Irregular verbs in English that stay the same in present, past, and past participle

Transcript:

Hello students, it’s Shayna, your teacher from espressoenglish.net. Today I’m going to teach you all about some special irregular verbs in English that don’t change from present to past and past participle.

I’ve seen a lot of students make the mistake of writing a sentence like this:

  • Yesterday I bought a new t-shirt. It costed $10.

That’s not correct. There’s no such word as costed. The verb cost is cost in the present, cost in the past, and cost in the past participle, which is what we use with the present perfect. The correct sentence would be:

  • Yesterday I bought a new t-shirt. It cost $10. 

Now this verb does change in the present when the subject is he, she, or it. If you’re shopping right now and you’re looking at a t-shirt in front of you in the present, then you would say, “It costs $10” in the present. In the past, talking about the t-shirt you bought yesterday, you would say, “It cost $10.”

There are only a few verbs like this in English, and some of the more common ones are put, let, set, hit, cost, hurt, shut, quit, split, and spread. There are a few more but these are the most common ones.

A few more examples:

  • Yesterday I fell down and hit my head.
  • Last year I set some goals for myself.
  • Last night I let my kids stay up late.

Those are three examples in the simple past. As you can see, the verb doesn’t change. It stays the same.

That’s also the case in the present perfect. To form the present perfect, we use have or has plus the past participle. The past participle of these verbs is really easy; it’s just the same as it is in the present and the past. Some examples might be:

  • I‘ve just put away the groceries.

It’s put in the present, put in the past, and put in the present perfect. Maybe you’re watching the news about a disease and the newscaster says,

  • The disease has spread.

That’s also present perfect. Has, and then the past participle is spread. It’s spread in the present, spread in the past, and spread in the past participle, which is used in the present perfect.

These verbs are pretty easy. Why don’t you try writing a comment? Write a sentence or two in the past or in the present perfect using one or two of these irregular verbs. English has a ton of irregular verbs, and it’s really easy to make mistakes with them, but with more practice it will become more natural.

If you’d like to learn all of the verb tenses, as well as more complex structures like conditionals and inverted sentence structures and some of the other interesting structures we use in English, check out my Advanced English Grammar Course, which is covers a lot of topics in English grammar. You can click on the link in this video to see the lesson list.

An extra special part of that course is that each lesson includes a writing task where you can send me your answer, a paragraph or two of written English, and I will correct it. This is one of the best ways to get direct feedback from a teacher on your English. I hope to see you inside the course, and I look forward to reading your comments what these irregular verbs.

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