Key Differences: Regular Words and Irregular Words

Regular verbs do not change their spelling over time to match the etymology. In the standard pronunciation, infinitive, third person present, and past simple of regular verbs, the verb does not change in spelling.

In contrast, there are verbs whose forms either entirely alter or remain the same; these are known as Irregular Verbs. Let’s examine the difference between regular and irregular nouns and verbs.

pile of assorted-title books
pile of assorted-title books

Regular Verbs: Base Form, Simple Past and Past Participle

Regular Verbs refer to verbs whose inflection depends on a fundamental pattern. Inflection is the alteration of a word’s form, typically at the end, to indicate tense, mood, number, gender, etc.

The simple past and past participle of regular verbs are made by adding a predetermined ending to the present infinitive. The predetermined ending includes -d, -ed, or -ied. Other rules are as follows:

  • When an action word ends in a vowel, the -d ending is added to indicate the past tense. For instance:

Base Form: Close, Hate, Sue

Simple Past: Closed, Hated, Hated

Past Participle: Closed, Hated, Hated

  • When it ends with a consonant, -ed is added to change it into a past form. For example:

Base Form: Dress, Roll, Slam

Simple Past: Dressed, Rolled, Slammed

Past Participle: Dressed, Rolled, Slammed

  • If the last letter of a word ends in y, then -ied would change its form:

Base Form: Fry, Cry, Dry

Simple Past: Fried, Cried, Dried

Past Participle: Fried, Cried, Dried

Irregular Verbs: Base Form, Simple Past and Past Participle

An irregular verb follows some specific guidelines while forming past tense forms. So, instead of ending in -d, -ed, or -ied, these verbs completely change their forms. Irregular verbs are verbs that change entirely in past tense, as shown in the example below:

Base Form: Build, Do, Know

Simple Past: Built, Did, Knew

Past Participle: Built, Done, Knew

  • In the example below, there are some irregular verbs that do not change their forms at all:

Base Form: Hit, Cut, Put

Simple Past: Hit, Cut, Put

Past Participle: Hit, Cut, Put

Key Differences Between Regular and Irregular Verbs

The distinction between regular words and irregular words are described in the following points:

Regular verbs are those that adhere to the standard rule for the formation of simple past and past participle forms. Irregular verbs, on the other hand, are verbs with their own set of rules for creating past tense forms.

While regular verbs follow an inflection pattern, irregular verbs terminate in various ways. Their simple past and past participle forms are either utterly distinct from their base form or are comparable to it.

Regular verbs have a set or consistent ending in their past forms, whereas irregular verbs do not.

In contrast, there is no such trend for irregular verbs. They either fully shift their form in the past tense or preserve their past tense.

To Wrap Up

Regular words and irregular words are placed on opposite ends of the English language spectrum. Regular words are placeholders that are used in almost every screenplay. However, as a writer, using regular verbs means you might get repetitive if you stick solely to these verbs.

Irregular verbs, on the other hand, are often used in plays written by Shakespeare or other writers in the English language.

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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