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25 Advanced Irregular Verbs

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If there is one thing kids love to do is to make fun of one another, and, more often than not, the target of these mockeries ends up being someone’s body or physique, a phenomenon that we now know as…


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We’re all too familiar with irregular verbs, aren’t we? At some point or another, every English learner, including myself, has been presented with a seemingly endless list of “boring” irregular verbs they needed to memorize if they wanted to experience the thrill of being able to form sentences in English using the past tense.

Usually these lists include anything between 70 and 90 verbs, but as you’ve probably guessed, they don’t cover all the irregular verbs so here’s a list of 25 less common (but still very important) irregular verbs. 

Disclaimer: if you’re already struggling to remember and use some of the most common irregular verbs, this article may not be for you just yet, and you’d be better off reviewing the most basic ones before reading on. If, on the other hand, you know those common irregular verbs like the back of your hand, you’re  probably ready for this.


Cling, clung, clung
To hold someone or something tightly, especially because you do not feel safe
He didn’t want to let me go, so he clung to me as hard as he could.


Feed, fed, fed
To give food to a person or animal
I already fed the cat.


Flee, fled, fled
To leave somewhere very quickly, in order to escape from danger
The terrorists were after him, so he fled the country as soon as possible.


Forbid, forbade, forbidden
To tell someone that they are not allowed to do something, or that something is not allowed
She wanted to come to the party but her mom forbade her.


Kneel, knelt/kneeled, knelt/kneeled
To be in or move into a position where your body is resting on your knees
He knelt down on one knee and then he proposed. I couldn’t believe it!


Light, lit, lit
To provide light for a place
The power went out so he lit a bunch of candles that he’d found in a drawer.


Quit, quit, quit
To leave a job, school etc, especially without finishing it completely
I quit my job yesterday. I couldn’t stand my boss.


Shit, shit/shat, shit/shat
To pass solid waste out of your body from your bowels (vulgar)
Look where the dog just shit/shat!


Shrink, shrank, shrunk
To become smaller, or to make something smaller, through the effects of heat or water
Look what the washer did to my shirt! It shrank!


Shut, shut, shut
To close something, or to become closed
He shut the door so fast, that picture fell.


Sneak, snuck, snuck
To go somewhere secretly and quietly in order to avoid being seen or heard
I snuck past my teachers so they wouldn’t see me.


Spin, spun, spun
To turn around and around very quickly, or to make something do this
I spun around so fast, I almost threw up.


Spit, spit/spat, spit/spat
To force something out of your mouth
He spat on the floor, how rude!


Split, split, split
To divide or separate something into different parts or groups, or to be divided into different parts or groups
We all split into groups of three and we played a game.


Spread, spread, spread
To open something out or arrange a group of things so that they cover a flat surface
I spread all the photos we have on that table so you can see them all.


Stick, stuck, stuck
To attach something to something else using a substance, or to become attached to a surface
I stuck a bunch of posters on the wall to brighten up the classroom.


Stink, stank, stunk
To have a strong and very unpleasant smell
By the time we got home, my clothes stank so much, I had to wash them.


Swear, swore, sworn
To say very strongly that what you are saying is true
He swore he was telling the truth but I knew he was lying.


Swell, swelled, swollen
To become larger and rounder than normal – used especially about parts of the body
I fell and now my ankle has swollen!


Tear, tore, torn
To damage something such as paper or cloth by pulling it hard or letting it touch something sharp
He tore a page out of this book thinking no one would notice.


Upset, upset, upset
To make someone feel unhappy or worried
The comment you made about his house really upset him.


Weep, wept, wept
To cry, especially because you feel very sad
When her hamster died, she wept for a whole day.


Wet, wet, wet
To make yourself, your clothes, or your bed wet because you pass water from your body by accident
I wet the bed a lot when I was a kid.


Withdraw, withdrew, withdrawn
To take money out of a bank account
We withdrew some money and headed to the casino.

How did it go? How many of these did you already know?

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