Irregular Verbs – The Past Tense Of Catch/Caught, Bring/Brought…

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When learning English – or another language in general – there are many tricky parts you can come across. It’s important to not give up! Instead, learn some tricks, rules, and regularities – or some things by hard. One thing many people struggle with when learning English are irregular verbs.


Irregular verbs can become a hassle for many foreign language learners.

Is it “you are” or “you is”?

Why is it “I ate” instead of “I eated”?


Unfortunately, some of these things have to be learned by hard. You have no chance but simply remember the conjugation of “to be” or the past tense of “to cut”, “to cost”, and “to hit”. But not all irregular verbs have to be learned until you can recite them in your sleep! Some follow easy to remember rules rules!


Catch/Caught – Bring/Brought

Today, we want to have a look at some irregular verbs that look different but are formed similar. Namely:

to bring | to buy | to catch | to fight | to find | to grind | to seek | to teach | to think | to wind


Verbs with i, u, and e

Lets first have a look at irregular verbs that have an i, u, or e. From the list above, these are:

to bring | to buy | to fight | to find | to grind | to seek | to think | to wind

They all have one thing in common: their past tense is formed using ou!


  • to bring – brought – brought
  • to buy – bought – bought
  • to fight – fought – fought
  • to find – found – found
  • to grind – ground – ground
  • to seek – sought – sought
  • to think – thought – thought
  • to wind – wound – wound


Verbs with a and ea

The only verbs from the list above that have an a or ae are:

to catch | to teach

The past tense of these words contains au!


  • to catch – caught – caught
  • to teach – taught – taught



This simple rule is, by no means, linguistically thorough or motivated. From a linguistic point of few, these irregular words and their past tense forms can be described by allomorphy. They are subject to weak suppletive allomorphy in that they are formed by using similar allomorphs, however no phonological rule can determine the distribution.