Difference Between Drank and Drunk

Main Difference – Drank vs Drunk

Drank and drunk are related to the verb drink. Drink means to swallow a liquid. The main difference between drank and drunk is that drank is the past tense of drink whereas drunk is the past participle of drink. The meaning and usage of these verbs differ due to this grammatical variation. Although many people know the distinction between these two verbs, some people have problems with the usage of these two verbs. So, let’s look at the usage of these verbs in more detail.Difference Between Drank and Drunk - infographic

Drank – Meaning and Usage

Drank is the past tense of drink. You can use this verb when you want to construct a sentence in simple past tense.

He drank some water.

She drank too much last night.

Miriam drank two cups of coffee this morning.

I drank apple juice with breakfast.

In the above examples, you’ll note that drank always follows a noun or a pronoun. Drank is also the main verb in these sentences; it is not supported by any other verb.

It is also important to note that drank is sometimes used as the past participle of drink. Although this is not very common usage, it is not inaccurate.

Difference Between Drank and Drunk

She drank coffee.

Drunk – Meaning and Usage

Drunk is the past participle of drink. Since drunk is a past participle form, it cannot stand alone in a sentence; it is always supported by an auxiliary verb. Drunk can be found in perfect tenses or passive constructions.

She has drunk the whole bottle.

(She – subject, has -auxiliary verb, drunk – past participle)

Wine is drunk at meals.

(Wine – subject, is-auxiliary verb, drunk – past participle)

They have drunk all the water in the can.

(They- subject, have-auxiliary verb, drunk – past participle)

The famished man had drunk the whole soup before the meal.

(The famished man- subject, had-auxiliary verb, drunk – past participle)

Main Difference - Drank vs Drunk

They have drunk all the bottles.

As seen from these examples, drunk always follow an auxiliary verb. The best method to memorize the difference between drank and drunk is to remember that drunk cannot stand alone in a sentence. This is because participles act as adjectives in a sentence. They cannot convey a complete meaning without a supporting verb. For example, “She drunk all of the them” has no meaning, but if you add an auxiliary verb has, the sentence will convey a complete meaning. “She has drunk all of the them”.


Difference Between Drank and Drunk


Drank is the past tense of drink.

Drunk is the past participle of drink.


Drank is used in simple past sentences.

Drunk is used in perfect tenses or passive constructions.


Drank can stand alone in a sentence.

Drunk cannot stand alone in a sentence.

Auxiliary Verb

Drank cannot be used with an auxiliary verb.

Drunk is always used with an auxiliary verb.


Drank follows a noun or a pronoun.

Drunk follows an auxiliary verb.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

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