The 50 Most Common English Verbs

50 Essential English Verbs

Learn the 50 most common English verbs with Lingolia.

The list below is a collection of the 50 most-used verbs in English. Each verb comes with an example sentence as well as its simple past and past participle forms. We’ve also listed the present participle (-ing form) and highlighted those tricky irregulars to help you master these essential English verbs.

We’re not saying that you’ll speak perfect English once you’ve learned these 50 verbs — but this list is a good start!

ask

Example: Please ask questions at the end of the presentation.

Regular verb: ask – asked – asked

Present participle: asking

be

Example: Carla is a yoga teacher.

Irregular verb: be – was/were – been

Irregular conjugation in:

  • simple present: I am, you/we/they are, he/she/it is
  • simple past: I was, you/we/they were, he/she/it was

Present participle: being

become

Example: I became a teacher in 2002.

Irregular verb: become – became – become

Present participle: becoming

bring

Example: I’m cooking dinner and Greg is bringing dessert.

Irregular verb: bring – brought – brought

Present participle: bringing

buy

Example: I only buy organic produce.

Irregular verb: buy – bought – bought

Present participle: buying

call

Example: Here is my phone number, call me any time.

Regular verb: call – called – called

Present participle: calling

can

Example: Can you swim?

Irregular verb: can – could

can is a modal verb; it has no present or past participle.

choose

Example: Choose your favourite flavour: chocolate or vanilla.

Irregular verb: choose – chose – chosen

Present participle: choosing

come

Example: Come to the cinema with us tonight.

Irregular verb: come – came – come

Present participle: coming

do

Example: What are you doing at the weekend?

Irregular verb: do – did – done

Present participle: doing

drink

Example: I drink a green smoothie every morning.

Irregular verb: drink – drank – drunk

Present participle: drinking

eat

Example: Kelly is a vegetarian, she doesn’t eat meat.

Irregular verb: eat – ate – eaten

Present participle: eating

feel

Example: I was sick last week, but today I feel better.

Irregular verb: feel – felt – felt

Present participle: feeling

find

Example: Oh no, I can’t find my keys!

Irregular verb: find – found – found

Present participle: finding

get

Example: Get some flour at the supermarket, please.

Irregular verb: get – got – got (UK English)/gotten (US English)

Present participle: getting

give

Example: I give money to charity every month.

Irregular verb: give – gave – given

Present participle: giving

go

Example: Clare goes to the gym three times a week.

Irregular verb: go – went – gone

Present participle: going

have

Example: Do you have any brothers or sisters?

Irregular verb: have – had – had

Irregular conjugation in:

  • simple present, 3rd person singular: he/she/it has

Present participle: having

hear

Example: I heard this song on the radio.

Irregular verb: hear – heard – heard

Present participle: hearing

help

Example: Steph helps me with my homework.

Regular verb: help – helped – helped

Present participle: helping

know

Example: I know the answer.

Irregular verb: know – knew – known

Present participle: knowing

learn

Example: Lingolia is the best way to learn about grammar.

Regular verb: learn – learned – learned

learn also has an irregular form: learn – learnt – learnt

Present participle: learning

like

Example: I like raspberries but I don’t like strawberries.

Regular verb: like – liked – liked

Present participle: liking

listen

Example: Youssef listens to podcasts all day.

Regular verb: listen – listened – listened

Present participle: listening

live

Example: I live in Manchester.

Regular verb: live – lived – lived

Present participle: living

look

Example: Look at this old photo.

Regular verb: look – looked – looked

Present participle: looking

make

Example: Carlos makes dinner for us every night.

Irregular verb: make – made – made

Present participle: making

need

Example: Do you need some help?

Regular verb: need – needed – needed

Present participle: needing

pay

Example: I pay my rent at the end of the month.

Irregular verb: pay – paid – paid

Present participle: paying

play

Example: Mia plays rugby on Saturdays.

Regular verb: play – played – played

Present participle: playing

put

Example: I always put my passport somewhere safe.

Irregular verb: put – put – put

Present participle: putting

read

Example: I never read the newspaper, I just read the news online.

Irregular verb: read – read – read*

*the past participle of read is pronounced /rεd/

Present participle: reading

say

Example: What did you say? I couldn’t hear you.

Irregular verb: say – said – said

Present participle: saying

see

Example: Have you seen this film before?

Irregular verb: see – saw – seen

Present participle: seeing

send

Example: Send me a postcard from your trip.

Irregular verb: send – sent – sent

Present participle: sending

show

Example: Rachel showed me a magic trick.

Irregular verb: show – showed – shown

Present participle: showing

sleep

Example: Koalas sleep for up to 20 hours a day.

Irregular verb: sleep – slept – slept

Present participle: sleeping

start

Example: School starts at 8.00am.

Regular verb: start – started – started

Present participle: starting

stay

Example: We stayed at the beach until sunset.

Regular verb: stay – stayed – stayed

Present participle: staying

take

Example: It’s raining, take an umbrella.

Irregular verb: take – took – taken

Present participle: taking

talk

Example: I talk to my sister once a week.

Regular verb: talk – talked – talked

Present participle: talking

tell

Example: You can tell me your secret, I won’t tell anyone else.

Irregular verb: tell – told – told

Present participle: telling

think

Example: I think that’s a great idea.

Irregular verb: think – thought – thought

Present participle: thinking

try

Example: Try the tiramisu, it’s delicious.

Regular verb: try – tried – tried

Present participle: trying

walk

Example: It’s a beautiful afternoon, let’s walk along the river.

Regular verb: walk – walked – walked

Present participle: walking

want

Example: Do you want a cup of tea?

Regular verb: want – wanted – wanted

Present participle: wanting

watch

Example: I watched a great film last night.

Regular verb: watch – watched – watched

Present participle: watching

work

Example: Harry works for the government.

Regular verb: work – worked – worked

Present participle: working

write

Example: Shakespeare wrote many plays and sonnets.

Irregular verb: write – wrote – written

Present participle: writing

use

Example: My grandma can’t use her iPhone.

Regular verb: use – used – used

Present participle: using