| | |

What is the Past Tense of Give

Is there an English verb that is more useful than “to give”? It’s hard to say, but “give” is among the most commonly used, and among the first verbs that new learners first acquire.

Not only is the word used a lot independently, but also as part of phrasal verbs such as “give up” and “give in.”

The past tense of “give” is “gave” and the past participle is “given.”

What is the past tense of “give”?

Give (verb):

(1) To transfer, supply or hand something over to someone else’s possession, usually freely

(2) To cause or allow someone or something to have; to supply someone with something (usually abstract)

  • Infinitive                       to give
  • Simple Past                 gave
  • Past Participle             given

Conjugation Table of “give”

 PronounInfinitiveSimple PastPresent PerfectPresent Continuous
Igivegavehave givenam giving
You (sing.)givegavehave givenare giving
He/She/Itgivesgavehas givenis giving
Wegivegavehave givenare giving
You (pl.)givegavehave givenare giving
Theygivegavehave givenare giving

Example Sentences of “give”

(1) To transfer, supply or hand something over to someone else’s possession, usually freely

  • Did you give me your homework already? If not, when can I have it?
  • He very generously gave his son a new car for his birthday
  • They will happily give money to support your cause, no strings attached

(2) To cause or allow someone or something to have; to supply someone with something (usually abstract)

  • Oh my! Don’t scare me like that, you nearly gave me a heart attack!
  • We were given quite the shock when we heard the news
  • Can you just give me the honest truth?
what is the past tense of give

Focus: Past Tense of Give

“Give” is a word that learners will typically acquire very early in their English journey, but over time they will also expand that knowledge to include the use of “give” in a number of phrasal verbs. Below, we’ve prepared some examples of how “give” can be used in its various past-tense forms, including:

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

Simple Past of “give”

  • He gave his wife a very thoughtful gift for their wedding anniversary
  • I gave the border agent my passport, but he seemed to already think I was a criminal
  • My father gave me this watch before he died, so it has great sentimental value to me

Present Perfect of “give”

  • We have given you everything you need to be a success, so it’s time for you to start putting in more effort
  • You have given me such good advice over the years, I just wanted to say thank you
  • These employees have given you everything over the last decade, you can’t now just lay them off so callously

Past Continuous of “give”

  • I was giving a paleontology lecture at New York University last week, and all I could think of was Ross from the show Friends when he started teaching
  • He was giving me a lot of grief during the meeting because I had been late so often this month
  • We were giving you the benefit of the doubt, but now we think you might just be a bad person

Past Perfect of “give”

  • We had given them every chance, but they just refused to listen
  • I had given you warning after warning, but still you decided to proceed with the plan

Understanding the Verb “Give”

The verb “give” stems from the Old Norse “gefa,” indicating the act of bestowing something to someone.

Phrasal Verbs with “Give”

  1. Give up: To quit or surrender.
    • I won’t give up. I’ll keep trying.
    • She gave up smoking last year.
  2. Give in: To yield or submit.
    • After hours of negotiation, they finally gave in to our demands.
    • He doesn’t want to give in to peer pressure.
  3. Give away: To donate or reveal a secret.
    • She gave away most of her old clothes to charity.
    • Don’t give away the ending of the movie!

Common Mistakes with “Give”

  • Incorrect: I gived him a present.
  • Correct: I gave him a present.
  • Incorrect: She gives the keys to I.
  • Correct: She gives the keys to me.

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

You can check other past tense words and our past tense resources by clicking on the links in the table below and in the resource list below that.

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.

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.

Similar Posts

Always welcome thoughts and comments, new blogs can be lonely!!