Today we are going to practice English irregular verbs. One of the fastest ways for an English language learner to build a more automatic understanding of spoken English is to listen to English being spoken. The more you listen, the more your brain pays attention. The more likely your brain is to understand that these new language sounds are important, and need to be stored away in long-term memory.
So today we are going to cover a tricky English language topic about irregular verbs. As always, there will be lots of examples and all spoken in native British English. Remember, the key to improving your English through listening is to focus on what you are hearing.
When you listen to one of our podcasts, you are not just trying to comprehend the meaning of the English words being used. This is the just the surface of what you are learning.
When you are focused and actually listening to the English words and sentences, you will start to hear the cadence of the sentence and spot where emphasis is used in a word. With repeat listening you will start to (subconsciously) hear where voiced and unvoiced consonants are being used. Your amazing brain will build up your English language pattern matching library. Ready for when you speak English.
By focusing on what you are hearing in our English language podcasts you are telling the pattern recognition specialist, your brain, to train itself on what the correct sounds are.
|The Simple Past
|The Past Tense
|The Verb To
|To Help You
Hi there and welcome to this podcast from Adept English. Our purpose is to help you with your English language learning, but in particular to help you arrive at being fluent in English. And that means lots of listening practice. If you want to automatically get English grammar right – then listen, listen, listen.
If you listen to enough English speaking, grammar will eventually become automatic for you – you’ll just get it right, without effort, without thinking about it. That’s what we’re aiming to help you do. If you like what we’re doing and you listen on Apple Podcasts – don’t forget to page down and give us a star rating – or even better, practise your written English and give us a review on there! Or on any of the platforms where you listen to Adept English - we’d be really happy if you did that!
So with all that in mind, today’s podcast. One of the things which English language learners find difficult – English verbs that are irregular in the past tense - these can be a ‘pain in the neck’ for language learners. That means they’re difficult. So let’s do some practice! First of all how do regular verbs go, in the simple past and the perfect tense? So here are some regular verbs and their regular past tenses:-
- The verb ‘to work’ – simple past tense ‘I worked’, perfect tense ‘I have worked’
- The verb ‘to follow’ – simple past tense ‘I followed’, perfect tense ‘I have followed’. One more?
- The verb ‘to open’ – simple past tense ‘I opened’, perfect tense ‘I have opened’.
So those ones are quite easy, aren’t they? You just add ED onto the end of the verb – and the past participle, that’s the ‘worked’ in ‘I have worked, or the ‘followed’ in ‘I have followed’ - it’s the same as the simple past ‘I worked’, ‘I followed’. But often in irregular verbs, the simple past and the past participle don’t just break the rule of ‘adding ED for the past tense’, but they also are different from each other too.
For example, the verb ‘to know’ – ‘I know’, in the present tense, KNOW becomes ‘I knew’ in the simple past tense and ‘I have known’ in the perfect tense. So ‘I knew Matthew when he was in school’ or ‘I have known Matthew for a long time.’ So the simple past tense is ‘knew’, KNEW and the past participle is ‘known’, KNOWN.
‘To know’ is a common verb, so you may be aware of this one, but let’s practise some other common verbs which are irregular in the past tense. English speaking practice tips - you have to hear the irregular verbs lots of times before you remember them automatically and use them yourself!
In these sentences, I’ll tell you what the verb is - for example ‘to speak’ or ‘to write’ and then I’ll give you a sentence which uses the simple past and the perfect tense, but I’ll say ‘mmmm’ where they go in the sentence. Your job is to see if you can say the correct part of the verb - the bit I’m missing out. So test yourself - see if you can remember the correct part of these irregular verbs, in the past tense.
- Verbs ‘to speak’ and ‘to write’. I have ….. with my uncle on the phone this morning and I have ….. him an email as well. (You can pause and replay if you need to.)
- Verbs ‘to speak’ and ‘to write’ again. I ….. with George on the phone yesterday and I ….. an email to his sister last week.
- Verb ‘to wear’, WEAR. ‘What did your sister …. to the theatre last time?’ ‘She …. a red dress that she hadn’t …… before.
- Verb ‘to stand’, STAND. ‘I ….. on the station platform in the same place that I had ….. previously. (And that’s in the past tense.)
- Verb ‘to take’. ‘I …… my dog for a walk last Wednesday without realising that my husband had already …… him out!'
- Verb ‘to begin’. ‘I had …… my study of Philosophy in school, aged 16 years. But I ….. my Philosophy degree in 2017.’
- Verb ’to drive’. ‘I …… my car for forty miles before recognising that I had ….. down that same road before.
- Verb ‘to do’. ‘Did you cut the grass?’ ‘Yes I ….. it yesterday - I hope I’ve …… it well enough for you.
A photograph of a man working as a wookd bench. English verbs, and the correct tense in today's English lesson.
OK. How did you find that? If it was easy, then great! If not, you might want to stop this podcast right here and go back to the beginning of the exercise and listen again. That will give you another chance to do the quiz before I tell you the answers. And I will tell you the answers in a minute, because it’s important that you hear them - because that’s how you learn.
But first of all, just a reminder that you can buy our Course One Activate Your Listening, on our website at adeptenglish.com. This course will introduce you to common vocabulary for three topics - Britain and the UK, food and education. The course also introduces you to English conversation - so you can practise your understanding of two people speaking and hear other people speak besides me.
Anyway, back to the quiz. Let me just say the answers to the quiz. It will help you to hear these irregular verbs being used - hearing them over and over makes your remembering them much more automatic.
- Verbs ‘to speak’ and ‘to write’. I have spoken with my uncle on the phone this morning and I have written him an email as well.
- Verbs ‘to speak’ and ‘to write’ again. I spoke with George on the phone yesterday and I wrote an email to his sister last week.
- Verb ‘to wear’, WEAR. ‘What did your sister wear to the theatre last time?’ ‘She wore a red dress that she hadn’t worn before.’
- Verb ‘to stand’, STAND. ‘I stood on the station platform in the same place that I had stood previously. (So that one’s the same!)
- Verb ‘to take’. ‘I took my dog out for a walk last Wednesday without realising that my husband had already taken him out!'
- Verb ‘to begin’. ‘I had begun my study of Philosophy in school, aged 16 years. But I began my Philosophy degree in 2017.’
- Verb ’to drive’. ‘I drove my car for forty miles before recognising that I had driven down that same road before.’
- Verb ‘to do’. ‘Did you cut the grass?’ ‘Yes, I did it yesterday - I hope I’ve done it well enough for your high standards!’
OK. So you may have found that really easy - or you may have found it more difficult. If you want to make using these irregular verbs in the past tense much easier, if you want to make it ‘automatic’ when you’re doing English speaking and you want to improve your speaking skills, then listen to this podcast a number of times - particularly the part where I give you the answers.
And then go back to the part where the questions are, to see if you can give the right answers. That will help it become more automatic.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy challenging yourself today with this - and being more active in the podcast. This will move you towards more advanced English speaking.
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.