List of Irregular Verbs:
the Top 50 to Learn and Practice

Study this list of irregular verbs. Then practice them by filling in the blanks of two stories below with their past tense forms. You can also get a pdf copy to print and fill in. Click here to go straight to the practice exercise.

Top 50 (Most Common) Irregular Verbs

1.       be (am/is/are)-- was/were (see The verb to be for an explanation of its differences. It’s the only verb in English with 3 forms in the present and two in the past tense.)  

2.       become-- became

3.       begin -- began

4.       break-- broke

5.       bring-- brought

6.       buy-- bought

7.       come-- came

8.       cost-- cost

9.       cut-- cut  

10.   do-- did

11.   drink-- drank

12.   drive-- drove

13.   eat-- ate

14.   fall-- fell

15.   feel-- felt

16.   find-- found

17.   fight-- fought

18.   get-- got

19.   give-- gave

20.   go-- went

21.   grow-- grew

22.   have (3rd person sing.: has)-- had

23.   hear-- heard

24.   hold-- held

25.   keep-- kept

26.   know-- knew

27.   lead-- led

28.   leave-- left

29.   let-- let

30.   make-- made

31.   meet-- met 

32.   pay-- paid

33.   put-- put

34.   read (pronounced ‘reed’)-- read (pronounced ‘red’)

35.   run-- ran

36.   say-- said

37.   see-- saw

38.   sell-- sold

39.   send--sent

40.   set-- set  

41.   sit-- sat

42.   speak-- spoke

43.   stand-- stood

44.   take-- took

45.   teach-- taught

46.   tell-- told

47.   think-- thought

48.   understand-- understood

49.   win-- won

50.   write-- wrote

Practice the Top 50 from the List of Irregular Verbs

Fill in the blanks with the past tense form of each verb in parentheses. When you finish, press “check” to see how many you remembered. (If any are not right, you can go back and correct them before checking again.)


Before she (get) sick, Marie often (go) to swap meets. (Swap meets are outdoor markets where many people sell new or used things. People like to shop at swap meets because prices are often much lower than in stores.) Marie (buy) things that (be-plural) inexpensive, and she (take) them to a different swap meet and (sell) them for a little more. She usually (make) a profit, though she (have) a few bad experiences.
One time someone (give) her counterfeit (fake) money when he (pay) for the item he wanted. After that she looked carefully at money before she (take) it. Another day she (set) a beautiful glass vase that (cost) her a lot too near the edge of her sales table. It (fall) off the table and (break), so she (lose) all the money she (spend) to buy it.

One day Marie (eat) some bad meat. She (feel) sick so she (go) home and rested. Rest (do) not help at all. She just (get) worse. After several days she called the hospital and (speak) to a nurse. The nurse (say), “I think you have food poisoning. You need someone to drive you to the hospital right away.” So Maria’s sister (come) and (drive) her to the hospital.

At the hospital, the doctor (tell) her that she had gotten dehydrated. So she (drink) lots of water and broth and (take) all the medicine the doctor (give) her. Finally she (be) better, and the doctor (let) her leave the hospital. Her sister (come) and (take) her home. She finally (leave) the hospital a week after she arrived. She (keep) telling her sister how glad she (feel) to go home!

After her illness, Marie (be) weaker. She could not walk around the swap meet anymore. Even when she just (sell) things she already (have), it (be) too hard for her. When she (stand) very long at her sales table, she (get) tired. So she (bring) a chair and (sit) while she worked. But she (find) that even driving to the swap meet and setting up her stand (make) her too tired. The doctor (say) to her, “If you want to get better, you need to stay home for a while.”

Marie stayed home and rested. She (read) books and (see) her favorite shows on T.V. She (get) cards from her friends that (hear) she had been sick. But after a week Marie (do) not want to read or watch T.V. anymore. She (be) bored.

Marie missed the people she (meet) at the swap meet. So she (get) a computer and (make) some friends online. She (tell) them, “Even if I can’t sell things, I can still talk to people!”
________________________


Jim (become) a teacher because he (understand) science and wanted to share it with others. As he (teach), he (find) that he (be) learning as much from his students about life as he (be) teaching them about science. He (write) to his mother, “I (begin) as an expert, and (think) I (know) a lot, but now I just want to learn more.”

Jim (has) a hobby. He liked to box. He (fight) with other amateur (non-professional) boxers, and he often (win.) He stopped boxing after another boxer hit him near the eye and (cut) his face badly. His trainer (hold) a clean cloth next to his face to stop the bleeding. But after that he (find) a new hobby!

Jim had lots of energy. So he (run) a marathon, (grow) a vegetable garden, and (put) many hours into his school’s science fair. The state science fair commission (send) his school an award because so many students (do) experiments for the fair, and three (win) blue medals at the state competition. But Jim decided his favorite activity of all was helping the scout troop he (lead.)

For an organized way of remembering these verbs (and over 30 others-- all the common irregular past tense verbs), as well as their past participles, see 12 Lists for Irregular Verbs in the Past Tense. Irregular Past Particles gives an alphabetical list of just the past participles that are different from their simple past forms. It also gives lots of examples of how to use them.

If you want an even more complete listing of even very uncommon irregular verbs (as well as flash cards and practice exercises), at English Page Complete Irregulars List.

Practice Irregular Past Tense Verbs has more gap-fill practice like this page, but in a discussion of the history of U.S. immigration. 

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