Headbloom Blog

Verbs which don’t change
Would you say “WUOM has broadcast (or has broadcasted) for over six decades.”? When do verbs not take -ed in the past or participle form?

Most English verbs have two or three distinct forms, depending on tense.

A. Hurray for Regular Verbs! Just add -ed.
For example: delete—deleted—deleted

  • I delete dozens of useless e-mails every day. (present)
  • I deleted a hundred yesterday. (past)
  • I haven’t deleted any yet this morning. (past participle)

Other examples:

  • rent—rented—rented
  • fix—fixed—fixed
  • wipe—wiped—wiped

B. Curses on those Irregular Verbs! So much memorization!
For example: go—went—gone

  • I go running with a friend every Thursday. (present)
  • I went running by myself yesterday. (past)
  • I have gone running on the new trail only once.

Other examples that you just have to memorize (sorry!):

  • buy—bought—bought
  • drink—drank—drunk
  • write—wrote—written

However, a small number of irregular verbs don’t change at all. They are the same in the present, past, and perfect forms. These are usually short verbs ending in -t (or sometimes -d.) Don’t try to add -ed to them.

For example: quit—quit—quit

  • I usually quit working when I get tired. (present)
  • He quit his job and moved out of state. (past)
  • She hasn’t quit smoking yet. (past participle)

Other examples:

  • hit—hit—hit
  • fit—fit—fit (as intransitive verb)
  • split—split—split
  • bid—bid—bid
  • outbid—outbid—outbid
  • cast—cast—cast
  • forecast—forecast—forecast
  • broadcast—broadcast—broadcast
  • wet—wet—wet
  • bet—bet—bet
  • set—set—set
  • let—let—let
  • cut—cut—cut
  • put—put—put
  • hurt-hurt—hurt

For a non-native speaker, the tendency will be to add -ed to the past and participle forms. The only way to break this habit is to memorize the ones you use frequently and then practice them until the new (correct) forms become natural to you.

Alan Headbloom