In both Spanish and English there are verbs that change their form and even their sound when they are conjugated. These verbs are known as "irregular", precisely because they do not behave the same as other verbs that adapt perfectly to the rules of language and in which their form does not change. Check this out so you can learn to identify irregular verbs.
Part 1 of 3: Differentiate Between Regular and Irregular Verbs
Step 1. Consider what a regular verb is
A regular verb has a continuous form, that is, it will always have the same root and will adapt to the rules of conjugation in the past simple and past participle without variations, except for the inclusion of the suffix -ed.
Take for example the following verbs: play: played; dance: danced; call: called; abandon: abandoned; adopt: adopted; act: acted; adore: adored; adorn: adorned
Step 2. Look carefully at the case of the past simple and the past participle
In other conjugations of verbs their form is respected, but, specifically, in these two conjugations irregular verbs are manifested, since they change their form.
Step 3. Find out what an irregular verb is
Irregular verbs are those that do not follow a typical pattern in their conjugation, but that varies or is modified according to the case, both in their writing and in the sound. There are just over 200 irregular verbs in English.
Part 2 of 3: Identify Irregular Verbs
Step 1. Learn the conjugations of verbs
There is no specific method to identify irregular verbs, you have to learn English verb conjugations.
It is recommended that you use a dictionary and observe all the conjugations of the verbs
Step 2. Start with the verbs that never change
These are those whose infinitive, participle and past are exactly the same, that is, it is the same word to designate different times.
Look at the following examples. Infinitive: cut; simple past: cut; past participle: cut. Infinitive: hit; simple past: hit; past participle: hit. Infinitive: let; simple past: let; past participle: let. Infinitive: put; simple past: put; past participle: put
Step 3. Identify the verbs that change only once
In these, the verb undergoes a single change, that is, it is the same word for the past simple and the participle. A tip that can help you is to remember that some of these verbs ending in –d, when passing to their conjugations, their ending is changed to –t.
Look at the following examples. Infinitive: send; simple past: sent; past participle: sent. Infinitive: build; simple past: built; past participle: built. Infinitive: spend; simple past: spent; past participle: spent
Step 4. Listen for the sound changes
There are verbs that, although they only change once for their conjugations in the past tense, can be identified by the modification in their spelling and their sound. Generally they are the ones that go from the “i” sound to the “e” sound.
Look at the examples. Infinitive: feed ("fid"); simple past: fed; past participle: fed. Infinitive: lead ("lid"); simple past: led; past participle: led. Infinite: breed ("brid"); simple past: bred; past participle: bred. Infinitive: meet ("mit"); simple past: met; past participle: met
Step 5. Pay attention to the letter change
Sometimes, in those that change only once, you only have to change a single letter.
Take care of these examples. Infinitive: lose; simple past: lost; past participle: lost. Infinitive: make; simple past: made; past participle: made. Infinitive: sit; simple past: sat; past participle: sat
Step 6. Find the verbs that change completely
These undergo a total transformation in both their sound and their spelling. They are completely different words for the three times.
Look at these examples. Infinitive: sing; simple past: sang; past participle: sung. Infinitive: ring; simple past: rang; past participle: rung. Infinity: ride; simple past: rode; past participle: ridden. Infinitive: see; simple past: saw; past participle: seen. Infinitive: show; simple past: showed; past participle: shown. Infinitive: speak; simple past: spoke; past participle: spoken. Infinitive: steal; simple past: stole; past participle: stolen. Infinitive: drink; simple past: drank; past participle: drunk. Infinitive: swim; simple past: swam; past participle: swum
Step 7. Look for the verbs that function as auxiliary
All these verbs are irregular and can have their own meaning or can serve as auxiliaries for conjugation.
Pay attention to the following list. Infinitive: be; simple past: was / were; past participle: been. Infinitive: do; simple past: did; past participle: done. Infinitive: have; simple past: had; past participle: had. Infinitive: go; simple past: went; past participle: gone
Part 3 of 3: Perform Exercises
Step 1. Make a list of verbs
Divide it into regular and irregular. Once you have identified all the possible irregular verbs, use the variations shown above to classify the irregular verbs according to their ending, if they change completely, if they do not change, etc.
This will help you not only to memorize them more easily, but also to organize the information and avoid confusion
Step 2. Memorize as many verbs as possible
You can play memory and word matching games.
One of the most common games is that of cards. Cut out rectangles of paper and write the irregular verbs both in the infinitive and in their conjugations in the past, then turn them upside down and shuffle them. Pick up a card and look at it. Now, find the other cards that correspond with their conjugations
Step 3. Play other types of games
You can play guessing games. For example, write several verbs on pieces of paper, fold them, and scramble them. Then take out a piece and conjugate the verb that has come out.
You can do trivia. Put up a list of verbs; In front of it you can place false conjugations and intersperse them with the true ones; the game consists of identifying the true conjugations
Step 4. Put the acquired knowledge into practice
If you have already memorized several irregular verbs, put the new knowledge into practice. Rehearse conversations in which you have the opportunity to use verbs, write letters or a journal. Try to get used to both its sound and its spelling.
- Always use a pocket dictionary, it is important when you are learning a new language.
- Be patient. Don't stop practicing.
- Although it is a basic level of English, always practice verbs and their conjugations, they are very important to continue advancing.