What Are Regular Verbs? (with Examples)

Regular Verb

A regular verb is one that conforms to the usual rule for forming its simple past tense and its past participle.

In English, the "usual" rule is to add -ed or -d to the base form of the verb to create the past forms.

Regular Verbs Test

Use the buttons to form the past tense and then the participle of the regular verb shown.

Regular Verb
Past Tense Past Participle

Spelling Rules for Creating the Past Forms of Regular Verbs

For regular verbs, the simple past tense and past particle are formed like this:

Add "ed" to most verbs:
  • jump > jumped
  • paint > painted
If a verb of one syllable ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the final consonant and add "ed":
  • chat > chatted
  • stop > stopped
If the final consonant is "w," "x," or "y," don't double it:
  • sew > sewed
  • play > played
  • fix > fixed
If the last syllable of a longer verb is stressed and ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], double the last consonant and add "ed":
  • incur > incurred
  • prefer > preferred
If the first syllable of a longer verb is stressed and the verb ends [consonant-vowel-consonant], just add "ed":
  • open > opened
  • enter > entered
  • swallow > swallowed
If the verb ends "e," just add "d":
  • thrive > thrived
  • guzzle > guzzled
If the verb ends [consonant + "y"], change the "y" to an "i" and add "ed":
  • cry > cried
  • fry > fried

Comparing Regular Verbs to Irregular Verbs

Regular verbs contrast with irregular verbs, which form their simple past tenses and past participles in a variety of ways.

With a regular verb, the simple past tense and the past participle are the same. For example:
Base FormSimple Past TensePast Participle
paintpainted has painted
yawnyawnedhas yawned
dancedancedhas danced
With irregular verbs, however, the past forms can be same or different. For example:
Base FormSimple Past TensePast Participle
runranhas run
growgrewhas grown
telltoldhas told
bleedbledhas bled

Read more about irregular verbs.

Regular Verbs Are Weak Verbs

A regular verb is a type of weak verb.

The terms regular verb and weak verb are not synonyms (i.e., they do not mean the same). Similarly, the terms irregular verb and strong verb are not synonyms.

Here is an infographic explaining how verbs are classified:

strong, weak, regular, irregular verbs

Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited and printed to create exercise worksheets.

See Also

What are weak verbs? What is the simple past tense? What are past participles? What is the base form of a verb? What are irregular verbs? What are weak verbs? Glossary of grammatical terms