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Verbs commonly confused

Fall and fell

Fall is an irregular intransitive verb. Its past tense and past participle forms are: fell and fallen.

Fall / fell / fallen

Be careful; otherwise you will fall off the ladder.
He fell off the ladder.

Fell is a regular transitive verb. It means ‘chop down a tree’. The past and past participle forms of fell are: felled and felled.

Fell / felled / felled

The woodcutter felled the tree.
He was felled by an assassin’s bullet. (= He was killed by an assassin’s bullet.)

Find and found

Find means ‘get back something lost’.
Find is an irregular verb. Its past and past participle forms are: found and found.

Find / found / found

I searched everywhere but couldn’t find my keys.
His body was found several miles from his home.

Found means ‘start up an organization or institution’. It is a regular verb and forms its past and past participle forms by adding –ed to the base form.

Found / founded / founded

The college was founded in 1916.

Flow and fly

Flow (of a liquid) = move
Flow is a regular verb and forms its past and past participle forms by adding –ed to the base form.

Flow / flowed / flowed

Blood flowed from the wound.
Sap flowed from the gash in the tree.

Fly means ‘move in the air’. Its past and past participle forms are flew and flown.

Fly / flew / flown

Birds fly in the sky.

Raise and rise

Raise means ‘put up’, ‘make something larger or greater’ and similar ideas.

Raise is regular. Its past and past participle forms are: raised and raised.

Raise / raised / raised

She raised her hand.
They have raised the fuel prices again.

Raise can also mean ‘bring up’. With this meaning it is usually used in the passive.

He was raised by his grandmother. (= He was brought up by his grandmother.)

Rise means ‘get up’ or ‘stand up’.

Past and past participle forms of rise are: rose and risen.

Rise / rose / risen

He rose from his seat.
The sun rises in the east.

Strike and stroke

Strike means ‘hit’.
Past and past participle forms of strike are: struck and struck.

Strike / struck / struck

The car struck a tree.
The illness can strike at any age.

Stroke means ‘pass the hand gently over’.

Stroke is a regular verb and form the past and past participle forms by adding –ed to the base form.

Stroke / stroked / stroked

Wind and wound

Wind means ‘turn, tighten a spring etc'.

Past and participle forms are: wound and wound

The river winds through the valley.

Wound means ‘injure in a battle’. Wound is a regular verb and forms its past and past participle forms by adding –ed to the base form.

Wound / wounded / wounded

He was wounded in the battle.

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