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!
Example: Please ask questions at the end of the presentation.
Regular verb: ask – asked – asked
Present participle: asking
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
Example: I became a teacher in 2002.
Irregular verb: become – became – become
Present participle: becoming
Example: I’m cooking dinner and Greg is bringing dessert.
Irregular verb: bring – brought – brought
Present participle: bringing
Example: I only buy organic produce.
Irregular verb: buy – bought – bought
Present participle: buying
Example: Here is my phone number, call me any time.
Regular verb: call – called – called
Present participle: calling
Example: Can you swim?
Irregular verb: can – could
can is a modal verb; it has no present or past participle.
Example: Choose your favourite flavour: chocolate or vanilla.
Irregular verb: choose – chose – chosen
Present participle: choosing
Example: Come to the cinema with us tonight.
Irregular verb: come – came – come
Present participle: coming
Example: What are you doing at the weekend?
Irregular verb: do – did – done
Present participle: doing
Example: I drink a green smoothie every morning.
Irregular verb: drink – drank – drunk
Present participle: drinking
Example: Kelly is a vegetarian, she doesn’t eat meat.
Irregular verb: eat – ate – eaten
Present participle: eating
Example: I was sick last week, but today I feel better.
Irregular verb: feel – felt – felt
Present participle: feeling
Example: Oh no, I can’t find my keys!
Irregular verb: find – found – found
Present participle: finding
Example: Get some flour at the supermarket, please.
Irregular verb: get – got – got (UK English)/gotten (US English)
Present participle: getting
Example: I give money to charity every month.
Irregular verb: give – gave – given
Present participle: giving
Example: Clare goes to the gym three times a week.
Irregular verb: go – went – gone
Present participle: going
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
Example: I heard this song on the radio.
Irregular verb: hear – heard – heard
Present participle: hearing
Example: Steph helps me with my homework.
Regular verb: help – helped – helped
Present participle: helping
Example: I know the answer.
Irregular verb: know – knew – known
Present participle: knowing
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
Example: I like raspberries but I don’t like strawberries.
Regular verb: like – liked – liked
Present participle: liking
Example: Youssef listens to podcasts all day.
Regular verb: listen – listened – listened
Present participle: listening
Example: I live in Manchester.
Regular verb: live – lived – lived
Present participle: living
Example: Look at this old photo.
Regular verb: look – looked – looked
Present participle: looking
Example: Carlos makes dinner for us every night.
Irregular verb: make – made – made
Present participle: making
Example: Do you need some help?
Regular verb: need – needed – needed
Present participle: needing
Example: I pay my rent at the end of the month.
Irregular verb: pay – paid – paid
Present participle: paying
Example: Mia plays rugby on Saturdays.
Regular verb: play – played – played
Present participle: playing
Example: I always put my passport somewhere safe.
Irregular verb: put – put – put
Present participle: putting
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
Example: What did you say? I couldn’t hear you.
Irregular verb: say – said – said
Present participle: saying
Example: Have you seen this film before?
Irregular verb: see – saw – seen
Present participle: seeing
Example: Send me a postcard from your trip.
Irregular verb: send – sent – sent
Present participle: sending
Example: Rachel showed me a magic trick.
Irregular verb: show – showed – shown
Present participle: showing
Example: Koalas sleep for up to 20 hours a day.
Irregular verb: sleep – slept – slept
Present participle: sleeping
Example: School starts at 8.00am.
Regular verb: start – started – started
Present participle: starting
Example: We stayed at the beach until sunset.
Regular verb: stay – stayed – stayed
Present participle: staying
Example: It’s raining, take an umbrella.
Irregular verb: take – took – taken
Present participle: taking
Example: I talk to my sister once a week.
Regular verb: talk – talked – talked
Present participle: talking
Example: You can tell me your secret, I won’t tell anyone else.
Irregular verb: tell – told – told
Present participle: telling
Example: I think that’s a great idea.
Irregular verb: think – thought – thought
Present participle: thinking
Example: Try the tiramisu, it’s delicious.
Regular verb: try – tried – tried
Present participle: trying
Example: My grandma can’t use her iPhone.
Regular verb: use – used – used
Present participle: using
Example: It’s a beautiful afternoon, let’s walk along the river.
Regular verb: walk – walked – walked
Present participle: walking
Example: Do you want a cup of tea?
Regular verb: want – wanted – wanted
Present participle: wanting
Example: I watched a great film last night.
Regular verb: watch – watched – watched
Present participle: watching
Example: Harry works for the government.
Regular verb: work – worked – worked
Present participle: working
Example: Shakespeare wrote many plays and sonnets.
Irregular verb: write – wrote – written
Present participle: writing