ReadingESL stories and readings in English for ESL learners


 Irregular Verbs

 

 

  Base form
This form of the verb is used in the simple present tense.  It is also used to make the infinitive (e.g. to run),  in the simple future (e.g. will run), and when making negative statements or questions in the simple past (e.g. I didn't run).
Past tense
This form of the verb is used in the simple past tense.
Past Participle
This form of the verb is used when it follows the verb have.   This happens in the present perfect, past perfect, and future perfect verb tenses (e.g. has seen, have run, had begun).  It is also used in the passive voice.
a happy woman with her arms in the air
'happy jumping girl' by River Beach, taken from flickr


be

I am very happy today.
She is very happy today.
They are very happy today.


was

I was happy yesterday too.
She was happy yesterday too.
They were happy yesterday too.


been

I have been happy all day.
She has been happy all day.
They have been happy all day.
beating an egg with a whisk
'lightly beat eggs' by little blue hen, taken from flickr


beat
The recipe says to beat three eggs for
two minutes.


beat
I beat the eggs before I added the other ingredients.


beaten

I have beaten the eggs for two minutes.  That is long enough.
a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis
[internet]


become
A chrysalis becomes a butterfly.


became
After the chrysalis became a butterfly, it flew away.


become
The chrysalis has changed.  It has become a butterfly.
a darkened cinema
'Screening' by Incase, taken from flickr


begin

I hope that the movie begins soon.


began

I was glad when the movie began on time.


begun

You're late. The movie has already begun.  You missed the first few minutes of it.
a drawing of a woman touching her toes
[internet]


bend
If you bend over far enough, you can touch your toes.


bent
The first time I bent over, I couldn't
touch my toes.


bent
I have bent and stretched a lot so now I can touch my toes easily.
a mosquito on an arm
'Mosquito' by Dano, taken from flickr


bite
Femaile mosquitos bite because they need blood.


bit
A mosquito bit me on my leg.


bitten
Two mosquitos have bitten me already this morning.
a bloody finger
 'Knife Cut' by Debs, taken from flickr


bleed
If you cut your finger, it will bleed.


bled
When I cut my finger it bled a lot.


bled
The cut has bled for five or six minutes.  I hope that it stops soon.
bubbles

blow
Kids like to blow bubbles!


blew
I blew bubbles when I was younger.


blown
I haven't blown bubbles for years!
drinking glasses on a shelf

break

The glass will break if you drop it on the floor.


broke

Yesterday I broke a glass when I dropped it on the floor.


broken

I have broken another glass!  I need to be more careful.
a waiter carrying a tray with drinks on it
'Waiter' by zoetnet, taken from flickr


bring
Please ask the waiter to bring us some water.


brought
The waiter brought us our drinks before we ordered dinner. 


brought
The waiter has brought our drinks.
construction

build
There are plans to build a new building on our street. 


built
Last year the same workmen built another building on the same street.


built

They have built many new buildings in Toronto this year.
fire

burn

The fireman watched the fire burn.


burned / burnt
Last night the house burned to the ground.
Las night the house burnt to the ground.


burned / burnt

The fire has burned all night.
The fire has burnt all night.
girls shopping at a market
'Chicken vendor stall in Cogon Market', by NexgenStock, flickr


buy
They want to buy some food for their dinner.


bought
Yesterday they bought chicken and vegetables for their dinner.


bought
They have bought food from the same market for
two men chasing after a frisbee
'lokke loads up' by popofatticus, taken from flickr


catch
Both men want to catch the frisbee.


caught
I think that the man wearing the green shirt
caught the frisbee.


caught
He had caught the frisbee before he fell down.
a sign displaying the flavours of ice cream available for purchase
'Ice Cream Flavors' by Chiot's Run, from flickr

choose
Look at the menu and choose what flavour of ice cream you want.

chose

The last time I was here I chose the strawberry ice cream.  It was very good.

chosen

I have chosen the chocolate a couple of times.  It was good too.
two happy kids dancing
photo by Morten Rask via Wikimedia Commons


come

Please come to our party on Saturday night.


came

Many people came to our party last Saturday night.


come

I'm glad that you've come to the party! I hope that you have fun.
a man walking up the stairs
'walk up stairs' by cloudchaser32000, flickr


creep

Creep quietly up the stairs so you don't wake anybody up.


crept

He crept so quietly up the stairs that  no one heard him.


crept

He has crept quietly ever since he got in trouble for coming home too late.
cut

cut

She cuts green paper.


cut

Yesterday she cut many pieces of red paper.


cut

She has cut lots of  pieces of  paper today.
dealing a deck of cards

deal
It is her turn to deal the cards.


dealt
She dealt five cards to each player.


dealt
She has dealt the cards. Now we can start the game.
a person about to dive off the side of a boat
'Too Early, Too Forgetful' by aeu04117, from flickr


dive
Don't dive into shallow water!


dived / dove
He dived into the water.
He dove into the water.


dived
I have dived off the boat many times.
a man working at a desk with a desk light on
'Self study at study' by Hermes, from flickr


do
Please do your homework before dinner.


did
Yesterday I  did my homework before dinner.


done
I have done my homework. Can I have dinner now?
drawing a picture with pencil crayons

draw
She likes to draw colourful pictures.


drew
Yesterday she drew a picture of


drawn
She has drawn many pictures for me.
a girl beside a pool drinking a drink through two straws

drink
It is fun to drink cold pop by the pool
on a hot day


drank
She drank lemonade yesterday.


drunk
She has drunk a lot of water too.
looking out the front windshield of a car on a winter day

drive

He drives to work every morning.


drove

He drove to work yesterday morning.


driven
He has driven to work ever since he bought a new car.
two people eating dinner outside

eat

Sometimes they eat dinner outside.


ate

Yesterday they ate dinner outside because the weather was nice.


eaten

They have eaten dinner outside every night this week.
trees in autumn with the leaves on the ground

fall

Every autumn the leaves fall off the trees.


fell

Last autumn the leaves fell off the trees before the end of October.


fallen

The leaves have never fallen off the trees that early before.
a school of fish
photo by Aurelie Chaumat via Wikimedia Commons


feed

Every morning he feeds his fish.


fed

Yesterday he fed the fish before he went to work.


fed

He has always fed his fish in the morning before he goes to work.
a hand holding on to a stuffed animal

feel
This stuffed animal feels soft and fuzzy.


felt
The animal felt soft when I touched it.


felt
I have felt many stuffed animals and this one is the softest.
a drawing of two boys fighting
from iCLIPART.com


fight
Some people fight when they are angry.


fought
The boys fought yesterday and they fought again this afternoon.


fought
They have fought too many times.  They are going to get into trouble.
a loonie coin

find

Did you find the loonie that you lost?


found

I found a loonie on the sidewalk. Someone must have dropped it.


found

I have found pennies and nickels before but I have never found a loonie.
a dog looking out an open window
'Dog in Window' by Orin Zebest, taken from flickr


flee

Sometimes burglars flee if they hear a dog barking.


fled

Last night the burglar fled when he heard the dog bark.


fled

The burglar had fled by the time the police arrived.
 

fling

My son flings his coat on chair when he comes home. 


flung

He flung his coat on the chair again today.


flung

He has flung his jacket on the chair every day this week.  I am getting annoyed.
passengers getting onto a plane
fly
It takes five hours to fly from Toronto to Vancouver.

flew
Last year we flew to Vancouver to visit our parents.

flown
We have flown to Vancouver twice since moving to Toronto.
keys on a key chain

forget

Sometimes I forget my keys at home.


forgot

Yesterday I forgot my keys at home.


forgotten

I have forgotten my keys too many times.
a frozen lake

freeze

Canadian lakes usually freeze in the winter.


froze

Last winter the lake froze in January.


frozen

Once the lake has frozen we can walk on the ice.
reaching for a jar of peanut butter from the cupboard

get
Could you please get the peanut butter from the cupboard for me?


got
Here, I got the peanut butter for you.


gotten / got
You could have gotten the peanut butter yourself.
You could have got the peanut butter yourself.
gifts wrapped in shiney paper
'wrapped presents' by Muffet, taken from flickr


give
We like to give presents to our friends on their birthday.


gave
Last week she gave her father a book for his birthday.


give
She has given everyone a book  for their birthday this year.
two kangaroos looking at the camera
Kangaroos in Australia.


go

I want to go to Australia.


went

Last year my parents went to Australia.


gone

They have gone to many interesting places.
coffee beans in a grinder

grind
You need to grind the coffee beans before you can make coffee with them.


ground
I groud some coffee beans this morning before I made a pot of coffee.


ground
I had already ground the coffee beans when I discovered that the coffee maker was broken.
lilac blossoms

grow
Many plants and flowers grow in the spring and summer.


grew
Lots of flowers grew in my garden this spring.


grown
The plants have grown a lot since April.
hanging up a coat in a closet

hang
Please hang your coat in the closet.


hung
I hung my coat in the closet when I came home today.


hung
Yes mom, I've hung up my coat.
a woman with her hands against her forehead
'IMG_4864' by Patrick Denker, taken from flickr


have

I have a headache.


had

I had a headache this morning too.


had

I have had this headache all day.
(yes, two forms of the verb have)
a rainy street scene
'Rainstorm of Dooooom!' by Hayley Bouchard, flickr


hear
I can hear the rain falling on the roof.


heard
I heard rain falling on the roof last night.


heard
All night I have heard rain falling on the roof.
a person with box over her head

hide

Let's hide in this box!


hid
She hid in the


hidden
I have never hidden in a box before!
a car accident
'IMG_0653' by wanderingone, taken from flickr


hit

I just saw a my brother's car hit another car.


hit

I know that his car hit a telephone pole last month.


hit

His car has so many dents because he has hit so many things with it.
a man holding up a sign at a protest demonstration

hold
Please hold the sign up high so everyone can see it.


held

He held the sign up high so that everyone could see it.


held
He has held the sign for a long time.  I think that he is getting tired now.
a bandaged toe
'Hurt My Toe Pretty Bad' by allygirl520, from flickr


hurt
It hurts to walk today.  My toes hurt too much.


hurt
I hurt my toes yesterday when I accidentally dropped a rock on my foot.


hurt
I haven't hurt my toes this badly before.
sweaters and hats for sale

keep
Hats and sweaters keep you warm in the winter.


kept
My favorite hat kept my head warm all winter.



kept
My old hat has kept my head warm for many winters.
statue of a little girl who is praying
'Kneeling Girl Statue' by David Jonze, from flickr


kneel

She kneels when she prays.


knelt / kneeled

She knelt down to pray.
She kneeled down to pray.


knelt / kneeled

She has knelt and prayed for an hour.
She has kneeled and prayed for an hour.
knitting with grey wool

knit
I like to knit while I watch TV.


knitted / knit
Last month I knit my brother a scarf.
Last month I knitted my brother a scarf.


knitted / knit
I have knit three scarves this month.
I have knitted three scarves this month.
saxophone players marching in a parade

know
Do you know how to play a musical instrument?  I know how to play a saxophone.



knew
Because she knew how to play the saxophone, she was asked to join the band.


known
She has known how to play the saxophone since she was ten years old.
conductor of an orchestra
_23C5217 by usarmyband, from flickr


lead

The conductor leads the orchestra.


led

He led the orchestra during last night's performance.


led

The new conductor has led the orchestra for the past few months.
two frogs on a rock

leap
Frogs leap.


leapt / leaped
The frog leaped into the water.
The frog leapt into the water.


leapt / leaped
The frog had leaped into the water
The frog had leapt into the water
a pair of shoes and a pair of boots
'Shoeplex' by cogdogblog, taken from flickr


leave

Please leave your dirty shoes by the door
when you come inside.


left
I left my shoes by the door last night when I came home.


left
I have left my shoes by the door.....
a pair of red mittens

lend

Could you lend me a pair of mitts? I've lost mine and my hands are cold.


lent

I need to return the pair of mitts that she lent me last week.


lent

She has lent me a pair of mitts once or twice before.
a dog standing outside a door
'Who let the dog out?' by toastforbrekkie, from flickr


let

Please let the dog in.


let

I let the dog in last time.  It's your turn.


let

I have already let the dog in.
cat lying on a carpet

lie
Sometimes my cat lies on the floor and watches me.


lay
Yesterday he lay on the floor and watched me while I read a book.


lain
He has lain in that spot quite often.  It seems to be his favorite place to lie.
drawing of a sad face

lie

Please tell the truth. Don't lie to me. 


lied

He lied when he said that he had finished his homework.


lied

He has lied to me too many times. I don't trust him anymore.
orange lit candles

light
We light candles on special occasions.


lit / lighted
We lit these candles an hour ago and they are still burning.
We lighted these candles an hour ago and they are still burning.


lit / lighted
We have lit candles on many special occasions.
We have lighted candles on many special occasions.
  lose
Did you lose your gloves again?
lost
I lost my gloves yesterday.
lost
I have lost my gloves again.
birthday cake with lots of candles on it

make
My daughter likes to make birthday cakes.


made
She made a delicious cake for her sister's birthday last month.


made
She has made many wonderful cakes for her friends' birthdays.
three women drinking Starbucks coffee
'starbucks-holic-s:))) by Laris.Sa*, flickr


meet

Let's meet at Starburcks tomorrow.


met

We met our  friends at Starbucks yesterday.


met

We have met there once a week since we went back to school.
a man with a lawn mower cutting a lot of grass
'Guy cutting Grass' by Joe Bielawa, taken from flickr


mow
He mows the lawn every Saturday morning.


mowed
He mowed the lawn last Saturday.


mowed / mown
He has mowed the lawn every Saturday all summer.
He has mown the lawn every Saturday all summer.
taking a credit card out of a wallet
US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd
Class LaTunya Howard, via Wikipedia Commons


pay

You have to pay your phone bill today.


paid

I paid my phone bill yesterday.


paid

I have paid all my bills on time this month.
putting dirty dishes into a dishwasher

put

Please put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.


put

Yesterday I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher after dinner.


put

I have put all the dirty dishes in the dishwasher just like you asked.
reading a newspaper that is behind glass, on the street

read
He reads the newspaper every day.


read
He read the newspaper yesterday.
[pronounced like red]


read
He has not read the newspaper yet today.
[pronounced like red]
many police on bicylcles

ride

Sometimes policemen ride bicycles.


rode

Yesterday they rode their bicycles down Yonge Street.


ridden
They have ridden bicycles .....
ringing the doorbell

ring
If you ring the doorbell someone should answer.


rang

I rang the doorbell twice.


rung

I have rung the doorbell twice but no one seems to be home.
two dogs running on a beach
'Run' by DieselDemon, taken from flickr


run
Dogs like to run.


ran
The dogs ran on the beach yesterday morning.


run
The dogs have run on the beach every morning this week.
two women talking
'Fairground Conversation' by garryknight, from flickr


say

What did you say?


said

I didn't hear what you said.


said

I have said it over and over again and you're still not listening.
looking out a window to the city below

see
When I look out my window I can see most of the city.


saw
Yesterday I saw a hawk fly past my window.


seen
I have seen many interesting things from my window.
a woman selling eggs

sell
Every Saturday she sells eggs at the market.


sold
Yesterday she sold lots of eggs.


sold
She has sold eggs at the market for a few years now.
texting on an older cellphone
'sending mail to blog' by topgold, taken from flickr


send
I can send you an email.


sent

I sent you an email yesterday. 


sent

I have sent you three emails this week but I haven't heard  from you yet.
sun shining through the trees

shine

The sun shines through the trees.



shone
Yesterday afternoon the sun shone through the trees.


shone
The sun has shone brightly for most of the afternoon.
a child showing their loose bottom tooth
'LOOSE' by Robert S. Donovan, taken from flickr


show

He shows everyone his loose tooth.


showed

He showed his loose tooth to his teacher yesterday.


showed / shown
He has shown it to everyone he knows!
He has showed it to everyone he knows!
an open door

shut

Please shut the door after you leave.


shut

I shut the door behind me when I went out this morning.


shut

I had shut the door before I remembered that I didn't have my keys.
a woman singing with a microphone in her hand

sing
When we visit, she sings one of her favorite songs for us.


sang
She also sang for us last week.


sung
She has sung for us many times.
reading a newspaper while sitting on a bench in the park

sit
I like to sit in the park on a sunny day.


sat
Yesterday I sat on a bench in the park.


sat
I have sat on that bench many times this summer.
a woman sleeping while sitting in a chair

sleep
She sleeps a lot in the afternoon.


slept
Yesterday she slept all afternoon.


slept
She has slept all afternoon again today.
two men talking on a bench in the park
'Respect elders and listen to them', by Raman Sharma, flickr


speak

I tried to speak louder so he could hear me.


spoke

I spoke very loudly but he still didn't hear me.


spoken

You have spoken to him before  He seems to be able to hear you.
children learning to spell in school
'Teaching Spelling' by Moving Mountains Trust, flickr


spell

Children learn to spell in school.


spelled / spelt
He was happy when he spelled all the words correctly on his spelling test.

He was happy when he spelt all the words correctly on his spelling test.


spelled / spelt
He has never spelled all the words correctly before.
He has never spelt all the words correctly before.
graffiti of a character holding some dollar bills

spend
How much money do you spend each week?


spent
Yesterday I spent a lot of money buying food for my family.


spent
I have spent more money on food since my brother came to visit.
spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread

spread
I usually use a knife to spread peanut butter on a piece of bread.


spread
Yesterday I spread the peanut butter with a knife.


spread
I have spread the peanut butter for you.
a group of sheep standing in the road

stand
The sheep like to stand in the road.


stood
They stood in the road yesterday too.


stood
They have stood there all morning.
a drawing of a thief running away from a house
[internet]


steal
Be careful.  Some people like to steal things like laptops and cameras.


stole
Yesterday someone stole my laptop.


stolen
Oh no! Someone has stolen my camera.
painting on a wall of a woman sweeping under the wall
photo by Szater via Wikimedia Commons


sweep

I sweep the kitchen floor every day after breakfast.


swept

I swept the floor yesterday.


swept

I have already swept the floor twice today.
ducks swimming in a pond

swim
We watched the ducks swim in the river.


swam
The ducks swam away from us when we splashed them.


swum
The ducks have swum closer to us since we started feeding them.
kids swinging on swings in a backyard

swing
Children like to swing on the swings at the playground.


swung
They swung at the playground yesterday.


swung
They have swung there many times.
taking a photograph with a camera

take
We like to take pictures with our new camera.


took
We took lots of pictures yesterday.


taken
We have taken lots of pictures since we bought the camera.
a teacher at the front of a class
'teaching a middle school class', by Rex Pe, from flickr


teach
She likes to teach English.


taught
She taught the same class last year.


taught
She has taught English in China and in the Philippines.
actors in a play
'Masked Trio' by Diana Blackwell, taken from flickr


tell
Many plays tell a story.


told
The play that we saw last night told the story of a king and his three daughters.


told
Plays have told stories for as long as people have been writing and acting in plays.
a man who looks like he is thinking
'Thinking RFID' by rkk, taken from flickr


think


thought


thought
throwing a snowball
'Throwing snowballs' by Andy Hay, taken from flickr


throw
It is fun to throw snowballs!


threw
He threw snowballs at his brother.


thrown
He had thrown snowballs ....
screenshot of the top of this page

understand

Do you understand how to use English verb tenses?


understood

Last week he studied until he understood the differences between all the verb tenses.


understood

He has understood English grammar much better since hestarted studying more.
a person asleep in a bed
'Day 91' by Perfecto Insecto, taken from flickr


wake

Wake up!  It's time to get ready for school.


woke

I woke up late this morning so I didn't have time for breakfast.


woken

I have woken up at 7 a.m. every morning this week.
a boy wearing ski clothes including a helmet

wear
My son wears a helmet when he goes skiing.


wore
He wore the helmet last winter too.


worn
He has worn a helmet since he learned how to ski.
men running a race
'Meb Winning the Race' by Randy Le'Moine, flickr


win
The fastest runner wins the race.


won
The same runner won yesterday's race.


won
He has won many races this month.
two students who are writing

write
Do you like to write letters?


wrote
Last night I wrote a long email to my sister.


written
I have written you twice this week but I haven't heard back from you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

grammar English stories verb tenses irregular

 

 

 

 

 

mcfc 2011