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Verb Forms and Verb Tenses (#8): Spelling Regular Past Forms, by Dennis Oliver


Verb Forms and Verb Tenses (#8):

Spelling Regular Past Forms


English verbs have five basic forms: the base form, the - S form,
the - ing form, the past form, and the past participle form. There
are two types of past forms--for
regular and irregular verbs.

The past form of regular verbs ends in - d, - ed, or - ied. Here are
some guidelines for spelling.


Add -d to the base form.

This happens when the base form ends in a vowel
one or more consonants plus e:

ached, baked, blamed, breathed, cared, cached,
d. diced, dozed, dyed, edged, fiddled, filed,
d, grated, hated, hoped, joked, lived,
d, noted, paced, pasted, raced, raised,
d, spared, surprised, tasted, typed, whined.

This also happens when the base form ends in ue,
oe, or ie:

glued, rued, sued, hoed, toed, died, lied, tied


Change -y to -i and add -ed.

This happens when a verb ends in a consonant

apply / applied; bully / bullied; bury / buried;
carry / carr
ied; copy / copied; cry / cried;
dry / dr
ied; ferry / ferried; fry / fried;
hurry / hurr
ied; marry / married;
parry / parr
ied; pry / pried; query / queried;
rely / rel
ied; tarry / tarried; tidy / tidied;
try / tr
ied; vary / varied; worry / worried

This does not happen when a verb ends in a vowel

annoy / annoyed; bray / brayed; destroy / destroyed;
employ / employed; enjoy / enjoyed;
fray / frayed; gray / grayed; obey / obeyed;
play / played; pray / prayed; prey / preyed;
stay / stayed; stray / strayed; sway / swayed;
toy / toyed

Compare fray / frayed with fry / fried;
pray / prayed , prey / preyed and parry / parried
with pry / pried.


Double the final consonant and add -ed
if there is a single stressed vowel before
the final consonant.

ban / banned; can / canned; hem / hemmed;
mop / mop
ped; pin / pinned; sip / sipped;
trap / trap
ped; wad / wadded; whip / whipped;
compél / compél
led; confér / conférred;
prefér / prefér
red; refér / reférred


Compare cane / caned and can / canned;
mope / moped and mop / mopped;
pine / pined and pin / pinned;
wade / waded and wad / wadded.

Also compare óffer / óffered and confér / conférred;
trável / tráveled and compél / compélled.

4.   Add -ed to the base forms of all other
regular verbs.


irregular verbs

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