3 Irregular Verbs mistakes you need to avoid

Blog Post: Irregular Verbs Examples of Typical Mistakes

In one of my previous posts, I told you about how to learn irregular verbs effectively using a simple method of dividing them into groups. However smart we are about our learning though, there are always some words or forms which just refuse to be remembered. Do you know what I mean? You just keep forgetting this word again or again. It happens a lot to me and, I bet, it happens a lot to you too, doesn't it? And from my experience, this is a usual problem with irregular verbs. There are some many of them and we just don't have time to think while speaking. Let's focus today on the verbs in which learners make mistakes the most often. Let's make sure you never do the same.


irregular verbs factsheet 2

  • bell-o
    Some Irregular verbs are now regular in American English: verbs like burn, learn, smell, dream, and spoil. 
  • bell-o
    The most confusing irregular verbs are to lie (two different verbs!) vs. to lay. And also, to find vs. to found.
  • bell-o
    People also make a lot of mistakes confusing the forms of to feel (felt - felt) and to fall (fell - fallen).
  • bell-o
    Never use V2 in Perfect Tenses! In Perfect, we use have / has + V3.
  • bell-o
    Pronunciation mistakes make you hard to understand! Train your pronunciation to make sure you are saying what you want to say, not something else.

These verbs are still irregular! be careful!

The first very typical mistake among English learners - when we think that some of the verbs are regular but they are not. It's very typical in speaking because we just don't have enough time to think and remember! If you learnt irregular verbs in the list, of course, they could slip away. That's why again I will repeat how important it is to learn irregular verbs in context, not as a list. 

 And the list of the most popular, 'unhappy' verbs which are most often confused: teach, build, choose, cost, cut, hold, and steal. These are all examples from my real students. This is how people are trying to form past for them (the picture inside) and it's not correct because they are still irregular.

Irregular Verbs Mistakes you Need to Avoid | Learn English Online
Irregular Verbs Mistakes Corrected | Learn English Online

At the same time, I will remind you that there are some verbs which are treated both as regular and irregular in different accents of English: burn, learn, smell, dream, and spoil are used as regular verbs in American English now but in British accent we still treat them as irregular. The good news is their V2 and V3 are the same.

Forms in American English

Forms in British English

burn - burned - burned

learn - learned - learned

smell - smelled - smelled

dream - dreamed - dreamed

spoil - spoiled - spoiled

burn - burnt - burnt

learn - learnt - learnt

smell - smelled - smelled

dream - dreamed - dreamed

spoil - spoiled - spoiled

avoid these mistakes 1

  • He teached at school for 20 years. (Correct: He taught at school for 20 years)
  • He has builded a new house for us. (Correct: He has built a house for us)
  • I choosed a pink dress for the wedding. (Correct: I chose a pink dress for the wedding)
  • He stealed a lot of money from his company. (Correct: He stole a lot of money from his company)

Do you want to keep your irregular verbs organised? Download my free 'Irregular Verbs Learning Calendar':

do not mix those up

Another typical mistake: sometimes the verbs have similar meanings and they just get confused. We think about one verb and we use another verb instead. It can happen even with the Advanced English learners.

Watch the video lesson and practise with me. There is speaking exercise inside!

The best way to stop confusing these or others irregular verbs: to learn them in phrases, not separately.

avoid these mistakes 2

  • The boy felt from the tree. (Correct: The boy fell from the tree)
  • The boy fell confused because he fell from the tree. (Correct: The boy felt confused because he fell from the tree)
  • They have founded a great book club. (Correct: They have found a great book club)
  • He has found (=organised) a book club. (Correct: He has founded a book club)

Need to structure your English verb tenses? Want to use English verbs confidently? Check out my Verb Tenses Workout.

irregular verbs mistakes: do you pronounce them right?

Now, let's talk about the verbs which are often mispronounced. And it's very important to pronounce them right it could break your communication completely. People just won't understand what you mean!

So, if you know the form and maybe you can correctly use it in writing but say it wrongly, people have no time to figure this out. They don't know if you made a mistake or you wanted to say something absolutely different.

It is very confusing that's why it's very important to practise until you are absolutely sure in your pronunciation.

Watch the video lesson and be active! Repeat the forms out loud together with me. You can't learn pronunciation, you can only practise it. The more times you say the verbs, the easier it will be in communication. 

Do you notice any other repeated mistakes in irregular verbs? Which verbs make you confused? Tell me in the comments!

3 Irregular Verbs Mistakes you Need to Avoid | Learn English Online

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