Past Tense For Work: Work Or Worked?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Work?

Many know that the past tense of sit and past tense of swing transform differently since they are both irregular verbs. But it’s not the case for “work.”

Work past participle and past tense are WORKED (W-O-R-K-E-D). In short, it’s a regular verb, sticking to the -ED rule. 

The table below will show you all the verb forms of “work:”

Base/Infinitive Form (V1) work
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form works
Past Form (V2) worked
Past Participle Form (V3) worked
Present Participle/Gerund working

How About The “Work” Pronunciation?

Let us walk through the British and American English accents of all the work’s verb tenses:

Verb Forms Pronunciation
British English language American English


work /wɜːk/ /wɜːk/
works /wɜːks/ /wɜːks/
worked /wɜːkt/ /wɜːkt/
worked /wɜːkt/ /wɜːkt/
working /ˈwɜːkɪŋ/ /ˈwɜːkɪŋ/

Many beginner English learners mispronounce “work” and “walked” as well as their past tense. So here is a quick guide on how to differentiate and say them correctly:

What Is The Meaning Of The Verb Work?

Past Tense For Work

The definitions of “work” are also the backbone of today’s article. Let’s see all these meanings with detailed examples:

  1. To do something involving mental or physical effort, particularly as part of a job.
  • The entire debate team worked on this project to a tee. 
  • My teammates have worked on the current job duties for roughly 3 hours. 
  1. To earn a job.
  • Hennie worked in the current company 3 years ago.
  • Jimmy has worked in the petrol industry for over 30 years.
  1. To try to hit a goal or achieve something.
  • Different groups worked harmoniously as they could make use of their fortes effectively.
  • All members have worked together for quite some time to figure out the solution.
  1. To make somebody/yourself do something really hard.
  • This video artist’s firm worked him hard.
  • All students have worked very hard thanks to the teachers’ help.
  1. To pass or move to a particular state or place gradually.
  • We worked out in California 4 years ago.
  • They have worked out of Texas for nearly 9 months.
  1. To move aggressively.
  • That acclaimed artist stared at her in horror, and his mouth worked dauntingly.
  • The boat had worked in the storm before getting sunk. 
  1. To adopt a special material to create a picture or other items.
  • The seasoned mechanic worked with a toolbox and his effort.
  • The professor has worked with this material for a long time.
  1. To make the material into a specific form by stretching, pressing, hitting it, etc.
  • The farmer worked with the fibers before covering them on the ground. 
  • The patients have worked with a special tool to recover rapidly.
  1. To operate or manage something to benefit from it.
  • Boys worked with their families because of the thriving profit.
  • This talented team hasn’t worked together for 5 years.
  1. To make a specific effect.
  • Her age worked against her in that job.
  • This outside condition has worked against the team of writers’ success.
  1. To have the effect or result that you like (to be effective).
  • These given pills didn’t work for my disease.
  • Those newspapers have worked for my thesis.
  1. To make a device, machine, etc., operate
  • I worked the coffee machine with seeming ease.
  • The girl has worked the washing machine carelessly.

Vocabulary Quiz: Select The Correct Options


Created on By Benjamin

Past Tense For Work

Get inside the part of all homework for you. Use the past participle of work, past tense, or any correct form in each sentence:

1 / 5

I am keen on this awe-inspiring gameplay, though I don't know how it ……….. exactly.

2 / 5

Every day, he ……….. himself in a frenzy of rage, moving mountains to keep her out of his mind.

3 / 5

They are still …………. out of the plan; they have already been in the meeting room for 2 hours.

4 / 5

Because she figured out my competency, she finally ………… up all the courage to offer me the current work position.

5 / 5

Many know little about what these project managers are ………… on.

Your score is

The average score is 10%



Is “Work” Just A Verb?

No. Aside from a verb, this word is also a noun with one of these meanings:

  1. The job someone does to earn money.
  2. The place where you do the job and make money.
  3. The current duties you have and the current responsibilities you do for work.
  4. ​Tasks that need doing.
  5. Materials used for doing work, notably papers, books, etc.
  6. The use of mental or physical power to make something.
  7. Things resulting from work.
  8. A piece of music or painting, a book, etc.
  9. Activities involving fixing something or building.
  10. The machine’s moving parts, etc.
  11. The consequence of an action.
  12. Everything.
  13. The use of force to move something.
  14. A place where the industrial processes take place.

What Are Some Idioms With Work?

    1. All in a day’s work: Part of your working life.
    2. All work and no play: Talk about the unhealthy working time all day long without relaxing.
    3. Make light work of something: To do something with little effort and rapidly.
    4. Make short work of somebody/something: To cope with somebody/ something quickly.
  • At work:
  • ​Affect on something.
  • Be busy doing one thing.
  1. Set to work/get about your work: To make a start.
  2. The devil makes work for idle hands: Talk about someone who does not have enough to complete the job and often starts with wrongdoings.
  3. Good works: Kind-hearted acts to help others.
  4. In the works: Talk about something that is prepared or planned and will happen soon.
  5. A job of work: Work that you must do or are paid to do.
  6. Make hard work of something: To use more energy or time on one task than required.
  7. Dirty work: The unpleasant occupations someone does not want to do.

“Have Been Worked” Or “Have Been Work”: Which Is Correct?

The correct answer is “have been worked.” As aforementioned, “worked” is the past participle of “work.” “Worked” is a must in the passive voice phrase of “have been worked.” 

Anyway, “have been work” is incorrect as for the grammatical criteria.