Welcome to
ESL Printables, the website where English Language teachers exchange resources: worksheets, lesson plans,  activities, etc.
Our collection is growing every day with the help of many teachers. If you want to download you have to send your own contributions.





ESL Forum:

Techniques and methods in Language Teaching

Games, activities and teaching ideas

Grammar and Linguistics

Teaching material

Concerning worksheets

Concerning powerpoints

Concerning online exercises

Make suggestions, report errors

Ask for help

Message board


ESL forum > Grammar and Linguistics > Help memorizing irregular verbs    

Help memorizing irregular verbs


Help memorizing irregular verbs

I have a private student who is struggling to memorize the list of irregular verbs (infinitive/past/past participle)... he can say some, but it �s far from being ideal, because he doesn �t know the most of them... how can I help him memorizing them? Do you have any good tips?

Thanks a lot in advance.

Greetings from Portugal,


20 Apr 2013      

Czech Republic

oh, that is a problem even my B1 (pre-intermediate) learners have ... what we do is a lot of drilling. I know this method is now a bit old-fashioned but it works.

to memorise the individual verbs better it is useful to rememer them in a simple sentence, link it with a picture, etc. - in other words - use mnemonics. You as the teacher, or he can even mime the verb if it is an activity ... to link it with the movement in the memory.

and drill and drill .....

20 Apr 2013     


Hi Patricia!
Well, I don �t know how many verbs does your list comprise, but here you have the following tips:
1) group the verbs by similarity:   fly      flew    flown
                                                 draw   drew   drawn
                                                  bring   brought   brought
                                                  buy     bought    bought
                                                  catch   caught    caught
                                                  ring      rang       rung
                                                  swim    swam     swum
2) make test every 20 or 25 verbs (depending on the "members" of each group).
3) make your student write a couple of sentences with each verb abd verbal form.
I hope my advices are useful.

20 Apr 2013     

Peter Hardy

Yeap, the above answers (grouped lists and drilling) combined works for my students. And as there are too many words to learn all at once, we do ten a day. Just as a general rule, with ten new words a day you �ll build a word-knowledge of 3600 words over the year. That �s more than the average native child speaker. After two years you have the word-knowledge of an average adult! Keep up the good work. Cheers.

20 Apr 2013     


What I �d suggest you, as I always do, is to play games! The most effective one for my students is the memory (match the infinitive with a past or participle), than you can use different board games, dominoes or bingo. For more ideas, you can take a look at these here.

Hope it helps

21 Apr 2013