Difference Between Regular and Irregular Verbs

Main Difference – Regular vs. Irregular Verbs

Verbs in the English language can be divided into two groups based on how they form their past and past participle forms. In simple words, it is easy to understand to which group a verb belongs by looking at their past tense form. Some verbs form the past tense by adding -ed ending to the verb. The verbs whose past and past participle forms are formed by adding –ed are known as regular verbs and the verbs whose past tenses are not formed by adding –ed to the verb are known as irregular verbs. The main difference between regular and irregular verbs is that regular verbs follow a regular conjugation pattern whereas irregular verbs follow different conjugation patterns.

What are Regular Verbs

Regular verbs are the verbs that follow a regular conjugation pattern. Most verbs in a language are regular. In English, regular verbs are the verbs that form their past tense and past participle by adding –ed to the ending of the verb. The table below shows some examples of regular verbs.

 Base

Past tense

Past participle

look

looked

looked

listen

listened

listened

work

worked

worked

kill

killed

killed

educate

educated

educated

enjoy

enjoyed

enjoyed

Sometimes regular verbs are considered as weak verbs. Weak verbs can be defined as verbs that from the past participle by adding -ed, -d, or -t to the base of the verb.Difference Between Regular and irregular verbs

What are Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs are the verbs that do not follow the verbs that do not follow a regular conjugation pattern. Unlike in regular verbs, the conjugation of the past tense and the past participle take a completely different form. Irregular verbs are sometimes known as strong verbs. You can observe some irregular verb formations in the table given below.

Base

Past Tense

Past participle

bleed

bled

bled

buy

bought

bought

fly

flew

flown

swim

swam

swam

choose

chose

chosen

arise

arose

arisen

drink

drunk

drunken

You’ll observe some irregular verbs (ex: bleed, buy, say, etc.) have the same form for both past tense and past participle, but some irregular verbs have different past tenses and past participle tenses.

In addition, most of the irregular verbs in the English language are derived from the verbs that existed in the Old English. Almost all the verbs that were borrowed into the language at a later stage have regular conjugations.Main Difference - Regular vs Irregular Verbs

Difference Between Regular and Irregular Verbs

Pattern

Regular verbs follow a regular conjugation pattern.

Irregular verbs do not follow a regular conjugation pattern.

Past formation

Regular verbs form their past tense and past participle by adding –ed to their endings.

Irregular verbs form do not form the past tenses by adding –ed to the endings.

Past tense and Past participle

Regular verbs have the same form for both past tense and past participle.

Irregular verbs can have either different forms or same forms for past tense and past participle.

History

In most cases, regular verbs are the verbs that were added later to the language.

Many irregular verbs are derived from the Old English, especially, Germanic strong verbs.Difference Between Regular and Irregular Verbs- infographic

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