Verbmatrix - The Irregular Verbs Webpage

 

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VerbMatrix: Revolutionizing how EFL students learn irregular verbs.

Welcome to VerbMatrix

Your source for Irregular Verb lists in Easy-to-Memorize Format. VerbMatrix has three graded levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) of printable lists for students of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) plus a Master List with 684 Irregular Verbs, the most complete list you will find anywhere. The three lists for EFL students form a systematic process by which EFL students build on the knowledge learned from the previous list to eventually have a command of every irregular verb necessary to maintain a cultivated conversation in English. The Beginner List, for example, has 80 verbs, similar in number to a typical verb list that is handed out in an EFL classroom. The Intermediate List includes those same 80 verbs plus an additional 60 verbs and, in a similar manner, the Advanced List includes the 140 verbs from the Intermediate List plus an additional 40 verbs. With each subsequent list the learning load becomes less and the review and reinforcement of previously learned verbs becomes stronger.

Each verb is linked to both a definition of the verb and an audio file to hear the pronunciation. Many verbs are also linked to level-appropriate prefixed verbs (i.e. draw is linked to verbs like withdraw, overdraw, etc.), which also helps memorization. Some verbs are linked to footnotes to point out unusual circumstances (i.e. the pronunciation of the Past and Past Participle of read).


Why are there so many irregular verbs and why are they so irregular?

English traces its origins to Germanic dialects that were brought to Britain by North Sea Germanic settlers in the 5th century. One of these invading Germanic tribes was the Angles, from which the country and the language derive their name. Subsequent invasions from the Vikings in the 9th century who spoke two dialects of Old Norse (Norwegian and Danish), and the Normans in the 11th century brought additional influences to the evolution of English. To this mixture we must add the influence of Latin, which served as a lingua franca throughout the intellectual circles of Medieval and Renaissance Europe and also introduced new words to Old, Middle and Modern English.

Many of the irregular verbs in English come from conjugation systems that were once regular in Old English or Old Norse. As English evolved and old conjugation systems fell into disuse, many of these verbs, typically the ones most frequently used, maintained their old past and past participle forms and became the exception rather than the rule.

For example, verbs that follow the same pattern as drive and write come from the Proto-Germanic language and the conjugations were regular in Old English and follow a pattern that is still regular in Modern German, Modern Dutch and other Germanic languages.


Future Plans for Additional Languages

It can be a formidable obstacle for beginner students and many intermediate students to have to navigate this website, assimilate the verbs' meanings and understand the footnotes in English. Here at VerbMatrix we are currently in the process of converting this website into other languages to make it accessible to all.


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