How can I tell what the past participle of something is- especially if the past participle is usually different? Ex: Drink = have drunk, choose = had chosen, and bring = have brought. If these are all past participles, how can I know how to figure out the past participles of other words?

  • This is the kind of information you can easily find in any decent English textbook. But as a short answer to your question, here's what you need to know: past participles of irregular verbs should be learned by heart and past participles of regular verbs are formed by adding an ed to the end of a verb. That's how it's basically done. – Michael Rybkin Sep 20 '18 at 23:12
  • Thanks! I needed to know how to figure this out for one of my English projects. This helped with how to find the information. I only have one question- where would the past participle be in a dictionary? – bnicoleo0202 Sep 20 '18 at 23:30
  • @bnicoleo0202 Note that a lot of verbs are built by adding a prefix or such to an existing verb, which usually means they'll retain the base verb's forms. This list might come in handy. For instance, sit – sat – sat, then babysit – babysat – babysat, etc. That'll eliminate a good deal of inflectional forms (more accurately, shapes) you have to learn. Moreover, verbed forms are normally regular, so you don't have to worry about those. E.g., the noun Google, when verbed, has the preterit and past participle forms googled. – user3395 Sep 20 '18 at 23:50
  • Collins and M-W list the 'principle parts' immediately after the headword. Oxford Online, oddly, does not; but you can look at the many example sentences and find a perfect or passive that will provide you the past/passive participle. – StoneyB on hiatus Sep 20 '18 at 23:50
  • Learner's dictionaries usually list them. See, for instance, the OALD, which has a little expandable box titled Verb Forms right under the pronunciation guide. The LDOCE lists them right at the beginning of the entry in the parentheses (if the verb has irregular forms to begin with). – user3395 Sep 20 '18 at 23:52

Cambridge Dictionary gives the participle under the verb definition, if it is irregular. The verb "dig" is irregular, and the participle, "dug" is shown. By contrast, "look" is a regular verb and so no participle is shown, indicating that you form the participle in the normal way. Oxford does not do this in its verb definitions, but has a handy page summarising the formation of regular verb present and past tenses and participles, and a list of common irregular verbs.

Regular and irregular verbs (Oxford)

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Cambridge Dictionary

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