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What Is a Regular Verb? | List, Examples & Definition

Verbs updated on  February 5, 2024 4 min read
With regular verbs, we form the simple past and past participle forms by adding “-ed” to the end of the word (or “-d” if the verb already ends in “e”). Regular verbs can sometimes change their spelling in other ways (e.g., “try” becomes “tried”).

Regular verbs examples
I will clean the kitchen.
I cleaned the kitchen yesterday.

I will cook dinner.
I have cooked dinner every night this week.

What is a regular verb?  

Regular verbs follow specific conjugation rules when forming the simple past tense and the past participle forms.

We use the simple past tense to describe actions and events that were completed in the past (e.g., “I adopted a kitten last year”).

The past participle form of a verb has a few uses. For example, it’s used in perfect verb tenses (e.g., “I have adopted a kitten”), the passive voice (e.g., “the kitten was adopted”), and as an adjective to modify a noun (e.g., “the adopted kitten”).

For most regular verbs, you simply need to add “-ed” to the base verb (or just add “-d” if the verb already ends in “e”) to form both the simple past and past participle forms.

Some regular verbs can change their spelling in other ways, but they still follow predictable patterns.

Base form

Simple past and past participle ending

Example

Short verbs (one syllable) ending with a consonant-vowel-consonant

Double the final letter and add “-ed”

chop → chopped drag → dragged

Longer verbs (more than one syllable) that end with a consonant-vowel-consonant and have a stressed final syllable

Double the final letter and add “-ed”

permit → permitted admit → admitted

Ends in a consonant + y

Remove the “y” and add “-ied”

identify → identified empty → emptied

Ends in “-e”

Add “d”

chase → chased frame → framed

All other endings

Add “-ed”

delay → delayed assist → assisted

Note
If the verb ends in “w,” “x,” or “y,” don’t double the final letter (e.g., “flow” becomes “flowed”).

If the final syllable is not stressed, don’t double the final letter (e.g., “deliver” becomes “delivered”).

Regular vs irregular verbs

Although most verbs in English are regular, there are many irregular verbs that don’t follow the regular conjugation rules (e.g., “go” becomes “went” and “gone”).

Irregular verbs can change in a variety of ways to form the simple past and past participle forms, and some don’t change at all (e.g., “hit” and “cut”).

While regular verbs are always the same in both the simple past and past participle forms, the past and past participle forms of irregular verbs can be (but aren’t always) different.

Examples: Regular and irregular verbs
He will ask too much of me.
He asked too much of me.
He has asked too much of me.

I will do as you ask.
I did as you asked.
I have done as you asked.

I will send the message.
I sent the message.
I have sent the message.

Note
Some verbs have both a regular and an irregular form (e.g., “burn” can become “burned” or “burnt,” and “learn” can become “learned” or “learnt”). Generally, the regular form is more common in American English and the irregular form is more common in British English.

Regular verbs list

Here is a list of some common regular verbs in their base, past, and past participle forms. The simple past and past participle forms of regular verbs are always the same.

We also have a longer regular verbs list available for you to download.

Base

Simple past

Past participle

agree

agreed

agreed

call

called

called

cry

cried

cried

dance

danced

danced

enjoy

enjoyed

enjoyed

hate

hated

hated

jump

jumped

jumped

laugh

laughed

laughed

listen

listened

listened

love

loved

loved

move

moved

moved

need

needed

needed

play

played

played

start

started

started

stop

stopped

stopped

talk

talked

talked

want

wanted

wanted

Do you want to know more about commas, parts of speech, email, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


Verbs

Nouns

Rhetoric

Present participle

Concrete noun

Oxymoron

Linking verb

Common noun

Double entendre

Auxiliary verb

Abstract noun

Sibilance

Simple present tense

Proper noun

Cliché

Modal verb

Appositive

Paraprosdokian


Frequently asked questions about regular verbs

What are regular verbs?

Regular verbs follow specific conjugation rules.

For most regular verbs, you simply need to add “-ed” to the base verb (or just add “-d” if the verb already ends in “e”) to form both the past and past participle forms.

Some regular verbs change their spelling in other ways, such as doubling the final letter or replacing “-y” with “-ied,” but they still follow predictable patterns.

What’s the difference between regular and irregular verbs?

We change regular verbs to the simple past and past participle forms by adding “-ed” (or “-d” if the verb already ends in “e”). For example, “talk” becomes “talked” and “dance” becomes “danced.”

Some regular verbs change their spelling in other ways, such as doubling the final letter or replacing “-y” with “-ied,” but they still follow predictable patterns. Regular verbs are always the same in their simple past and past participle forms.

Irregular verbs don’t follow the regular rule of adding “-ed” or “-d” to form the simple past tense and the past participle forms. They can change in a variety of ways or not change at all, and their simple past and past participle forms can be (but aren’t always) different. 

For example, “go” becomes “went” in the simple past but is “gone” as a past participle, while “hit” is the same in all three forms.

What are some examples of regular verbs?

Here are some examples of common regular verbs:

  • cry - cried - cried
  • dance - danced - danced
  • jump - jumped - jumped
  • laugh - laughed - laughed
  • love - loved - loved
  • play - played - played
  • stop - stopped - stopped

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Sophie Shores

Sophie has a BA in English Literature, an MA in Publishing, and a passion for great writing. She’s taught English overseas and has experience editing both business and academic writing.

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