Jan 262013

In this episode of iswearenglish 100: Formation and Use of Tenses in English series you can learn about how to form and use the Past Simple (Irregular Verbs).

How To Form The Past Simple with irregular verbs:

1st Column
2nd Column
Past Simple Affirmitive
3rd Column
Past Participle
eat ate eaten
become became become

To form the past simple affirmative of an irregular verb, take a subject and after that put the word in the second column of the irregular verb table. Like this we get: I ate. To construct negative sentences, take a subject, then put the auxiliary did, next put not and finally put the word in the first column of the irregular verb table, which is the same as the compliment of the verb. Do not Use column 2 for this. Like this we get: I did not eat. To make questions use the auxiliary did, followed by a subject, followed by the word in the first column (the compliment). Like this we get: Did I eat? If you wish you can put a question word before to give: What did you eat? The table below shows the form of the past simple for irregular verbs:

Affirmative Negative Interrogative
I ate I did not eat Did I eat?
You ate You did not eat Did you eat?
He ate He did not eat Did he eat?
She ate She did not eat Did she eat?
It ate It did not eat Did it eat?
We ate We did eat Did we eat?
You ate You did not eat Did you eat?
They ate They did not eat Did they eat?

How to form the past simple with irregular verbs. OK the irregular verbs for example to eat: eat, ate, eaten. They normally come in 1… 2… 3… columns. The first column is the compliment, the infinitive without to. The second column is for the past simple and in this tense we need to use the words from the second column. How to use them I will explain more in a minute. The third column is the past participle and for other tenses. SO, for past simple column 2. So to make affirmative statements in the past simple with irregular verbs, take a subject I and then the word from column 2. I ate. Eat, ate, eaten, column 2. I ate, you ate, he ate, she ate, it ate, we ate, you ate, they ate. And this is the only place where we use column 2. To make negatives we use the auxiliary did, followed by not, followed by the compliment of the verb. Column 1. So to make past statements in the negative with irregular verbs, I did not eat, column 1. I did not eat, column 1. Not I did not ate, no. I did not eat, you did not eat, he did not eat, she did not eat, we did not eat, you did not eat, they did not (or didn’t) eat. To make questions invert the position of the subject and the auxiliary did. Did I eat? Again column 1. OK? Did you eat? Did he eat? Did she eat? Did it eat? Did we eat? Did you eat? Did they eat? So notice we only use the irregular part for affirmative statements, I ate. Negative, no, did I eat, no that’s a question, in the negative I didn’t eat. I got those the wrong way round, OK? So… the second column for affirmative statements only. So, for example write. Write, wrote, written. I wrote, but in the negative, I didn’t write. Understand, I understood in the positive, but negative, I didn’t understand. SO remember when making the past simple, use the second column (eat, ATE, understand, UNDERSTOOD) for positive formation. So, I’ll see you in the next video and we’ll learn some more. See you soon.

Irregular verbs:
There are several groups of irregular verbs that behave in the same way. If you can remember the pattern it will help you to learn some of the verbs.

1st Column 2nd Column 3rd Column
Pattern 1 Bring Brought Brought
Buy Bought Bought
Catch Caught Caught
Pattern 2 Drink Drank Drunk
Sink Sank Sunk
Sing Sang Sung
Pattern 3 Choose Chose Chosen
Loose Lost Lost
Freeze Froze Frozen
Pattern 4 Bleed Bled Bled
Feed Fed Fed
Read Read Read
Pattern 5 Blow Blew Blown
Grow Grew Grown
Fly Flew Flown
Pattern 6 Deal Delt Delt
Feel Felt Felt
Keep Kept Kept
Pattern 7 Bet Bet Bet
Cut Cut Cut
Set Set Set

The following table is a list of the most common irregular verbs in English, it is highly reccommended that you learn it:

1st Column 2nd Column 3rd Column
be was/were been
become became become
begin began begun
blow blew blown
break broke broken
bring brought brought
build built built
burst burst burst
buy bought bought
catch caught caught
choose chose chosen
come came come
cost cost cost
cut cut cut
deal delt delt
do did done
drink drank drunk
drive drove driven
eat ate eaten
fall fell fallen
feed fed fed
feel felt felt
fight fought fought
find found found
fly flew flown
forbid forbade forbidden
forget forgot forgotten
forgive forgave forgiven
freeze froze frozen
get got got/gotten
give gave given
go went gone
grow grew grown
have had had
hear heard heard
hide hid hidden
hit hit hit
hold held held
hurt hurt hurt
keep kept kept
know knew known
lay laid laid
lead led led
leave left left
let let let
lie lay lain
lose lost lost
make made made
meet met met
pay paid paid
put put put
quit quit quit
read read read
ride rode ridden
ring rang rung
rise rose risen
run ran run
say said said
see saw seen
seek sought sought
sell sold sold
send sent sent
set set set
shake shook shaken
shine shone shone
sing sang sung
sit sat sat
sleep slept slept
speak spoke spoken
spend spent spent
spring sprang sprung
stand stood stood
steal stole stolen
swim swam swum
swing swang swung
take took taken
teach taught taught
tear tore torn
tell told told
think thought thought
throw threw thrown
understand understood understood
wake woke woken
wear wore worn
win won won
write wrote written

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