This page contains just one section of the FREE 47-page Giant Verb List PDF found here. The PDF version contains the Giant Verb List, the Giant Irregular Verb List, a Helping Verbs List, and a Linking Verbs List. Also, if you teach beginning writers or struggling writers, be sure to check out Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay on the homepage. I hope you find the verb list to be a valuable resource and tweet it, Pin-It, and tell others about it!
Columns: Understanding Irregular Verbs and Regular Verbs
Traditionally, verbs have four principal parts: present, past, past participle, and present participle. However, irregular verb lists often have just three columns. Please note that the three columns often have different names as illustrated by the use of a.k.a.
|a.k.a. Simple Present|
a.k.a. Base Verb
a.k.a. Bare Infinitive
|a.k.a. Simple Past|
The reason why so many irregular verb lists have just these three columns is because these three columns provide all the information a person needs to understand irregular verbs. The present tense (bare infinitive) is the true base verb, and the past tense and the past participle are the columns where nearly all the irregularities occur.
These three columns are all a person needs to understand irregular verbs. However, if a person wants to understand verbs in general, or if a teacher wants students to understand both regular and irregular verbs—more columns are needed!
Using the following list of 207 irregular verbs, teachers can teach all the inflections that create all the verb tenses, while also teaching irregular verbs. In short, the list SHOWS, NOT TELLS.
Verb Spelling Changes and Spelling Rules
It should be no surprise that we add three different suffixes (–ed, –ing, and –s) to the base verb in order to create a variety of verb tenses. Unfortunately, sometimes we cannot just slap these suffixes onto the end of the base verb. Often, we must follow one of a few different spelling rules. Please note, in the FREE 47-page Giant Verb List PDF, I go into detail over the spelling rules that affect verbs when we add suffixes to them. In short, we have four spelling rules and a few rule breakers. You will notice a variety of numbers and marks next to the irregular verbs listed below. Here’s the short version of what they represent:
(1) Drop the final –e and add…
(2) Double the final consonant
(3) Change the y to i and add…
(4) Add –es; not –s
(RB) Rule Breakers
Irregular Verbs vs. Verbs with Spelling Rule Changes
What’s the difference between an irregular verb and a verb that changes because of a spelling rule?
• Spelling Change: Spelling changes follow a common spelling rule. Please look at the list of 3,250 verbs and examine the numbers next to them, along with the list of spelling rules. We use this same spelling-rule number system moving forward.
• Irregular Verbs: Irregular verbs have changes that are strange or random. Many or most of these irregular verbs are living dinosaurs from our Old English past.
QUIZ: With the base word do, is the inflection does irregular or the result of a spelling-rule change? Did you have to think about it for at least a moment? You can find the answer on the irregular verb list that follows!
The Table: Regular Verbs, Irregular Verbs and Spelling-Rule Changes
The following table has six columns in which we examine four aspects of regular and irregular verbs:
1. Regular Verbs – No Spelling Changes
2. Regular Verbs – Has Spelling Changes
3. Irregular Verbs – No Spelling Changes
4. Irregular Verbs – Has Spelling Changes
|Infinitive||Present #1||Present #2||Past||Past Participle||Present Participle|
|( to )||( Base )||( –s )||( –ed )||( –ed )||( –ing **)|
|1. Regular Verbs – No Spelling Changes|
|2. Regular Verbs – Has Spelling Changes|
|to bat||bat||bats||batted 2||batted 2||batting 2|
|3. Irregular Verbs – No Spelling Changes|
|to feel||feel||feels||felt IR*||felt IR*||feeling|
|4. Irregular Verbs – Has Spelling Changes|
|to do||do||does 4||did IR*||done IR*||doing|
** It’s wise to think of column 6 as the –ing form or column, as –ing words function both as present participles and as gerunds. Gerunds never function as verbs, so I did not add the word to the column.
As you can see, only column 4 (simple past tense) and column 5 (past participles) have irregular verbs (marked IR*). Spelling-rule changes (marked with numbers) do not make a verb irregular.
Verbals and Columns 1, 5, and 6
In order to understand columns 1, 5, and 6, you must have a basic understanding of the three verbals: infinitives, participles, and gerunds. Verbals look like verbs, but they act like a very different part of speech:
1. Infinitives (affect column 1): Infinitives function as or act like adverbs, adjectives, or nouns.
2. Participles (affect column 5 and 6): Participles function as or act like adjectives. We have two types of participles: past participles (column 5) and present participles (column 6). To be clear, both types of participles function as adjectives.
3. Gerunds (affect column 6): Gerunds function as or act like nouns.
Are these VERBAL THINGS still considered verbs? In my opinion, they should not be. If it doesn’t act like a verb or function like a verb, in my opinion, it is not a verb. Some bold grammarians do say VERBALS ARE NOT VERBS. Most people just avoid the issue or hedge and say, “Well, they still retain some verb qualities.”
Important Note: Columns 2-6 all have the ability to function as verbs. Column 1 can never function as a verb; it always functions as a verbal. Columns 5-6 can function as both a verb and a verbal.
The Six Columns of a Verb: An Expanded Version of the Four Principal Parts
Traditionally, verbs have four principal parts: present, past, past participle, and present participle. The following six columns provide (in my proud opinion) a much clearer picture of these principal parts. Remember, just because it looks like a verb does not mean it functions or acts like a verb.
1. Infinitive: This form is “to + the base form.” (Of course, there are a few exceptions.) An infinitive never functions as a verb.
Verbal #1 – Infinitives: Infinitives always function as an infinitive verbal. Infinitives function as or act like adverbs, adjectives, or nouns. e.g., Everyone wanted to eat. (to eat = noun)
2. Present #1 (a.k.a. Simple Present Tense, Base Form, and Bare Infinitive): This base form always functions as a verb. This base verb is used with these pronouns: I, you, they, and we. In short, this base form (simple present) is used with first person, second person, and third person plural.
Some people call this base form the infinitive. However, why call it the same thing as column 1? It creates confusion. Call it the bare infinitive, base form, present, or simple present tense, but don’t call it the infinitive. (If someone calls it the infinitive, clarify what he or she means.) e.g., They bake a cake every Sunday.
3. Present #2 (a.k.a. Simple Present Tense): This inflected –s form always functions as a verb. This is simple present form just like column 2. In fact, I’ve never seen a list of verbs that creates a separate column for this –s form. They simply add the –s in parentheses to column 2: e.g., read(s), throw(s) etc. In short, there is no Present #1 and Present #2 except in this here model that I have created. The difference is that Present #2 is used with these pronouns: he, she, and it. So, Present #2 is used with third person singular. e.g., Jim bakes a cake every Sunday.
4. Past (a.k.a. Simple Past Tense): This inflected –ed form always functions as a verb. Warning: Nearly all simple past tense verbs and past participles (column 5) are spelled the same. The only way to tell if a word is simple past tense or a past participle is to analyze how it is used. e.g., Jim baked a cake.
5. Past Participle: Past participles need at least one helping verb (has, have, had) to function as a verb. Together, the helping verb(s) and past participle form a verb phrase, and the past participle is the MAIN VERB of both the verb phrase and of the sentence. e.g., The wood had rotted.
Verbal #2 – Participles: Both past participles (column 5) and present participles (column 6) can be used as a participle verbal. Participles as verbals function not as verbs, but as adjectives. In my book, if it functions as an adjective, it is an adjective e.g., The rotted wood crumbled. (rotted = adjective)
6. Present Participle (–ing Form**): Present participles need at least one helping verb (am, is, are) to function as a verb. Together, the helping verb(s) and present participle form a verb phrase, and the present participle is the MAIN VERB of both the sentence and the verb phrase. e.g., I am running.
Verbal #2 Participles (function as adjectives) and Verbal #3 Gerunds (function as nouns): The –ing Form can be used as two different types of verbals: (present) participles and gerunds. e.g., Participle: The running man fell. (running = adjective) e.g., Gerund: Running is excellent exercise. (running = noun)
The Six Verb Columns in Table Form
The following table contains most of the information that appears in the numbered list above. ** Nearly all irregulars occur in columns 4 and 5.
-Simple Present Tense
-Simple Past Tense
|-Past Participle||-Present Participle|
|** Irregulars||** Irregulars|
|to + base||base||Add –s||Add –ed||Add –ed||Add –ing|
|Used only as a verbal – never functions as a verb.||I, you, they, we|
First person, second person, and third person plural
|he, she, it|
Third person singular
|I, you, they, we |
he, she, it.
|Acts as a verb when used with helping verbs (have, has, had). Also acts as a verbal: participle.||Acts as a verb when used with helping verbs (am, is, are). Also acts as two kinds of verbals: participle and gerund.|
|to run||run||runs||** ran||** ran||running|
A Couple Notes…
Irregular Verbs with Two Versions: e.g., burned / burnt
We have about 29 irregular verbs with two versions similar to burned / burnt. With each of these two-version irregular verbs, there is a story behind it, a debate going on, or a transition taking place. You must research each occurrence if wish to know what is going on. I did! For each two-version verb, there is a valid explanation for why the situation exists. As a rule, the first one (e.g., burned) is the more common version in the United States. When one of these two versions eventually wins the war, the other version will become archaic. I’ve marked a couple archaic versions as AR.
#3 Be and #66 Have
Take special notice of these two irregular verbs. They are both extremely common and don’t follow even the rules of irregular verbs.
In one sense, irregular verbs with prefixes are are repeats of the irregular base verbs. However, many students can use a refresher in prefixes, so I’ve included a number of them (for–, mis–, over–, re–, un–, under–, with–, and more).Have you checked out Pattern Based Writing: Quick & Easy Essay yet? It’s the fastest, most effective way to teach organized multi-paragraph essay writing to students! Guaranteed!
Giant Irregular Verb List: 207 Irregular Verbs
|1. Inf.||2. Present #1 |
|3. Present #2||4. Past||5. Past Participle||6. Present Participle|
|1. to||arise||arises||arose||arisen||arising 1|
|2. to||awake||awakes||awoke||awoken||awaking 1|
|3. to be||(be) am / are||is||was / were||been||being 1-RB|
|6. to||become||becomes||became||become||becoming 1|
|7. to||begin||begins||began||begun||beginning 2|
|9. to||bend||bends||bent (AR bended)||bent (AR bended)||bending|
|10. to||beset||besets||beset||beset||besetting 2|
|11. to||bet||bets||bet||bet||betting 2|
|12. to||bid||bids||bid / bade||bid / bidden 2||bidding 2|
|14. to||bite||bites||bit||bitten||biting 1|
|22. to||burn||burns||burned / burnt||burned / burnt||burning|
|26. to||catch||catches 4||caught||caught||catching|
|27. to||choose||chooses||chose||chosen||choosing 1|
|29. to||come||comes||came||come||coming 1|
|32. to||cut||cuts||cut||cut||cutting 2|
|34. to||dig||digs||dug||dug||digging 2|
|35. to||dive||dives||dived / dove||dived||diving 1|
|36. to||do||does 4||did||done||doing|
|38. to||dream||dreams||dreamed / dreamt||dreamed / dreamt||dreaming|
|40. to||drive||drives||drove||driven||driving 1|
|47. to||fit||fits||fit||fit||fitting 2|
|48. to||flee||flees||fled||fled||fleeing 1-RB|
|50. to||fly||flies 3||flew||flown||flying|
|51. to||forbid||forbids||forbade||forbidden||forbidding 2|
|52. to||forgo||forgoes 4||forewent||foregone||forgoing|
|53. to||foresee||foresees||foresaw||foreseen||foreseeing 1-RB|
|55. to||forget||forgets||forgot||forgotten 2||forgetting 2|
|56. to||forgive||forgives||forgave||forgiven||forgiving 1|
|57. to||forsake||forsakes||forsook||forsaken||forsaking 1|
|58. to||freeze||freezes||froze||frozen||freezing 1|
|59. to||get||gets||got||got / gotten 2||getting 2|
|60. to||give||gives||gave||given||giving 1|
|61. to||go||goes 4||went||gone||going|
|64. to||handwrite||handwrites||handwrote||handwritten||handwriting 1|
|65. to||hang||hangs||hung (hanged)||hung (hanged)||hanging|
|66. to||have||has RB||had||had||having 1|
|68. to||hide||hides||hid||hidden||hiding 1|
|69. to||hit||hits||hit||hit||hitting 2|
|73. to||kneel||kneels||knelt / kneeled||knelt / kneeled||kneeling|
|74. to||knit||knits||knit / knitted 2||knit / knitted 2||knitting 2|
|78. to||leap||leaps||leaped / leapt||leaped / leapt||leaping|
|79. to||learn||learns||learned / learnt||learned / learnt||learning|
|80. to||leave||leaves||left||left||leaving 1|
|82. to||let||lets||let||let||letting 2|
|83. to||lie||lies||lay||lain||lying 1-RB|
|84. to||light||lights||lighted / lit||lighted / lit||lighting|
|85. to||lose||loses||lost||lost||losing 1|
|86. to||make||makes||made||made||making 1|
|92. to||misspell||misspells||misspelled / misspelt||misspelled / misspelt||misspelling|
|93. to||mistake||mistakes||mistook||mistaken||mistaking 1|
|94. to||mow||mows||mowed||mowed / mown||mowing|
|95. to||outrun||outruns||outran||outrun||outrunning 2|
|97. to||overcome||overcomes||overcame||overcome||overcoming 1|
|98. to||overdo||overdoes 4||overdid||overdone||overdoing|
|101. to||overtake||overtakes||overtook||overtaken||overtaking 1|
|107. to||prove||proves||proved||proved / proven||proving 1|
|108. to||put||puts||put||put||putting 2|
|109. to||quit||quits||quit||quit||quitting 2|
|114. to||reset||resets||reset||reset||resetting 2|
|115. to||retake||retakes||retook||retaken||retaking 1|
|116. to||reteach||reteaches 4||retaught||retaught||reteaching|
|119. to||rewrite||rewrites||rewrote||rewritten||rewriting 1|
|120. to||rid||rids||rid / ridded 2||rid||ridding 2|
|121. to||ride||rides||rode||ridden||riding 1|
|123. to||rise||rises||rose||risen||rising 1|
|124. to||run||runs||ran||run||running 2|
|125. to||saw||saws||sawed||sawed / sawn||sawing|
|127. to||see||sees||saw||seen||seeing 1-RB|
|131. to||set||sets||set||set||setting 2|
|132. to||sew||sews||sewed||sewed / sewn||sewing|
|133. to||shake||shakes||shook||shaken||shaking 1|
|134. to||shave||shaves||shaved||shaved / shaven||shaving 1|
|136. to||shed||sheds||shed||shed||shedding 2|
|137. to||shine||shines||shone / shined||shone / shined||shining 1|
|139. to||show||shows||showed||shown / showed||showing|
|141. to||shut||shuts||shut||shut||shutting 2|
|144. to||sit||sits||sat||sat||sitting 2|
|147. to||slide||slides||slid||slid||sliding 1|
|149. to||slit||slits||slit||slit||slitting 2|
|150. to||sneak||sneaks||sneaked / snuck||sneaked / snuck||sneaking|
|151. to||sow||sows||sowed||sowed / sown||sowing|
|154. to||spell||spells||spelled (AR spelt)||spelled (AR spelt)||spelling|
|156. to||spill||spills||spilled / spilt||spilled / spilt||spilling|
|157. to||spin||spins||spun||spun||spinning 2|
|158. to||spit||spits||spit / spat||spit||spiting|
|159. to||split||splits||split||split||splitting 2|
|161. to||spring||springs||sprang / sprung||sprung||springing|
|167. to||stride||strides||strode||stridden||striding 1|
|168. to||strike||strikes||struck||struck||striking 1|
|170. to||strive||strives||strove||striven||striving 1|
|171. to||sublet||sublets||sublet||sublet||subletting 2|
|173. to||sweat||sweats||sweat / sweated||sweat / sweated||sweating|
|175. to||swell||swells||swelled||swelled / swollen||swelling|
|176. to||swim||swims||swam||swum||swimming 2|
|178. to||take||takes||took||taken||taking 1|
|179. to||teach||teaches 4||taught||taught||teaching|
|183. to||thrive||thrives||thrived / throve||thrived||thriving 1|
|188. to||undercut||undercuts||undercut||undercut||undercutting 2|
|189. to||undergo||undergoes 4||underwent||undergone||undergoing|
|191. to||undertake||undertakes||undertook||undertaken||undertaking 1|
|192. to||undo||undoes 4||undid||undone||undoing|
|195. to||upset||upsets||upset||upset||upsetting 2|
|196. to||wake||wakes||woke / waked||woken / waked||waking 1|
|198. to||weave||weaves||weaved / wove||weaved / woven||weaving 1|
|199. to||wed||weds||wed||wed||wedding 2|
|207. to||write||writes||wrote||written||writing 1|