Regular verb vs. irregular verb

Andrew Dinu

In the realm of language, verbs plays an important role, and understanding their difference is necessary. Verbs are broadly categorized as regular and irregular, each with its own set of rules. Let’s break down the definitions, look at examples, and explore the practical differences between regular and irregular verbs, using simple tables for clarity.

What are Regular and Irregular Verbs?

Regular Verbs:

Regular verbs stick to predictable patterns when conjugated. In the past tense, they usually add “-ed” to the base form, making the process more systematic.


  • Infinitive: to walk
  • Past Tense: walked
  • Present Perfect: have walked

Irregular Verbs:

Irregular verbs don’t follow the standard conjugation rules. They undergo unique changes in their base forms when moving between tenses, requiring some memorization.


  • Infinitive: to go
  • Past Tense: went
  • Present Perfect: have gone

Examples of Regular and Irregular Verbs

Let’s look at examples from various tenses through straightforward tables:

1. Simple Present Tense:

Regular Verb:

InfinitiveSimple Present Tense
to playI play
to studyHe studies
to danceShe dances

Irregular Verb:

InfinitiveSimple Present Tense
to beI am
to haveYou have
to doThey do

2. Simple Past Tense:

Regular Verb:

InfinitiveSimple Past Tense
to laughI laughed
to callShe called
to jumpWe jumped

Irregular Verb:

InfinitiveSimple Past Tense
to swimI swam
to eatHe ate
to driveThey drove

3. Present Perfect Tense:

Regular Verb:

InfinitivePresent Perfect Tense
to workI have worked
to playShe has played
to studyWe have studied

Irregular Verb:

InfinitivePresent Perfect Tense
to goI have gone
to writeShe has written
to breakThey have broken

What’s the Differences Between Regular and Irregular Verbs?

  1. Conjugation Patterns:
    • Regular Verbs: Follow predictable patterns, adding “-ed” for the past tense.
    • Irregular Verbs: Have unique changes, demanding some memorization.
  2. Predictability:
    • Regular Verbs: Conjugations are systematic and follow consistent rules.
    • Irregular Verbs: Conjugations are less predictable, requiring individual memorization.
  3. Base Form Changes:
    • Regular Verbs: Maintain a consistent base form across tenses.
    • Irregular Verbs: Undergo base form changes when shifting between tenses.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Regular and Irregular Verbs

Navigating through regular and irregular verbs might bring up a bunch of questions. Let’s clear things up with some commonly asked questions in a simple, easy-to-understand way.

Q1: What makes regular and irregular verbs different?

The main difference is in how they change when we use them in different tenses. Regular verbs follow a set pattern, adding “-ed” for the past tense. Irregular verbs, on the other hand, don’t play by those rules, and their past forms can be a bit quirky, requiring some memory work.

Q2: How do I spot a regular verb?

If you see a verb with an “-ed” tagged onto it for the past tense, it’s likely a regular one. For instance, “walk” becomes “walked.”

Q3: What are the key differences between regular and irregular verbs?

Regular verbs, like “to walk,” follow predictable “-ed” patterns in conjugation, providing systematic structure. In contrast, irregular verbs, such as “to go,” undergo unique base form changes, demanding memorization and adding variety to language use.

Q4: Do irregular verbs follow a specific pattern?

Nope, irregular verbs don’t stick to a particular pattern like regular ones do. Each irregular verb has its own way of changing in different tenses, so you’ve got to memorize them individually.

Q5: Can a verb be both regular and irregular?

No, a verb falls into one camp or the other. Regular verbs consistently follow the rules, while irregular ones do their own thing.

Q6: Tips for remembering irregular verbs?

Make flashcards, come up with memory tricks, tie verbs to specific stories or situations, and practice regularly. The more you work with them, the easier they stick.


In a conclusion, regular verbs follow a simple pattern – just slap on “-ed” for the past tense. On the flip side, irregular verbs march to their own beat, demanding a bit of memory work to navigate their twists and turns in different tenses.