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What is the Past Tense of Beat

The word “beat” has several different definitions, the most commonly used of which are either to hit something violently, or to defeat someone in a contest or conflict. Besides these, it can also be used in a more abstract sense to refer to whipping eggs, or the action of the heart as it pumps blood through the body.

In the sections below, we will focus on the more common definitions.

What is the past tense of “beat”?

Beat (verb):

(1) Strike someone or something repeatedly and violently

(2) Defeat someone in a competitive situation or a conflict

  • Infinitive           –        to beat
  • Simple Past    –          beat
  • Past Participle –          beaten

Conjugation Table

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Ibeatbeathave beatenam beating
You (sing.)beatbeathave beatenare beating
He/She/Itbeatsbeathas beatenis beating
Webeatbeathave beatenare beating
You (pl.)beatbeathave beatenare beating
Theybeatbeathave beatenare beating

Example Sentences

(1) Strike someone or something repeatedly and violently

  • Desperate to escape, he beat his fists on the locked door until they were bloody
  • The cruel man would beat his dogs whenever they were disobedient
  • A majority of cases of domestic violence involve a man beating a woman

(2) Defeat someone in a competitive situation or a conflict

  • In a surprise win, the England football team beat Germany 4-1
  • IBM Deep Blue was the computer that beat a renowned world chess champion in 1997
  • After beating the French forces at Toulouse, Wellington marched his army toward Paris

Focus: Past Tense of Beat

Here are some more example sentences that focus on the past tense uses of beat, as well as perfect and continuous tenses, including:

  • Simple past
  • Present perfect
  • Past continuous
  • Past perfect

Simple Past

  • Argentina beat France in the 2022 World Cup Final in Qatar
  • During the concert, he beat the drum so loudly that it was hard to hear the violinists
  • Last time we played, he beat us very easily

Present Perfect

  • He has beaten me at chess before, so I’m not so confident this time
  • The Australian cricket team has beaten the English team every time they’ve met over the past few years
  • The chess computer has beaten you! Never mind

Past Continuous

  • He was beating his fists on the wall to try and get the attention of whoever is on the other side
  • They were beating us in the rugby match until we made a player substitution that turned the game around for us
  • She was beating eggs to make a cake when the telephone rang

Past Perfect

  • The match was frustrating because she had beaten him at chess so many times before now, but this time it seemed impossible
  • They had beaten the enemy, and so were ready to celebrate
  • The police said that Smith had beaten the other man to within an inch of his life

Understanding the Verb “Beat”

The verb “beat,” stemming from Old English “bēatan,” implies striking repeatedly, surpassing someone in a competition, or pulsating rhythmically.

Phrasal Verbs with “Beat”

  1. Beat up: To attack someone physically.
    • He got beaten up in a bar fight.
    • The gang beat him up for no apparent reason.
  2. Beat out: To surpass or do better than competitors.
    • She beat out the other applicants for the job.
    • Our team beat out the rest to win the championship.
  3. Beat around the bush: To avoid talking about what is important.
    • Stop beating around the bush and tell me the truth.
    • He always beats around the bush instead of getting to the point.

Common Mistakes with “Beat”

  • Incorrect: He has beated the record.
  • Correct: He has beaten the record.
  • Incorrect: They beats the opposing team last night.
  • Correct: They beat the opposing team last night.

You can check other past tense words by clicking on the links in the table below.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

learn keepfindbe

We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.


So the simple answer, and where you will be correct most of the time, is that the past tense of beat is beat or beaten unless you are using some of the more complex English tenses.

Especially perfect and future tenses which require will or have/has been within them to be grammatically correct. you can see from the table above how they change the infinitive version of the verb beat.

We have highlighted those in the table as well for your assistance and reference.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.

I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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