Problem Verbs

Problem Verbs

Problem Verbs Online Quiz -1
Problem Verbs Online Quiz -2
Problem Verbs Online Quiz -3

Problem Verbs

Problem Verbs

Problem verbs, also known as troublesome or difficult verbs, are a group of verbs in English that often cause confusion due to irregularities in their conjugation, usage, or meaning. Being aware of these verbs and understanding their peculiarities is important for accurate and confident communication. In this section, we will explore some common problem verbs, their challenges, and strategies to overcome difficulties in using them correctly.

  1. Irregular Verbs: Irregular verbs are verbs that do not follow the regular pattern of verb conjugation. They have unique forms for the past tense and past participle, which do not end in -ed. Examples of common irregular verbs include “go” (went, gone), “see” (saw, seen), and “be” (was/were, been).

Example: She went to the store yesterday.

  1. Phrasal Verbs: Phrasal verbs are verb phrases that consist of a main verb combined with one or more particles (prepositions or adverbs). They often have idiomatic meanings that cannot be deduced from the individual words. Phrasal verbs can be challenging because their meaning can vary based on context.

Example: He put off studying until the last minute.

  1. Confusing Verb Pairs: Certain verb pairs in English have similar spellings or meanings, leading to confusion in their usage. For example, “lay” (to place something down) and “lie” (to recline or be in a horizontal position) are often misused.

Example: She lies down on the couch to relax.

  1. Verb + Gerund or Infinitive: Some verbs are followed by either a gerund (verb form ending in -ing) or an infinitive (base form of the verb preceded by “to”), but their meanings change based on the choice of the verb form. This can lead to confusion and incorrect usage.

Example: He stopped smoking (gerund) when he realized the health risks.

Problem Verbs

Conclusion: Problem verbs in English can present challenges in conjugation, usage, or meaning. By familiarizing yourself with irregular verbs, understanding the nuances of phrasal verbs, differentiating between confusing verb pairs, and mastering the correct usage of verb + gerund or infinitive, you can overcome difficulties and communicate more effectively. Practice using problem verbs in context, consult reliable resources, and seek feedback to improve your command of these verbs.


Problem Verbs


Choose the correct word in parentheses.

1. The student (raised / rose) his hand in class.
2. Hot air (raises / rises).
3. Ann (set / sat) in a chair because she was tired.
4. I (set / sat) your dictionary on the table a few minutes ago.
5. Hens (lay / lie) eggs.
6. Al is (laying / lying) on the grass in the park right now.
7. Jan (laid / lay) the comb on the top of the dresser a few minutes ago.
8. If you are tired, you should (lay / lie) down and take a nap.
9. San Francisco (lays / lies) to the north of Los Angeles.
10. After studying all the new material, the student was able to (rise / raise) his test score by twenty-five points.
11 .The book that you see (laying / lying) on the table belongs to the teacher.


1. raised 4. set 7. laid 10. raise
2. rises 5. lay 8. lie 11. lying
3. sat 6. lying 9. lies



Choose the word that correctly completes each sentence below.

1. Floyd (lay, laid) in the hammock while Sandy washed her new car.
2. When she gets a headache, Deirdre (lies, lays) down in dark room for several hours.
3. Ryan (sat, set) his Swiss Army knife on the bedside table next to his wallet and keys.
4. Bill (lain, laid) his hammer on the bench and began looking for longer nails.
5. Norman and Lynn spread an old tablecloth on the ground and (sat, set) in the grass to eat their picnic supper.
6. If you feel your hair standing on end during thunderstorm, (lie, lay) down quickly to avoid being hit by lightning.
7. Joan and Kate (sat, set) so close to the front of the theatre that they had to lean back to see the movie.
8. The new trophy (sat, set) on the bookcase.
9. Jean had (lain, laid) in the sun so long that her skin was bright pink.
10.Jack always (sits, sets) down one cup of coffee, forgets about it, and pours another.
11. Mayor Johansson helped (lie, lay) the cornerstone for the new municipal building.
12. That grandfather`s clock has (set, sat) in the same spot for forty years.
13. The volcano had (lain, laid) dormant for fifty years when it suddenly erupted.
14. They have already (risen, raised) their family and now free to travel.
15. Never leave your purse (lying, laying) where someone might be able to steal it.

Ex. 2

1. lay 6. lie 11. lay
2. lies 7. sat 12. sat
3. set 8. sat 13. lain
4. laid 9. lain 14. raised
5. sat 10. sets 15. lying

Problem verbs


Most of the following sentences contain one mistake. Write True or False Correct mistakes.

1. The cost of living has raised 3 percent in the past year.
2. Her coat was laying on the chair.
3. Please sit the telephone on the table by the bed.
4. The flag is risen at the dawn by an honor guard.
5. I have lain your notebook on the table by the door so that you won’t forget it.
6. Won’t you sit down?
7. Kay needs to rise her grades if she wants to get into graduate school.
8. Key West lays off the coast of Florida.
9. Their house sits on a hill overlooking a lake.
10.The landlord has risen the rent.
11. Linda always forgets where she lies her glasses.
12. Let’s sit your suitcases out of the way.
13. The smoke that is raising from that oil refinery is black.
14. Terry has sat there waiting for us for almost an hour.
15. Susan likes to lay down for a short nap every afternoon.
16. We certainly hope that prices do not raise so quickly again.
17. She set her new chair between the sofa and the buffet.
18. The bread dough has raised enough and is now ready to be baked.
19. When Betty arrived home, she found her husband laying on the sofa asleep as usual.
20. Mrs. Jones had carefully lain her children’s clothes out ready for the children to put


1. F, has risen 11. F,… she lays .
2. T 12. F,.. set
3. F, set the table 13. F, … is rising
4. F, is raised 14.T
5. F, have laid 15. F, … likes to lie down
6. T 16. F, … do not rise
7. F, needs to raise her grades 17.T
8. F, Key West lies off… 18. F, … has risen
9. T 19. F, … husband lying
10. F, … has raised 20. F, … had carefully laid

Problem verbs


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