3. begin/began/begun (65)

English Irregular Verbs

CATEGORY THREE: Verbs like begin

The verbs in this group have distinct spellings for the simple present, the simple past and the past participle. These are the verbs most often used incorrectly when the past participle form is called for. The most effective way to learn them is to practice the past participle with the forms of have.

arise, arose, [have] arisen
awake, awoke, [have] awoken
bear, bore,  [have] borne
become, became, [have] become
befall, befell,  [have] befallen
begin, began,  [have] begun
bid, bade, [have] bidden
blow, blew, [have] blown
break, broke, [have] broken
bite, bit, [have] bitten
choose, chose, [have] chosen
come, came, [have] come
do, did, [have] done
draw, drew, [have] drawn
drink, drank, [have] drunk
drive, drove, [have] driven
eat, ate, [have] eaten
fall, fell, [have] fallen
fly, flew, [have] flown
forbid, forbade, [have] forbidden
forget, forgot, [have] forgotten
forgive, forgave, [have] forgiven
forsake, forsook, [have] forsaken
freeze, froze,  [have] frozen
get, got, [have] gotten (British usage: get, got, (have) got)
give, gave,  [have] given
go, went,  [have] gone
grow, grew, [have] grown
hide, hid, [have] hidden
know, knew, [have] known
lie (to recline), lay, [have] lain
mistake, mistook, [have] mistaken
prove, proved, [have] proven
ride, rode, [have] ridden
ring, rang, [have] rung
rise, rose, [have] risen
run, ran, [have] run
see, saw, [have] seen
show, showed, [have] shown
shake, shook, [have] shaken
shear, sheared, [have] shorn
shrink, shrank, [have] shrunk
NOTE: Many speakers use shrunk as the simple past.
sing, sang, [have] sung
sink, sank, [have] sunk
slay, slew, [have] slain
NOTE: The regularized form slayed is in wide use.
sow, sowed, [have] sown
speak, spoke, [have] spoken
spring, sprang, [have] sprung
steal, stole, [have] stolen
stink, stank, [have] stunk
NOTE: The form stunk is widely used for the simple past.
stride, strode, [have] stridden
strive, strove [have] striven
swear, swore, [have] sworn
swell, swelled, [have] swollen
swim, swam, [have] swum
take, took, [have] taken
tear, tore, [have] torn
throw, threw, [have] thrown
tread, trod, [have] trodden

NOTE: Trod is also acceptable as the past participle.
undertake, undertook, [have] undertaken
wear,  wore, [have] worn
weave, wove, [have] woven
NOTE: The regularized past form weaved is becoming common.
withdraw, withdrew, [have] withdrawn
write, wrote, [have] written


  1. Verbs like cut.
  2. Verbs like find.

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