When it’s the question of learning English, beginner English learners or ESL (English as a second language) pursuers often get confused with terms like “regular” or ”Irregular” verbs. Well, that’s pretty common to make you scared if you are not familiar with these terms.
Don’t worry if you are one of them. In the next few minutes, this post is going to be one of your favorite ones. Although I covered these topics in one or two of my earlier posts, this one is going to be a bit in-depth difference between regular and irregular verbs in English. You may follow the links below to find those previous posts.
Now let’s begin with the topic at hand.
Are you familiar with the term “Inflection”?
You have surely noticed changes in the form of a word or words to indicate or express different grammatical functions like the number, person, gender, tense, mood etc. Such a process of changing the form of a word or words (verbs in this case) to express different tenses, number (singular or plural) or persons (1st person, 2nd person and 3rd person) is called “inflection”.
“Inflecting verbs” are nothing different. It’s actually the process of altering the verb forms in respect of number, person, tenses, and participle.
Example: (Regular verbs) He adds spice to his dish, She added honey to her milk.
(Irregular verbs) She broke her leg, She has come to meet you.
Now how to differentiate between regular and irregular verbs examples?
These inflecting verbs are of two types.
Won’t you like to know more of the Regular and Irregular Verbs in the English language?
There are many verbs that follow an established pattern to form different tenses in the English language. These verbs are used in this way:
How to form Present Tense with regular verbs:
In the chart above, the column for “Present Tense” contains two forms for each of the basic forms of the regular verbs mentioned. Such as “change/changes”. Such forms are used in the Simple present Tense. In the mentioned column the basic forms of the verbs add “s”, “es”, “ies” only when the subjects are in the 3rd person singular number. Such as “He loves flowers”, “She dresses tastefully” etc.
Verbs ending with “e” or a consonant just add “s” to construct forms like “add-adds”, ”change-changes” etc.
Verbs that don’t end with “e” but with a vowel or “ch”,”sh”,”x”, “z” and “s” do add “es” to construct such verb forms like “go-goes”, ”do-does” , “teach-teaches”, “punish-punishes”, “fix-fixes”, “buzz-buzzes”, “pass-passes” etc.
Verbs ending with a “y” preceded by a consonant add “ies” in place of the “y” like “fly-flies”,”certify-certifies” etc. but when the “y” is preceded by a vowel, only an “s” is added to the basic form like “play-plays”, “pray-prays” etc.
You may visit the following link for other forms of the Present Tense.
How to form Past Tense with regular verbs:
In the column above for “Past Tense,” only a single form is suggested for the basic forms of the regular verbs and the formation of the Simple Past Tense is quite simple. The same form of the past tense is used for all the three persons and numbers.
Verbs that don’t end with “e” but with a vowel or a consonant, add “ed” to the basic form to construct the past forms like “respect-respected”, “ask-asked” etc.
And verbs ending with “e” do add just “d” to indicate their past forms like “change-changed”, “increase-increased” etc.
Verbs ending with a “y” preceded by a consonant add “ied” in place of the “y” like “hurry-hurried”, “carry-carried” etc. but when the “y” is preceded by a vowel, “ed” is added to the basic forms of the regular verbs such as “obey-obeyed”, “ray-rayed” etc.
You may visit the following link for other forms of the Past Tense.
How to construct the Participle form with regular verbs:
The Past Participle is the third form of the basic verb that is used in different syntactical forms of both the Present and the Past Tense.
You may follow the same rules as mentioned above to form the Past Participle of the regular verbs.
Constructing the Present Participles of the regular verbs
The column for the “Present Participle” in the chart above suggests –
The basic forms of the regular verbs that don’t end with “e” but with a vowel or a consonant, add “ing” in their Present Participle forms like “add-adding”, ”dress-dressing” etc.
Regular verbs ending with “e” replace the “e” with an “ing” at their end to construct their Present Participle forms like “love-loving”, ”change-changing” etc.
Regular verbs that end in “y” just add “ing” at their ends to make their Present Participle forms like “carry-carrying”, “fly-flying” etc.
You may consider this book for the in-depth study of Regular and Irregular verbs. This book gives a general idea of how to identify, use and differentiate between regular and irregular verbs in English along with their examples. This book is helpful for teachers as well.
Now let’s proceed to our next topic of
There are many verbs in the English language that don’t follow the established pattern mentioned above. In fact, there are no fixed rules to construct different forms of these verbs. These verbs are called Irregular Verbs.
Below are some the examples of such irregular verbs along with their different forms.
But keep in mind that the usage of both the regular and irregular verbs in syntactical constructions is the same. And now I think you have gained knowledge of both regular and irregular verbs in the English language and what the difference between regular and irregular verbs in English is.
Bye for now, have a good time.
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