What Are Regular Verbs? (with Examples)

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What Are Regular Verbs? (with Examples)

A regular verb is one that conforms to the usual rule for forming its simple past tense and its past participle.

In English, the "usual" rule is to add -ed or -d to the base form of the verb to create the past forms. However, there are some spelling rules to consider (see right).

Regular verbs contrast with irregular verbs which form their simple past tenses and past participles in a variety of ways.

Read more about irregular verbs.

With a regular verb, the simple past tense and the past participle are the same. For example:

Base FormSimple Past TensePast Participle
paintpainted has painted
yawnyawnedhas yawned
dancedancedhas danced

With irregular verbs, however, the past forms can be same or different. For example:

Base FormSimple Past TensePast Participle
runranhas run
growgrewhas grown
telltoldhas told
bleedbledhas bled

Regular Verbs Are Weak Verbs

A regular verb is a type of weak verb.

Be ware that a number of sources state that the terms regular verb and weak verb are synonyms (i.e., they mean the same). Likewise, they claim that the terms irregular verb and strong verb are synonyms.

It would be easier for us all if this were the only story. Unfortunately, here at Grammar Monster, we donít get to decide how to classify verbs. Still, here is a Venn diagram which explains the complicated version of how they are classified:

Your score:

Click on the regular verb:



SPELLING RULES FOR CREATING THE PAST FORMS OF REGULAR VERBS

For regular verbs, the simple past tense and past particle are formed like this:

Add "ed" to most verbs:
  • jump > jumped
  • paint > painted

If a verb of one syllable ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the final consonant and add "ed":
  • chat > chatted
  • stop > stopped

If the final consonant is w, x or y, don't double it:
  • sew > sewed
  • play > played
  • fix > fixed

If last syllable of a longer verb is stressed and ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the last consonant and add "ed":
  • incur > incurred
  • prefer > preferred

If the first syllable of a longer verb is stressed and the verb ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], just add "ed":
  • open > opened
  • enter > entered
  • swallow > swallowed

If the verb ends "e", just add "d":
  • thrive > thrived
  • guzzle > guzzled

If the verb ends [consonant + "y"], change the "y" to an "i" and add "ed":
  • cry > cried
  • fry > fried


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