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Regular Verbs vs. Irregular Verbs: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on November 5, 2023
Regular Verbs: follow standard conjugation rules; Irregular Verbs: have unique conjugation forms.

Key Differences

Regular Verbs adhere to a consistent pattern in their conjugation, especially in the past tense, typically by adding "-ed" or "-d". Conversely, Irregular Verbs do not follow this pattern, changing form in unpredictable ways.
Regular Verbs provide language learners ease due to their predictability and consistency across contexts. In contrast, Irregular Verbs require memorization of their forms, as they deviate from standard patterns.
In English, Regular Verbs outnumber their counterparts, offering a sense of uniformity in language usage. Irregular Verbs, while fewer, are commonly used, making them crucial to mastering English.
Regular Verbs seldom cause confusion since their forms can be easily determined from their base. However, Irregular Verbs can be challenging because they often bear no resemblance to their base forms.
Both Regular and Irregular Verbs are integral to language, with the former bringing structure and the latter adding historical linguistic depth and diversity.

Comparison Chart


Follow standard patterns
Deviate from standard patterns

Past Tense Formation

Typically by adding "-ed" or "-d"
Various unique forms

Learning Difficulty

Easier due to predictability
Harder due to inconsistencies

Number in English

More numerous
Fewer, but commonly used

Linguistic Feature

Structured, predictable
Diverse, historical linguistic depth

Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs Definitions

Regular Verbs

Verbs that follow standard conjugation patterns.
I walked to the store.

Irregular Verbs

Verbs that require memorization of distinct forms.
They took the bus.

Regular Verbs

Verbs with predictable and uniform structures.
He jumped when he heard the noise.

Irregular Verbs

Verbs with unique and varied past tense forms.
I ran to the store.

Regular Verbs

Verbs consistently formed in the past by adding "-ed".
She smiled throughout the event.

Irregular Verbs

Verbs that often retain historical language forms.
He drank the water quickly.

Regular Verbs

Verbs easily conjugated across tenses.
I watched the movie last night.

Irregular Verbs

Verbs that don’t follow the standard “-ed” past tense ending.
He ate quickly.

Regular Verbs

Verbs that adhere to standard grammar rules.
They cooked dinner together.

Irregular Verbs

Verbs with unpredictable conjugation patterns.
She saw the sign.


Are all new verbs Regular Verbs?

Mostly, as they follow a standard pattern.

Are Irregular Verbs common in English?

Yes, many common verbs are irregular.

How do Regular Verbs form their past tense?

By typically adding “-ed” to the base form.

Do Regular Verbs have spelling variations?

Yes, like traveling/travelling, depending on the dialect.

Do Irregular Verbs follow any pattern at all?

A few groups do, but they're generally unpredictable.

Can Irregular Verbs be predicted?

No, they often require memorization.

Why are some verbs Irregular?

Often due to historical linguistic evolution.

Can a verb be both regular and irregular?

Rarely, but some verbs accept both conjugations.

Do Regular Verbs change in the present tense?

Only for third-person singular by adding “-s”.

How many Regular Verbs are there in English?

Thousands, as most verbs are regular.

How can I quickly identify an Irregular Verb?

If it doesn’t form the past tense by adding “-ed”.

Why are Regular Verbs easier to learn?

Their consistent conjugation pattern simplifies memorization.

Are all basic English verbs Irregular Verbs?

Many are, like be, have, and do.

Can Irregular Verbs become regular over time?

Yes, it happens due to language simplification.

Is there a trick to learning Irregular Verbs?

Mostly memorization and practice.

Does using Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs correctly impact communication?

Absolutely, it ensures clarity and understanding.

Are Regular Verbs the same in all English dialects?

Generally, yes, but spelling can vary.

Do languages other than English have Irregular Verbs?

Yes, irregularity in verb conjugation occurs in many languages.

What’s an example of a Regular Verb?

"Walk" - it becomes "walked" in the past tense.

What’s a common Irregular Verb?

"Go" - it becomes "went" in the past tense.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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