Irregular Verb Memory Game 1

Exercise your memory and your English with this irregular verb memory game. Practice the past tense of the most common English verbs of finding cards matching the present and past tense of to be (' I am' and 'he is' go with 'was;' you, we or they 'are' goes with 'were'), to do, to have, to get, or to go.

Irregular Verb Memory Game 1: 'Find the matching cards!' with pictures of memory cards: 3 rows of four, most showing card backs (with sunflowers) but 3 turned over: one pair (go & went) & 'was.'

Say them aloud each time you find the matches, and before long you won't have trouble remembering them!

If you want to play the irregular verb memory game from a mobile phone and your screen is too small to show the regular 4x3 card grid, try the mobile version of this page, with a long, narrow (2x6) grid of cards to turn over. (You'll just need to scroll a little to play.)

If you’re playing with a friend, see who can win the most pairs. By yourself, see how quickly you can match all the present tense forms of the verbs with their past tenses.

Play it again to watch your speed go up. (Card locations will be different every game. Memorize meanings, not locations!)


Your goal is to turn over 2 cards that belong together: the present tense of a verb with its past tense equivalent. ('Was' matches with 'is', although it could also match with 'am'; 'were' matches with 'are'. The other verbs only have one past tense form each to match with their base present tense form.)

There are twelve cards in 3 rows. Players (if you are playing with someone) take turns choosing two cards to turn over. If the cards match, they will stay face up, and the player who chose them wins that pair. 

If they do not match, they will turn back over. (Try to remember their locations. If you find a match for one of them later, you want to be able to find it again.) Continue to turn over two cards at a time until all have been matched. The player with the most matches wins.

If you are playing alone, you win if you can beat your previous time. It's trickier than it sounds!

Remember: if you play the same game again, the cards will NOT be in the same places. You'll need to pay attention to the new locations for each card, so you will be ready when you find a matching card.

Click to find the matching cards:

play again
Good Job !

Printable ESL Classroom Games has two game packets with printable irregular verb matching cards to cut out for playing the memory game in a classroom. Those games include 16 cards (a four x four grid) each, so  they can include more verbs in each game. 

The larger packet includes many more irregular verbs to practice; the smaller one has most of the verbs in this game and Game 2 and 3 (below), but not the two forms of 'to be' (which most students probably know) or to buy, say, or tell. (It has tto hear and to feel instead.)

Related Pages

title: 'group similar pasts together.
think, thought; bring, brought; buy, bought; bend, bent; lend, lent, send, sent; spend, spent; fly, flew, flown; grow, grew, grown; know, knew, known.'

Learn irregular verbs more easily with the patterns in these 12 lists.

Picture of a farm with text: 'Examples: For much of the past, people lived on the land. They hunted, fished, or farmed. They often worked together or used animals, but they rarely relied on machines.'

The simple past tense of regular verbs ends in -ed. It's easy to form, and not hard to spell or pronounce if you learn a few easy rules.

title plus a picture of memory game cards, with 5 turned over: 2 pairs (inquire = ask about, &  request = ask for) plus one single card:  quest.

Give your English vocabulary a workout: see how quickly you can march these words from the root ‘quire’ with their more common synonyms.

Try some other interactive concentration games: Irregular Verb Memory Game 2 (to eat, make, see,take, say, and tell),  Irregular Verb Game 3 (to buy, think, know, give, find, and leave),  Roots Memory Game 1 to practice words like inquire, require, request, and quest,  Roots Memory Game 2 with cedere or Game 3 with vertere,  Custom Memory Game 1 or Game 2 to practice phrasal verb idioms, or a simple kids' matching game just for fun.

Home>ESL Games>Irregular Verb Memory Game 1.

Didn't find what you needed? Explain what you want in the search box below. (For example, cognates, past tense practice, or 'get along with.') Click to see the related pages on EnglishHints.

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