APPENDIX 2. IRREGULAR VERBS, HIGH AND LOW VOWEL QUALITIES

PICTURE: THREE FORMS OF THE VERB TO WRITE

English verbs, except Modal, have three forms. The forms help express thought about Time (PRESENT, PAST or FUTURE) and Aspect (Simple, Progressive, Perfect, or Perfect Progressive).

 

The first form can make the Present Simple:
I write.

 

The second form can make the Past Simple:
I wrote.

 

The third form can make the Perfect Aspect:
I have written (Present),
I had written (Past),
I will have written (Future).

 

We can view the Aspect as the character of activity. The first form and the ending –ING can help express activities that are Progressive in character:
I am writing.
Compare APPENDIX 1, for patterns with ING.

 

Regular verbs take the ending –ED, in the second and third form. Irregular verbs may take various shapes. They happen to have vowel patterns.

 

mean     meant      meant
meet     met      met
read     read      read
[I:]     [e:]     [e:]

 

Outside English-speaking countries, these are mostly American English or British English that people learn for their Englishes. We may compare the two distinct language varieties here.

 

Some verbs are regular in American English, although they are irregular in British English, and the other way round.

 

When the verb can be regular and irregular in American, we list both the forms. When the regular form prevails in American, we can mark it as REG.

 

Dependent on prevalence, we can mark forms that occur mostly in British English as BR. When the form is associated mostly with American English, we can mark it as AE.

 

Please note that literary American English may employ irregular verb forms for versatility, and stay with regular forms for everyday usage.

 

FIRST FORM

SECOND FORM

THIRD FORM

chide

chided / chid

chided / chid / chidden

gild

gilded REG / gilt

gilded REG / gilt

learn

learned / learnt BR

learned / learnt BR

 

Let us remember that the speech sound [L] happens to be an individualist, in American English. APPENDIX 1 has more also about this.

 

FIRST FORM

SECOND FORM

THIRD FORM

dial

dialed AE
dialled BR

dialed AE
dialled BR

Most dictionaries list irregular verbs alphabetically. We list them looking to speech sound patterns. This makes remembering irregular forms much easier. We might just read a few verbs at a time and begin to remember them. The phonetic transcription is generalized.

 

The vowel chart below shows approximate positions for high, mid, and low vowels in American English. Vowel height regards the position of the tongue in the mouth (high, mid, or low).

 

Please mind that American English is a live language and live languages change. Vowel charts and verb lists are not forever.

 

PICTURE: VOWEL CHART, HIGH AND LOW VOWELS

I(:)

reed, [I] bid

α

lark

o(:)

naught

e(:)

head

a(:)

car

ᴜ(:)

book

æ(:)

cat

Ʌ

not

(:)

earth

 

The colon — [:] — marks the speech sounds we pronounce longer. Vowels often become a bit higher, when prolonged. Please compare “reed” [I:] and “bid” [I].

 

[ə] is for the schwa. It is a neutral vowel sound. We find it in unstressed syllables. If stressed, the schwa most often becomes a full vowel. Some transcriptions consider [Ʌ] a reduced speech sound, too. This is why the table presents it without the colon. The [æ] joins [e] and [Ʌ] qualities.

 

IRREGULAR VERBS WITH REGARD TO VOWEL HEIGHT, HIGH TO LOW

 

We may star American English second and third irregular forms that can be of the same shapes. We do this to notice, not to learn by rote.

 

 

1. Second and third form [I]
[I:] — [I:] — [I:]

 

beat

beat

beaten

lean

leaned REG / leant BR

leaned REG / leant BR

leap

leaped REG / leapt

leaped REG / leapt

 

[I] — [I] — [I]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbuild

built

built

SYMBOLICS: STARgild

gilded REG / gilt

gilded REG / gilt

SYMBOLICS: STARgird

girded REG / girt

girded REG / girt

SYMBOLICS: STARhit

hit

hit

SYMBOLICS: STARknit

knitted / knit

knitted / knit

SYMBOLICS: STARrid

ridded / rid

ridded / rid

SYMBOLICS: STARspill

spilled REG / spilt

spilled REG / spilt

 

 

[ɅI] — [I] — [I]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbite

bit

bitten / bit

SYMBOLICS: STARchide

chid / chided

chid / chided / chidden

SYMBOLICS: STARhide

hid

hidden / hid

SYMBOLICS: STARlight

lit / lighted

lit / lighted

SYMBOLICS: STARslide

slid

slid

 

2. Second and third form [ᴜ:]
[ᴜ:] — [ᴜ:] — [ᴜ:]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARhew

hewed REG / hewn

hewed REG / hewn

prove

proved

proved REG / proven

strew

strewed

strewed REG / strewn

 

[æ:] — [ᴜ:] — [ᴜ:]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARstand

stood

stood

 

3. Second and third form [з:]
:] — [з:] — [з:]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARburn

burned REG / burnt

burned REG / burnt

learn

learned / learnt BR

learned / learnt BR

 

[I:] — [з:] — [з:]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARhear

heard

heard

 

4. Second and third form [eI]
[eI] — [eI] — [eI]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARinlay

inlaid

inlaid / inlain BR

lade

laded

laded REG / laden

SYMBOLICS: STARlay

laid

laid / lain BR

SYMBOLICS: STARmake

made

made

SYMBOLICS: STARpay

paid

paid

shave

shaved

shaved REG / shaven

 

[ ɅI] — [eI] — [eI]

 

lie

lay

lain

 

5. Second and third form [e]
[I:] — [e] — [e]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbereave

bereft / bereaved

bereft / bereaved

SYMBOLICS: STARbleed

bled

bled

SYMBOLICS: STARbreed

bred

bred

SYMBOLICS: STARdeal

dealt

dealt

SYMBOLICS: STARdream

dreamed AE / dreamt

dreamed AE / dreamt

SYMBOLICS: STARfeed

fed

fed

SYMBOLICS: STARfeel

felt

felt

SYMBOLICS: STARflee

fled

fled

SYMBOLICS: STARkeep

kept

kept

SYMBOLICS: STARkneel

knelt / kneeled

knelt / kneeled

SYMBOLICS: STARlead

led

led

SYMBOLICS: STARleave

left

left

SYMBOLICS: STARmean

meant

meant

SYMBOLICS: STARmeet

met

met

SYMBOLICS: STARread

read

read

SYMBOLICS: STARsleep

slept

slept

SYMBOLICS: STARspeed

sped / speeded

sped / speeded

SYMBOLICS: STARsweep

swept

swept

SYMBOLICS: STARweep

wept

wept

 

To remember verb patterns, we may think about the place and manner we make speech sounds.

 

The sounds [p] and [b], or [v] and [f] differ in voicing solely; [l] and [r] share much in place and differ in manner, similarly to [t], [d], [n], and [s]. We can compare the verbs “to beat”, “to lean”, and “to leap”.

 

[eI] — [e] — [e]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARgainsay

gainsaid

gainsaid

SYMBOLICS: STARsay

said

said

 

[e] — [e] — [e]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbend

bended / bent

bended / bent

SYMBOLICS: STARblend

blended REG / blent

blended REG / blent

SYMBOLICS: STARbless

blessed REG / blest

blessed REG / blest

SYMBOLICS: STARlend

lent

lent

SYMBOLICS: STARrend

rended / rent

rended / rent

SYMBOLICS: STARsend

sent

sent

SYMBOLICS: STARsmell

smelled REG / smelt

smelled REG / smelt

spell

spelled AE / spelt

spelled AE / spelt

SYMBOLICS: STARspend

spent

spent

 

[o] — [e] — [e]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARhold

held

held

 

6. Second and third form [o]
[oI] — [oI] — [oI]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARspoil

spoiled

spoiled REG / spoilt

 

[I:] — [oᴜ] — [oᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARcleave

cleaved REG / clove/cleft

cleaved REG / cloven

SYMBOLICS: STARfreeze

froze

frozen

SYMBOLICS: STARheave

heaved REG / hove

heaved REG / hove

SYMBOLICS: STARspeak

spoke

spoken

SYMBOLICS: STARsteal

stole

stolen

SYMBOLICS: STARweave

wove / weaved

woven / weaved

 

[eI] — [oᴜ] — [oᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbreak

broke

broken

SYMBOLICS: STARstave

staved REG / stove

staved REG / stove

SYMBOLICS: STARwake

woke / waked

woken / waked

 

[ᴜ:] — [oᴜ] — [oᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARchoose

chose

chosen

 

[oᴜ] — [oᴜ] — [oᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARmow

mowed

mowed REG / mown

SYMBOLICS: STARsew

sewed

sewn / sewed AE

SYMBOLICS: STARshow

showed

shown / showed AE

SYMBOLICS: STARsow

sowed

sown / sowed

 

[ɅI] — [oᴜ] — [oᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARshine

shone / shined AE

shone / shined AE

 

[ I:] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARseek

sought

sought

SYMBOLICS: STARteach

taught

taught

SYMBOLICS: STARshear

sheared REG / shore

sheared REG / shorn

 

[ I] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARthink

thought

thought

SYMBOLICS: STARbring

brought

brought

 

[ᴜ:] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARlose

lost

lost

SYMBOLICS: STARshoe

shod / shoed AE

shod / shoed AE

SYMBOLICS: STARshoot

shot

shot

 

:] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARwork

worked REG / wrought

worked REG / wrought

 

[e] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbear

bore

borne / born

SYMBOLICS: STARget

got

gotten AE / got

SYMBOLICS: STARsell

sold

sold

SYMBOLICS: STARswear

swore

sworn

SYMBOLICS: STARtell

told

told

SYMBOLICS: STARtear

tore

torn

SYMBOLICS: STARtread

trod

trodden

SYMBOLICS: STARwear

wore

worn

 

[æ] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARcatch

caught

caught

 

[o] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARsaw

sawed

sawed REG / sawn

 

[ɅI] — [o] — [o]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbuy

bought

bought

SYMBOLICS: STARfight

fought

fought

 

7. Second and third form [æ]
[I] — [æ] — [æ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARsit

sat

sat

SYMBOLICS: STARspit

spat / spit AE

spat / spit AE

 

[æ] — [æ] — [æ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARhave/has

had

had

 

8. Second and third form [Ʌ]
[I] — [Ʌ] — [Ʌ]

SYMBOLICS: STARcling

clung

clung

SYMBOLICS: STARdig

dug

dug

SYMBOLICS: STARfling

flung

flung

SYMBOLICS: STARsling

slung

slung

SYMBOLICS: STARslink

slunk / slinked AE

slunk / slinked AE

SYMBOLICS: STARspin

spun

spun

SYMBOLICS: STARstick

stuck

stuck

SYMBOLICS: STARsting

stung

stung

SYMBOLICS: STARstink (TABOO)

stunk (TABOO)

stunk (TABOO)

SYMBOLICS: STARstring

strung

strung

SYMBOLICS: STARswing

swung

swung

SYMBOLICS: STARwin

won

won

SYMBOLICS: STARwring

wrung

wrung

 

[æ] — [Ʌ] — [Ʌ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARhang

hung / hanged AE

hung / hanged AE

 

[ɅI] — [Ʌ] — [Ʌ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STAR strike

struck

struck/stricken

 

[ɅI] — [Ʌᴜ] — [Ʌᴜ]

 

SYMBOLICS: STARbind

bound

bound

SYMBOLICS: STARfind

found

found

SYMBOLICS: STARgrind

ground

ground

SYMBOLICS: STARwind

wound / winded

wound

 

The diphthong [Ʌᴜ] has a low sound, [Ʌ], right next to a high one, [ᴜ]. In speech, this makes the low quality more emphasized. This is why the diphthong is listed as lower than [Ʌ] alone.

 

Dependent on articulatory realization, that is, the way an individual person speaks, the [Ʌ] in [Ʌᴜ] could be even represented as [a:].

 

9. “Craddle” patterns: generally [A] — [B] — [A], that is, returning to first form vowels.

 

[I] — ()— [I]

[I:] — [eI]— [I:]

 

eat

ate

eaten

 

[I:] — [o]— [I:]

 

see

saw

seen

 

[I] — [eI]— [I]

 

bid

bade / bid

bidden / bid

give

gave

given

 

[I:] — [e/o]— [I]

 

be

was / were

been

 

[e] — () — [e]
[eI] — [ᴜ:]— [eI]

 

take

took

taken

shake

shook

shaken

 

[o] — () — [o]

[oᴜ] — [ᴜ]— [oᴜ]

 

blow

blew

blown

crow

crowed REG / crew

crowed

grow

grew

grown

throw

threw

thrown

 

[o] — [ᴜ]— [o]

 

draw

drew

drawn

 

[o] — [e]— [o]

 

fall

fell

fallen

 

[Ʌ] — ()— [Ʌ]

[Ʌ] — [eI]— [Ʌ]

 

come

came

come

 

[Ʌ] — [æ]— [Ʌ]

 

run

ran

run

 

10. We can join perceptions on vowel vertical and horizontal values: if we like, we can call it our “weave”. APPENDIX 3 deals with vowel fronting.

 

Here, we can say irregular verb vowels go down and up, as well as that they go mid-to-back.

 

[I] — [æ]— [Ʌ]

 

begin

began

begun

drink

drank

drunk

ring

rang

rung

sing

sang

sung

sink

sank

sunk

shrink

shrank / shrunk

shrunk / shrunken

spring

sprang / sprung

sprung

swim

swam

swum

 

Vowel qualities may go up all the way, at the same time becoming fronted.
[ɅI] — [oᴜ]— [I]

 

drive

drove

driven

ride

rode

ridden

rive

rived / rove BR

rived REG / riven

rise

rose

risen

shrive

shrove / shrived AE

shriven / shrived AE

smite

smote

smitten

stride

strode

stridden

strive

strived / strove

strived / striven

thrive

thrived REG / throve

thrived REG / thriven

write

wrote

written

 

Vowel qualities may go up and down, becoming backed as well.
[ᴜ] — [ I]— [ Ʌ]

 

do

did

done

 

[oᴜ] — [e]— [Ʌ]

 

go

went

gone

 

[ɅI] — [ᴜ:] — [oᴜ]

 

fly

flew

flown

 

Some vowel patterns have a tendency to become regular, in American.

 

swell

swelled

swelled REG / swollen

 

Some irregular verbs might not take any “weave” and remain unchanged.

 

put

put

put

burst

burst REG / bursted AE

burst REG / bursted AE

hurt

hurt

hurt

bet

bet

bet

let

let

let

set

set

set

cost

costed AE / cost

costed AE / cost

broadcast

broadcasted AE / broadcast

broadcasted AE / broadcast

cast

cast

cast

cut

cut

cut

thrust

thrust

thrust

 

When we choose to work on particular features, it is important that we do not overemphasize, that is, exaggerate. These are never isolated speech sounds to make speech: language is “woven” more.

EMOTICON: SMILE

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