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Monday, September 3, 2012

Have You Broke a Grammar Rule?

Have you broke a grammar rule by using this headline?  YES!!! 

Irregular verbs can cause quite a commotion when used improperly.  The irregular verb, break, creates many problems for some users, making others want to break them of their bad habit.

The principal forms of the verb break are:

INFINITIVE                             PAST                           PAST PARTICIPLE

break                                         broke                            (have) broken

The best way to learn irregular verb forms is to memorize the principal parts.  Next do some exercises.  Concentrate on any verb you have not used correctly and review its principal parts, repeating them over and over until the correct forms are fixed in your mind and the incorrect forms "hurt" your ears.  

Remember the past participle is always used with one or more helping, or auxiliary verbs -- is, are, was, have, have been, could have, might have, etc.  To remind yourself of this fact, always use have before the past participle when you repeat the principal parts of a verb.  Thus, you would say -- break, broke, have broken. 

Uh-oh!  The word have appears in the headline above.  What goes with a helper?  The past participle.  The headline should have read, "Have You Broken a Grammar Rule?" instead.

Here are some practice sentences using the irregular verb break.  What is the correct form that should fit in the blank?  Jot your answers down on a piece of paper before you check the answers with mine.

1.  Bob's cousin has __________ into show business.

2.  The silence was __________ by a sudden clap of thunder.

3.  While I was writing, my pencil suddenly  __________.

4.  Jenna's heart was ___________ when her boyfriend started dating someone else.

5.  Joe might have _____________ the rules.


Answers:  1.)  broken   2.)  broken   3.)  broke    4.)   broken   5.) broken

So make sure you have learned the principal parts of break.  That way you won't have to break out of jail after the Grammar Police imprison you for the use of an incorrect verb form.


  1. Them verbs is all irregular. They broked me up in pieces.

  2. Funny thing. When I read your title, I read it as, "Have You BrokeN a Grammar Rule?" Quirky mind of mine.

    1. It's amazing how our minds work, isn't it? Thanks for making me smile today :)

  3. Your way to enlighten everything on this blog is actually pleasant, everyone manage to efficiently be familiar with it, Thanks a great deal.Grammarly

    1. Thanks, Shane. I appreciate that you took the time to let me know you think this works. Feedback is always a good thing.