20 Irregular Verbs To Make You A Better English Speaker With English Grammar Listening Practice Ep 506

A boy looking confused with a note stuck to his forehead. If you love learning English grammar, but hate learning all the little details, you'll love this podcast. We look at 20 irregular verbs that help you become a better English speaker.

📝 Author: Hilary

📅 Published:

💬 2476 words ⏳ Reading Time 13 min


Irregular Verbs Learned The Easy Way Through English Grammar Listening Practice

Today we listen and learn English irregular verbs. In just 15 minutes we are going to explain, with lots of examples, 20 of the most common irregular verbs. All you need to do is find your headphones and relax and listen. The best way to deal with these tricky verbs is to recognize them as they are being used. Lots of listening, and lots of examples of the verbs being used will help make you familiar with the past simple and past participle verb forms. See how well you do in the quiz, check the answers at the end and start listening!

English verbs are pretty straightforward until you get to irregular verbs. These are verbs that don’t use the usual -d, -ed, or -ied spelling or pronunciation for the past simple or past participle. You probably don’t really care about learning irregular verbs. Who does, really? The point is, you want to speak English fluently and make an impression on people with your English language skills. And for this, you will need to understand the past simple and past participle verb forms so your spoken English sounds right.

Now there are plenty of tables that list irregular verbs and their forms on the internet, and you could try to just learn them by remembering them with no context. This might work if you only wanted to write in English. However, when speaking in English, this type of memorisation is not that helpful.

The rules of English grammar are largely an artificial construct with little or no bearing on the language as it is spoke.
⭐ Ben Dylan Aaronovitch, Author, Scriptwriter

The good news is there is a simpler and more memorable way to learn irregular verbs. You just need to hear them being used, over and over, in sensible spoken examples. Lots of repeat listening practice of irregular verbs being used will help you recognize them when others are using them. Importantly, you will hear the correct form being used and you will notice when they are not correct.

Don’t forget that all of our lessons come with a free pdf transcript which you can download from our website right now.

Most Unusual Words:

Participle
Tense
Recap
Irregular
Memorisation
Pleasant

Most common 3 word phrases:

PhraseCount
In The Past10
Do You Find3
The Past Participle2
Form For The2
Test Yourself On2
Give You A2
One Form For2
Irregular Verb In2
The Verb To2
Used In The2

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Transcript: 20 Irregular Verbs To Make You A Better English Speaker With English Grammar Listening Practice

Do you find English verbs difficult? And in particular, do you find verbs in the past tense difficult? And do you find English verbs that are irregular in the past tense difficult? I bet you do. This is one of the areas which English language learners struggle most with, when they start to speak. So let’s give you some help on this today?

How about you sit with a cup of tea or a mug of coffee and do some English listening practice, which will help you with your speaking? And I’ll give you a quiz , so that you can test yourself on this.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

Let’s practise 20 common past tense irregular English verbs

So there are lots of very common English verbs that are irregular in the past tense - that means they don’t follow the normal pattern. What a pain in the neck! But rather than avoid them, let’s ‘take the bull by the horns’ as we say - and do some work on them. How about I quiz you, I give you a test on 20 of the most common English verbs that are irregular in the past tense? Then you can see how many you get right. And I’ll go through the answers, so that you’ll hear what is correct - and you’ll be more likely to remember it in future.

If you listen to this podcast a number of times, I think you will be better at speaking English, because some of those pesky irregular verbs in the past tense - well, they will have stuck in your mind! There’s one - it’s ‘to stick’, but in the past tense, it’s ‘stuck’.

A tiny grammar recap

So, a tiny grammar recap for you, a tiny bit of revision. Just skip forward 30 seconds if you don’t like grammar talk. You’ll learn it through listening anyway. Some verbs that are irregular in the past tense have just one form for both the simple past and the past participle, which is used in the present perfect tense.

Examples? So the verb ‘to pay’ - it’s ‘I paid’, or ‘I have paid’. Or the verb ‘to keep’ - it’s ‘I kept’ or ‘I have kept’. But other irregular verbs have one form for the simple past and another form for the past participle, as used in the past perfect tense. These are verbs like ‘to break’ which goes ‘I broke’, but ‘I have broken’ or ‘to drink’, which is ‘I drank’, but ‘I have drunk’. Get the idea? So I’m going to test you on a mix of these two types of irregular verb in the past tense.

3 Simple Rules for Using MODALS Correctly - Learning English Grammar

Test yourself on 20 common past tense verbs that are irregular

So here are the 20 sentences and 20 very, very common English verbs that are irregular in the past tenses. When it comes to the part of the sentence with the irregular verb in it, I’ll give you different options. You have to decide which one sounds correct for the verb! It might be ‘swim, swam or swum’, it might be ‘break, broke or broken’.Which one would you use, when you’re speaking? I’ll say each one twice.

  1. My horse gave me the runaround yesterday, when I tried to caught/catch her.
  2. I have choose/chose/chosen a necklace as a gift for my mother.
  3. How far can you swim/swam/swum? I have swim/swam/swum the English channel. (Not true!)
  4. On Wednesday last week, she give/gave/given me the key to her house.
  5. When did the window get break/broke/broken?
  6. I used to run/ran for the team at my school and I run/ran regularly with my dad before his accident.
  7. I have begin/began/begun to think that you’re not telling the truth!
  8. Who drink/drank/drunk all the whiskey? And someone has drink/drank/drunk all the gin too!
  9. What did you feel/felt, when you discovered you’d won the prize?
  10. She keep/kept that secret for forty years! And I have keep/kept that secret for ten years!
  11. I haven’t speak/spoke/spoken to my cousin since her wedding.
  12. Who eat/ate/eaten all the bread?
  13. He bring/brought lots of friends over for the party.
  14. Did I pay/paid with my credit card?
  15. Who’s do/did/done this beautiful painting?
  16. I have find/found that if I’m pleasant, I make lots of friends.
  17. My mother used to leave/left me with my auntie, when she went to work.
  18. You’ve forget/forgot/forgotten your suitcase and left it on the train!
  19. Have you hear/heard from your husband since Saturday?
  20. I drive/drove/driven round and round the area, before I eventually found the hotel.

📷

A boy trying to remember irregular verbs as he uses a laptop. How's your English? There’s no time like the present to improve your English skills, and there’s no better way to improve your English than with more listening practice.

©️ Adept English 2022


A reminder of the Most Common Five Hundred Words Course from Adept English

OK, how did you do at those sentences? Were they easy? Did you know automatically which word was correct? Or was it a bit more difficult? If you find that you’re struggling with common irregular verbs, you might benefit from our 500 Most Common Words Course.

Boost Your Learning With Adept English

Learn to speak English course 500 most common words product cover art.

If you take this course, there are a lot of verbs in the first, most common 500 words - and many of them are irregular. So if you do find yourself struggling with these, this course may help you. Look for the Most Common 500 Words Course on our website at adeptenglish.com

Answers to the test on 20 common past tense verbs that are irregular

Let’s do the correct answers now, so that they’ll stick in your mind.

  1. My horse gave me the runaround yesterday, when I tried to caught/catch her. (It’s ‘catch’ here because the verb that’s really in the past tense here is ‘tried’, ‘tried to catch’).
  2. I have choose/chose/chosen a necklace as a gift for my mother. (It must be either ‘I have chosen’ or ‘I chose’).
  3. How far can you swim/swam/swum? I have swim/swam/swum the English channel. (So the first one is again an infinitive ‘Can you swim?’ or ‘You can swim’. And the second one? It’s ‘I have’, so it must be ‘I have swum’).
  4. On Wednesday last week, she give/gave/given me the key to her house. (It’s ‘Wednesday last week’, so we need the past tense. There’s no ‘she has’, so it can’t be ‘given’ - so it must be ‘she gave’ here).
  5. When did the window get break/broke/broken? (Here we’re using that past participle as though it’s an adjective, in a way, so it’s got to be ‘broken’).
  6. I used to run/ran for the team at my school and I run/ran regularly with my dad before his accident. (So ‘used to run’ and ‘I ran’).
  7. I have begin/began/begun to think that you’re not telling the truth. (Here it’s ‘I have’, so you need ‘begun’).
  8. Who drink/drank/drunk all the whiskey? And someone has drink/drank/drunk all the gin too! (With the whiskey - there’s no ‘has’, so it must ‘drank’. With the gin, ‘someone has’, so it must be ‘drunk’.)
  9. What did you feel/felt, when you discovered you’d won the prize? (Careful here, it’s past tense, but beause it’s asking a question, it uses ‘did’ - and so that has to be ‘feel’).
  10. She keep/kept that secret for forty years! And I have keep/kept that secret for ten years! (‘I kept’ or ‘I have kept’, it’s KEPT either way as the past tense of the verb ‘to keep’)

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  1. I haven’t speak/spoke/spoken to my cousin since her wedding.
  2. Who eat/ate/eaten all the bread? (It’s not ‘Who has?’ - that would be ‘Who has eaten?’ It’s ‘Who ate all the bread?’).
  3. He bring/brought lots of friends over for the party. (It can’t be ‘bring’ - it would need an S - ‘he brings’ and then it would be present tense. For past tense therefore, it must be ‘He brought’).
  4. Did I pay/paid with my credit card? (Again be careful with ‘did’. It’s past tense, but it needs ‘pay’ not ‘paid’).
  5. Who’s do/did/done this beautiful painting? (There’s a ‘has’ here, it’s in the middle of ‘who’s’. So it is ‘Who has done?’).
  6. I have find/found that if I’m pleasant, I make lots of friends. (You can’t have ‘I have find’. It must be either ‘I find…’ or correctly here ‘I have found….’ - either would make sense though , because it’s a continuous state).
  7. My mother used to leave/left me with my auntie, when she went to work. (Again, past tense, but it’s the ‘used to’ means it’s ‘leave’ not ‘left’).
  8. You’ve forget/forgot/forgotten your suitcase and left it on the train! (So ‘You’ve’ is really ‘You have’, so it must be ‘forgotten’).
  9. Have you hear/heard from your husband since Saturday? (‘Have you?’ indicates it must be ‘heard’, past participle).
  10. I drive/drove/driven round and round the area, before I eventually found the hotel. (Simple past - ‘I drove’).

OK? How many did you get out of 20 there? Did you get all 20 right? And do you understand why each answer is, as it is? This podcast is a really good ‘brain exercise’ for you so listen to it a number of times - perhaps until you can get all 20 answers correct! And you understand why each answer is correct.

Goodbye

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

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