Session 1

Break, broke, broken... We look at verbs that don't behave themselves, with the help of a mysterious story

ክፍለ-ስራሓት ናይዚ ምዕራፍ

ድምር ነጥቢ ናይዚ ክፍለ-ስራሓት 1

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Activity 1

6 Minute Vocabulary

Sing, sang, sung…

... begin, began, begun.

Learning irregular verbs can be difficult. But thankfully, many of them follow patterns which can help you to remember the different forms. Listen to Finn and Catherine talking about these patterns in 6 Minute Vocabulary.

ነቲ ድምጺ ብምስማዕ ነቲ ስራሕ ፈጽምዎ

ነቲ ቅዳሕ ጽሑፍ ኣርእይዎ ነቲ ቅዳሕ ጽሑፍ ሕብእዎ

Finn
Hello and welcome to 6 Minute Vocabulary. I’m Finn. 

Catherine
And I’m Catherine.  

Finn
In today’s programme we’re talking about irregular verbs.

Catherine
Yes, and as you know, there are lots of irregular verbs in English.

Finn
Lots and lots. Some, like write, have different forms for the past simple and past participle: wrote and written 

Catherine
Yes and it's not always easy to remember all those different forms!

Finn
It's not. Today, though, we’re going to explain how some of these verbs can be grouped into patterns to help remember the different forms. 

Catherine
We’ll give you lots of examples…

Finn
We’ll have a quiz… 

Catherine
…and we’ll leave you with a top tip for learning vocabulary.

Finn
But first, let’s hear my interview with singer-songwriter Andrea.

Catherine
While you listen, think about this question: Who hasn’t spoken to Andrea for a long time? 

INSERT
Finn
Hi, Andrea. Now, tell us: when did you begin to sing?

Andrea
I sang in the school choir and I began to sing in bands when I was just ten.

Finn
Oh, wow. So how many songs have you written 

Andrea
Over a hundred. I wrote one just before I drove here.  

Finn
Right. And Andrea, I'm sure you have broken many men’s hearts. Tell us, who was the first?

Andrea
Oh, he was a boy called Marcus. I knew him at school. We grew up on the same street. He’s not spoken to me since we broke up. 

Finn
Since you broke up, that sounds bad. Thank you for coming and speaking to us today, Andrea.

Andrea
Thanks for having me. 

STING

Finn
And there we are. So, we asked you: Who hasn’t spoken to Andrea for a long time? 

Catherine
And the answer is: Marcus. They haven’t spoken since they broke up.

Finn
Broke is the past simple of the verb break and it belongs to our first group of verbs. It has the pattern break, broke, broken. 

Catherine
That's right, the past simple is broke and the past participle is broken. 

Finn
Listen to this clip. Can you hear another verb with the same pattern? Here’s a clue. The word rhymes with broken.

INSERT CLIP 1

Andrea
Oh, he was a boy called Marcus. I knew him at school. We grew up on the same street. He’s not spoken to me since we broke up. 

Catherine
OK, and spoken rhymes with broken. The verb speak forms its past simple and past participle in the same way as break.

Finn
So it’s speak, spoke, spoken 

Catherine
And speak and break are pronounced differently although they both have e-a-k at the end.

Finn
They do. Now, another verb with the same pattern is wake. 

Catherine
… so it’s wake, woke, woken.

Finn
… although we spell wake, w-a-k-e. It's not spelt e-a-k at the end. Now, in the interview, we had two other verbs with a different pattern. 

Catherine
That's right, we had the past forms knew and grew. Andrea knew Marcus at school and she grew up on the same street.

Finn
Yes. These are the past simple forms of know and grow. 

Catherine
So, it’s know, knew, known

Finn
Grow, grew, grown 

Catherine
Another verb with this pattern is blow.

Finn
So it’s blow, blew, blown. 

Catherine
So we've got two groups. The first one is verbs like speak, spoke, spoken

Finn
And we have in our second group, verbs like grow, grew, grown. Listen to this second clip and see if you can spot two more patterns. Here’s a clue: listen to words that rhyme or have similar pronunciations. 

INSERT CLIP 2
Finn

When did you begin to sing

Andrea
I sang in the school choir and I began to sing in bands when I was just ten. 

Finn
Oh, wow. How many songs have you written?

Andrea
Over a hundred. I wrote one just before I drove here.  

Catherine
Did you hear the patterns begin began and sing sang?

Finn
So, this pattern is begin, began, begun 

Catherine
Exactly, and we've got sing, sang, sung

Finn
In the clip, we also had another pattern - wrotewritten. So, that's the past simple and the past participle of write. 

Catherine
We heard another verb with this pattern… drove, which is the past simple of drive.

Finn
And the past participle is… 

Finn
driven. So that's drive, drove, driven.

IDENT          
6 Minute Vocabulary from BBC Learning English

Catherine
And now for a quiz. I’ll give you two parts of a verb. You have to complete the pattern. Ready? Number one: swim, swam, ______.

Finn
swum. 

Catherine
Well done if you got that right. Number two: speak, ______, spoken.

Finn
spoke. 

Catherine
Correct. Number three: ______, wrote, written.

Finn
write. 

Catherine
And that’s the end of the quiz. Well done if you got them right.

Finn
And now, today’s top tip for learning vocabulary: combine irregular verbs with the same pattern in a short rhyme or story. The pattern of the rhyme will help you remember the different forms.

Catherine
There’s more about this at bbclearningenglish.com. Join us again for more 6 Minute Vocabulary.

Both         
Bye!

Download

You can download 6 Minute Vocabulary from our Unit 28 Downloads page. Remember, you can also subscribe to the podcast version.

Next

Now you've heard 6 Minute Vocabulary why not take the time to read more about this topic and try some quizzes? Join us in Activities 2 and 3.

Session Vocabulary

  • Group 1

    begin, began, begun

    sing, sang, sung

    Group 2

    break, broke, broken

    speak, spoke, spoken

    wake, woke, woken

    Group 3

    blow, blew, blown

    grow, grew, grown

    know, knew, known

    Group 4

    drive, drove, driven

    write, wrote, written