Drink, Drank, or Drunk?
The Quick AnswerWhat is the difference between drank and drunk?
Drank is the simple past tense of to drink. For example:
- I drank it too quickly.
- I have drunk too much.
Drank or Drunk?Some writers are unsure whether to use drank or drunk. The table below summarizes drank and drunk:
|Verb||Past Tense||Past Participle|
|to drink||drank||have drunk|
However, the writers' confusion is understandable because there is some overlap in how the two words are used. More specifically, drank (which is the simple past tense of to drink) has historically been be used as an alternative past participle [evidence]. However, using drank for the past participle is increasingly seen as an error.
Here are some example sentences with drank or drunk:
- I drank a coffee. (Here, drank is the simple past tense.)
- I have drunk a coffee. (Here, drunk is a past participle.)
- I have drank a coffee. (Here, drank is being used as a past participle. This is increasingly seen as an error.)
DrankDrank is the simple past tense of to drink. For example:
- I drank too much when I was in my twenties.
- I drank some boiling water because I wanted to whistle.
DrunkDrunk is the past participle of to drink. In other words, it is the version used with to have (e.g., I have drunk a lot). For example:
- I'd rather have drunk from the spittoon in Barney's barber shop. (Drunk is a past participle.)
- A man's true character comes out when he's drunk. (Here, drunk is an adjective.)
- The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years. (Here, drunk is a noun.)
Interactive ExerciseHere are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.
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What are nouns? What are adjectives? What are verbs? What is the simple past? List of easily confused words