosechosen
comecamecome
dodiddone
drinkdrankdrunk
drivedrovedriven
eatateeaten
fallfellfallen
feelfeltfelt
findfoundfound
forgetforgotforgotten
getgotgotten/got
givegavegiven
gowentgone
growgrewgrown
havehadhad
hearheardheard
holdheldheld
knowknewknown
leaveleftleft
loselostlost
makemademade
meetmetmet
paypaidpaid
readread (pronounced ‘red’)read (pronounced ‘red’)
rideroderidden
runranrun
saysaidsaid
seesawseen
sellsoldsold
sendsentsent
showshowedshown
singsangsung
sitsatsat
sleepsleptslept
speakspokespoken
standstoodstood
stealstolestolen
taketooktaken
thinkthoughtthought
understandunderstoodunderstood
writewrotewritten

Scroll down or click here to do exercises on the above irregular verb list for beginner students.

Intermediate Irregular Verbs List

VerbSimple PastPast Participle
arisearosearisen
awakeawokeawoken
beatbeatbeaten
beginbeganbegun
bendbentbent
betbetbet
bitebitbitten
bleedbledbled
blowblewblown
bringbroughtbrought
buildbuiltbuilt
burnburned/burntburned/burnt
catchcaughtcaught
costcostcost
cutcutcut
dealdealtdealt
digdugdug
drawdrewdrawn
dreamdreamed/dreamtdreamed/dreamt
feedfedfed
fightfoughtfought
fitfitfit
fleefledfled
flyflewflown
forgiveforgaveforgiven
freezefrozefrozen
hanghunghung
hidehidhidden
hithithit
hurthurthurt
keepkeptkept
laylaidlaid
leadledled
learnlearned/learntlearned/learnt
letletlet
meanmeantmeant
mistakemistookmistaken
proveprovedproven/proved
putputput
quitquitquit
riseroserisen
seeksoughtsought
setsetset
shakeshookshaken
shootshotshot
shrinkshrankshrunk
shutshutshut
slideslidslid
smellsmelled/smeltsmelled/smelt
sneaksneaked/snucksneaked/snuck
spellspelled/speltspelled/spelt
spendspentspent
spillspilled/spiltspilled/spilt
spinspunspun
spitspatspat
splitsplitsplit
spoilspoiled/spoiltspoiled/spoilt
spreadspreadspread
stickstuckstuck
stinkstankstunk
strikestruckstruck/stricken
swearsworesworn
sweepsweptswept
swimswamswum
swingswungswung
teachtaughttaught
teartoretorn
throwthrewthrown
wakewokewoken
wearworeworn
winwonwon

One day irregular verbs may disappear from English, but for now, it’s important for every student to learn them. It’s practice time!


 

Exercises for Learning English Irregular Verbs Online

The below exercises will test the verbs from the lists above.

Beginner Level: Irregular Verb Exercises with Past Simple

I did many things yesterday.

  1. I (steal) a candy from my sister and I  (speak) to my father.
  2. I (write) in my diary and I  (think) about my life.
  3. I (stand) in the shower and I  (sing) a song.
  4. I (sit) at my desk and I  (understand) my homework.
  5. I (know) the answers and then I  (send) an email.
  6. I (sell) my old bicycle and I  (do) my laundry.
  7. I (become) bored.

  

Later, in the afternoon, I did more things.

  1. I (go) outside and I (see) a rainbow.
  2. I (hear) a dog barking so I  (run) across the street.
  3. I (ride) the train to my friend’s house and I (hold) my bag in my hand.
  4. I (pay) for my ticket and then I (buy) a chocolate bar.
  5. I (say) “hello” to my friend. Later, I  (meet) a friendly girl.
  6. I (gave) my phone number and I (make) a promise.
  7. I (be) happy.

  

 

In the evening, I did even more things.

  1. I (lose) my phone and I  (forget) my wallet.
  2. I (find) my wallet later but I  (break) a promise.
  3. I (get) some food and then I  (choose) some dessert.
  4. I (eat) a slice of cake and I  (drink) some tea.
  5. I (leave) a restaurant and I (drove) my car home.
  6. I (come) into my bedroom and I  (sleep).
  7. I (grow) older.

  

 

Beginner Level: Irregular Verb Exercises with Past Perfect Simple

John has had an interesting life. He has done many things.

  1. He has (steal) a car and he has (speak) to God.
  2. He has (write) a book and he has (stand) at the top of a mountain.
  3. He has (sing) karaoke and he has (sit) in the forest.
  4. He has (break) some bones and he has (think) about life and death.
  5. He has (understand) his heart and he has (know) answers to difficult questions.
  6. He has (send) flowers to someone he loves and he has (sell) paintings.
  7. He has (do) yoga in India.

  

 

Lisa has had a busy day. He has done many things.

  1. She has (took) a shower and she has (make) coffee.
  2. She has (run) in the park and she has (hear) birds singing.
  3. She has (met) her neighbour and she has (ride) the subway.
  4. She has (become) sick and she has (go) to the hospital.
  5. She has (see) her doctor and she has (hold) her son’s hand.
  6. She has (pay) for a hotdog and she has (buy) some shampoo.
  7. She has (give) a hug.

  

I have had an interesting month. I have done many things.

  1. I have (get) a pet and I have (choose) a name for the dog.
  2. I have (lose) my pet dog and I have (find) him in the park.
  3. I have (forget) my friend’s birthday and I have (eat) birthday cake.
  4. I have (drink) beer and I have (drive) to the airport.
  5. I have (leave) my city and I have (be) in an airplane.
  6. I have (grow) tired and I have (sleep) on an airplane.
  7. I have (come) back.

  

Beginner Level: Irregular Verb Exercises with Past Simple or Present Perfect

Enter the verb in either the past tense (for past simple) or past participle (for present perfect). To review the difference between the past simple and present perfect, please view this lesson.

Exercise #1: Past Tense or Past Participle

  1. A: John, have you ever (be) to Hawaii? / B: Yes. I (go) there five years ago.
  2. Yesterday, someone (steal) my bag. This (make) me angry. I have never (steal) something.
  3. Peter (become) a famous chef in the 1990s. In his life, he has (met) some famous people.
  4. Last year, Susan (write) a book. I (buy) it and (read) it last month.
  5. Have you (see) my lunch? I (put) it in the refrigerator, but I can’t find it! I’m really hungry now. I haven’t (eat) all day.

  

Exercise #2: Past Tense or Past Participle

  1. I (grow) up in Australia, but in 1994, my parents (choose) to move to London.
  2. Louise (go) snowboarding last month. She (fall) down and (break) her ankle. She often falls. She has (break) her ankle three times. I (drive) her to the hospital.
  3. The teacher asked, “Who has (do) their homework?” But none of the students (say) that they had.
  4. Have you ever (ride) on a camel? I have. I (ride) on one when I was in Egypt.
  5. I have (know) John for four years. I (met) him at university. He (sit) beside me in class.

  

 


 

Intermediate Level: Irregular Verb Exercises for Past Simple

Yesterday, Alan did many things.

  1. He (wake) up at 9 a.m. and he  (draw) some plans.
  2. He (split) some wood and he (bend) some metal.
  3. He (dig) some holes and he   (build) a fence.
  4. He (cut) his finger and he  (swear) loudly.
  5. He (quit) working and he  (feed) his dog.
  6. He (spill) the dog food and then he  (sweep) his floor.
  7. He (let) the cat out and then he  (hang) out with some friends.

  

Sarah went camping last week. She had an interesting time.

  1. She (swim) in a lake and she (lay) on the beach.
  2. She (shake) the sand off her clothes and (hang) them to dry.
  3. She (fly) a kite and she (shoot) an arrow.
  4. She (catch) a fish and she (cut) the fish and tried to cook it.
  5. She (burn) the fish a little.
  6. She (put) on a sweater and she (smell) a skunk in the forest.
  7. She (fight) the skunk and she (win).
  8. She (blow) out her candles and went to bed.

  

The skunk probably stunk.
(The skunk might have stunk.)

 

Intermediate Level: Irregular Verb Exercises in Questions (Past Simple & Present Perfect)

  1. Have you ever (fly) first class? Or in a helicopter?
  2. When was the last time that you (fall) down?
  3. What was the last piece of clothing that you (shrink)?
  4. Where is the most beautiful place where you have (swim)?
  5. What problems in your life have you (deal) with successfully?
  6. Have you recently (forgive) someone for a mistake they made?
  7. What prices have (rise) recently?

  

  1. Have you ever (fight) with a close friend?
  2. When was the last time you (beat) a drum? Why?
  3. What is the worst thing that has ever (bite) you?
  4. If you had to get some words or a phrase (draw) on your skin, what would it be?
  5. Who’s the coolest person that you’ve ever (hang) out with?
  6. Who (cut) your hair last?
  7. Have you ever (spill) wine on expensive clothing?

  

Intermediate Level: Past Simple, Present Perfect, Past Perfect, and Passive Voice

If you need review, see our lessons on present perfect, past perfect, and the passive voice.

  1. The man who stole the money was (caught).
  2. As a little girl, Mona (dream) of being a writer.
  3. I (bite) my cheek yesterday when I was eating. It (hurt).
  4. By the time we arrived at the theatre, the movie had already (begin).
  5. My brother (bet) ten thousand dollars on a horse race. Of course, he lost.
  6. The dog (dig) a whole and then (put) his bone in it.
  7. Being late (cost) John his last job. Now he’s unemployed.

  

 

  1. Volunteers are being (seek) for language teaching positions.
  2. The news quickly (spread) that the president had been (shoot).
  3. During the flood of 2008, water levels (rise) to dangerous levels.
  4. The child (sneak) behind the counter at the bakery and (stick) his finger in a cake.
  5. His mother saw him and (swear) loudly.
  6. When Laura (fall) off her bicycle, she (tear) the dress she was wearing and (cut) her knee. Unfortunately, the dress wasn’t hers. A friend had (lend) it to her. She had (tear) it and also (bleed) onto it a little. Even though it was damaged, her friend (forgive) her when she returned it.

  

I hope these exercises on irregular verbs have been useful. Of course, there are many more. Keep studying and practicing!

Questions? Found a mistake? Leave a comment below.

— Matthew Barton (copyright) / Creator of Englishcurrent.com

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