What Are Regular Verbs in English?

by | Jun 2, 2022 | GrammarSpot, Writing Tips | 0 comments

There are many instances in life where a sense of normalcy or regularity is good. There is a bit of comfort in knowing that I get to wake up in the morning, tiptoe downstairs to work at my computer, get my kids breakfast when they wake up, see my husband off to work, do the lunch thing, do the dinner thing, do the kids’ bath and bedtime thing, watch a TV show with my husband, and finally go to sleep at the end of the day.

Many people find comfort in regularity. Regular verbs in English are one source of comfort because they provide a level of predictability in a language where there seems to be so many exceptions to the rules.


What is a Regular Verb?

what is a regular verb

There are too many regular verbs in the English language to simply list them all. Suffice it to say that most verbs are considered to be regular. Thank goodness it’s actually pretty simple to tell which verbs are regular in English! The regular verbs definition is that they follow the same consistent pattern when you conjugate them. In particular, verbs that are considered to be regular in the English language take a –d or –ed onto the base form when constructing the past tense or the past participle.

Here are some examples of conjugated regular verbs:

– Stephanie jumped for joy when she saw the new articles available.

– I have laughed really hard when watching funny videos such as the “Miley Cyrus Wrecking Ball Cover – Finger Twerk Edition!


How to Use Regular Verbs in English

regular verbs in English

The patterns that most regular verbs follow are the base form (dictionary form), –s form (third person and present tense), –d or –ed form (past tense and past participle) and -ing form (present participle).

– Base Form: I went to look at the client style guide.

– Present Tense: He looks at the client style guide.

– Past Tense: They looked at the client style guide.

– Present Participle: We are looking at the client style guide.


The Difference Between Regular and Irregular Verbs

regular verbs definition

It is important to note that irregular verbs can just as easily have the same verb formation for third person, present tense and present participle as a regular verb. It is mainly in the formation of the past tense and past participle that irregular verbs differ from regular.

– Regular Verb: O’Brian listed all of the reasons why he loved working with BKA.

– Irregular Verb: The writers wrote more articles than they ever had before.

In these regular verb examples, listed is easily identified as a regular verb because it ends in –ed. In the second example, wrote clearly does not end with a –d or –ed. Therefore, it is an irregular verb. Here is the TL;DR of it: To determine the regularity of a verb, just put it in the past tense or past participle.


Regular Verbs: Not too Shabby

Regular is good, but don’t get hung up on only using regular verbs. Be it a press release, fantasy novel or web page, content benefits most from the use of a wide variety of words, including a healthy mix of regular and irregular verbs. How did you learn to identify regular verbs in English? Do you think regular verbs are weak? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Britainy Sorenson
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