Humanities › English Irregular Verbs: From H to S Share Flipboard Email Print Tetra Images - Jamie Grill/Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated November 04, 2019 Irregular verbs are one of the hardest parts of the English language and there are over 200 of them! These verbs don't follow the usual grammatical rules of English, which makes them so hard to learn. Most native speakers learn these words and their conjugations as they learn to speak the language as children. Total immersion in a language is considered one of the best ways to learn but that option isn't always available for everyone. For those who are learning English as a second language learning the rules of grammar are important but confusing at times. The rules of English grammar are consistent until they are not. There are many exceptions to grammatical rules in English. Regular verbs follow certain rules as they are conjugated or change between forms. Usually, verbs change in a uniform manner like adding 'ed as for the past tense. For people who are not native speakers, one of the only ways to learn irregular verbs is simply to memorize them. As irregular verbs don't follow any real rules of grammar, there are also no tricks to learn. Principal Part The principal parts of a verb refer to its different forms, like past, present, and past participle. Regular verbs follow specific rules when changing between these different forms but irregular verbs do not. In the table below, you will find the principal parts of the most common irregular verbs in English (from H to S). Use the following links for lists of additional irregular verbs: Irregular Verbs: Arise to GrowIrregular Verbs: Hang to Sink (below)Irregular Verbs: Sit to Write To find the correct past or past participle form of a verb not included in the list, check your dictionary. If the dictionary gives only the present form of the verb, presume that the verb is regular and forms the past and past participle by adding -d or -ed. Principal Parts of Irregular Verbs H-S PRESENT PAST PAST PARTICIPLE hang (execute) hanged hanged hang (suspend) hung hung have had had hear heard heard hide hid hidden hit hit hit hold held held hurt hurt hurt keep kept kept kneel knelt (or kneeled) knelt (or kneeled) knit knitted (or knit) knitted (or knit) know knew known lay laid laid leave left left lend lent lent let let let lie (recline) lay lain lie (fib) lied lied light lighted (or lit) lighted (or lit) lose lost lost make made made mean meant meant meet met met mow mowed mowed (or mown) pay paid paid prove proved proved (or proven) put put put read read read rid rid (or ridded) rid (or ridded) ride rode ridden ring rang rung rise rose risen run ran run see saw seen say said said seek sought sought sell sold sold send sent sent set set set sew sewed sewed (or sewn) shake shook shaken shine shone shone shoot shot shot show showed shown shrink shrank (or shrunk) shrunk (or shrunken) shut shut shut sing sang sung sink sank (or sunk) sunk (or sunken) Why Does English Have Irregular Verbs? Many words in the English language are borrowed from other languages. Many words in Latin or Greek have found their way into the English language for example and follow their rules of conjugation. Most words that derive from the romance languages also follow similar rules for conjugation. Where things get tricky is the number of Germanic words that have made their way into English. These words tend not to follow what are now thought of as English conjugation rules. If you are ever unsure of how to conjugate a verb it's best to look it up in a dictionary. Continue Reading What Are Irregular Verbs in English? When Do You Use the Simple Past Tense in English? Irregular Past Participles in Italian What Makes Irregular Verbs Different From Regular Verbs? How Do You Conjugate the Preterite Past Tense of Spanish? Italian Verbs For Beginners - Mood and Tenses How to Conjugate the French Verb Étudier ('to Study) How to Conjugate French Regular '-IR' Verbs What Are the Distinctive Characteristics of English Grammar? A List of the Principal Parts of Irregular Verbs in English (S-W) Using the Past Participle in Italian Quick Guide to Conjugating Spanish Verbs What Are the Present and Past Forms of the Verb "To Be" Not All Second Conjugation Italian Verbs Are Regular What Are Inflections in English Grammar? What Are Conjugations in Grammar?