Irregular English verbs: -ake to -ook (take, shake, forsake)

by Jakub Marian

Tip: See my list of the Most Common Mistakes in English. It will teach you how to avoid mis­takes with com­mas, pre­pos­i­tions, ir­reg­u­lar verbs, and much more.

A few English verbs follow the pattern -ake → -ook → -aken in the past tense. They are all derived from the verb “take”, apart from “shake”, and “forsake”. Here are the ones derived from “take”:

take – took – taken
mistake – mistook – mistaken
retake (“take control of something again”) – retook – retaken
overtake (“to become greater or more important than”) – overtook – overtaken
undertake (“take responsibility for and start doing”) – undertook – undertaken
partake (“participate”, “take a portion”) – partook – partaken
betake oneself (“go”) – betook – betaken

Note: “betake” is used with a reflexive pronoun, e.g. “he betook himself to his room” = “he went to his room”. The only other two verbs following the same pattern are:

shake – shook – shaken
forsake (“abandon”) – forsook – forsaken

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