Strong and Weak Verbs

The main tenses of a verb are the present, the past and the past participle. All other tenses are formed from these three tense forms.

Examine the main tenses of the following verbs:

  1. Post (present), posted (past), posted (past participle)
  2. Flee, fled, fled
  3. Feel,felt,felt

In the first, the vowel sound remains unchanged in the past and -ed is added. In the second, the vowel sound changes and -d is added. A verb which forms its past participle by adding -ed, -d or -t to the present tense, with or without a change in the main vowel sound is called a weak verb.

Now look at the following examples:

  1. Give, gave, given
  2. Abide, abode, abode
  3. Sit, sat, sat

In all these verbs, the vowel sound changes in the past tense,but no ending is added as in the case of weak verbs. A verb which forms its past tense by a change in the main vowel of the present tense and without the addition of any ending is called a strong verb.

There are two kinds of strong verbs:

a) Those that form their past participle by the addition of n,en or ne.
b) Those that form the past participle without any such addition.

Sections in this article

The simple present tense
The present progressive tense
The present perfect tense
The present perfect progressive tense
Present tenses to talk about the future
The simple past tense
The past progressive tense
The past perfect tense
The past perfect progressive tense
Past verb forms with present or future meaning
The simple future tense
The future progressive tense
The future perfect tense

See also

Common mistakes in the use of nouns
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 1
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 2
Common mistakes in the use of nouns | Exercise 3

More CBSE English Grammar worksheets

Passive voice worksheet | Simple past tense
Passive voice worksheet | Past continuous tense
Passive voice worksheet | Simple future tense
Passive voice worksheet | Future perfect tense


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