Much to learn, you still have. – Joda.

Despite the evidence that the number of irregular verbs is declining in the English language, there is no danger they will disappear, and the struggle will continue.

There are many attempts to find a shortcut in learning irregular verbs, yet with all the options and “magic tricks” available, learning these verbs requires much memorization, drilling and practice.

Today I will show how I use the Battleship game to drill and practise irregular verbs in a fun way.

Before the game:

Each player will need two 10×10 grids – one with irregular verbs in each square, and one blank grid. You can either prepare them in advance – laminate the grids to make them reusable – or get your learners to fill in the squares in the grids with the verbs they need to practise.


Click the Grids to download them.

The players then mark where they want to place their ships by circling rows, horizontally or vertically.

Each player’s fleet consists of the following ships:

1 aircraft carrier – 5 squares

1 battleship – 4 squares

1 cruiser – 3 squares

2 destroyers – 2 squares each

2 submarines – 1 square each



How to play:

The players take turns to make a shot at the opponent, by calling out the coordinates of a square. The opponent responds with the verb in the square. The player should give its second or third form (or both) to learn whether it’s a “hit” if it hits a ship or a “miss” if it misses. If every square of a ship gets shot, that ship is sunk.

If the player fails to give the verb forms, they skip their turn. To provide opportunities not only to memorize the form but also put it to meaningful use, if the player “hits” a ship, the player should make up a sentence with the verb in the square with the ship in it.

To provide opportunities not only to memorize the form but also put it to meaningful use, when it a “hit”, the player should make up a sentence with the verb (in the appropriate form) in the square with the ship in it.

During the play, players should record their shots on the blank grid as “X” for a hit and “O” for a miss. Get your learners to jot down the verb forms that they failed to give (later on, these verbs can be used for homework).

Whoever manages to sink all of the opponent’s ships first wins the game.

* * *

If you are looking for more resources to practise irregular verbs, check out

a great collection of exercises and worksheets from Free Language Stuff,

some more games with irregular verbs from Engames.

If you like paper and pen games, check out my post WORD GAMES.

Happy teaching!




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