Past Tense Of Shake: Shook or Shaken? (Pronunciation & Usage)

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Shake?

In linguistics, no English speaker can ignore the fundamental tense, including the past tense. Additionally, learning all the English verbs is never straightforward because there are more than two hundred commonly used irregular verbs ( like the past tense of the verb run and rise) besides thousands of normal verbs.

So, let’s find out the word “shake” in the past tense. The past tense of shake is shook, spelling S-H-O-O-K. You can pronounce this word as in this video by English with Collins Dictionary.

You may learn more about the many forms this term can take by consulting the following table:

Form  Verb
Bare shake
Present participle shaking
Third person singular shakes
Past  shook
Past participle shaken

How Do You Spell Shake In Past Tense?

The table that follows provides examples of how the word “shake” is pronounced with a variety of British and American English accents (vary from language to language).

The information that we have additionally provided is based on the trustworthy online version of the Oxford Dictionary of English.

Form of Word

British English

American English


/ʃeɪk/ /ʃeɪk/
shaking /ˈʃeɪkɪŋ/



/ʃeɪks/ /ʃeɪks/
shook /ʃʊk/






As the chart demonstrates, there is no difference in how individuals in the United States or the United Kingdom pronounce the word “shake.”

The Definition Of The Verb Shake And How To Use It

Now, dive further into the verb’s meaning. Again, never underestimate the true value of this one, as it will assist you in sounding more sophisticated once you begin engaging in interactions with other people.

Let’s scroll to the bottom to examine the explanations and examples related to this subject to get a comprehensive understanding of it:

  1. To conduct or make something/someone conduct high-speed side-to-side or up-and-down motions

Example: The whole home shakes whenever a train passes by.

2. To greet someone by taking their hand and moving it up and down as a sign of agreement.

Example: Before the game began, the captains of each team shook hands.

3. To make a sideways movement of the head to express disagreement, sadness, uncertainty, etc.

Example: As they disappeared into the darkness, the elderly guy shook his head regretfully.

4. To indicate anger or menace, make a fist (= closed hand) and shake it at someone.

Example: In response to his conviction and sentencing, the guy shook his fist at the judge and the court.

5. To move in brief, jerky motions that you are unable to control as a result of factors such as being cold or terrified.

Example: The fear had rendered me immobile. My body was shaking violently.

6. To make a shaky sound, like when one is anxious, agitated, or furious.

Example: The child’s voice shook when she asked about her result.

7. To greatly stun or disturb someone.

Example: After being shaken by the early goal, the squad started to fight back.

8. To lessen the certainty of a concept or idea.

Example: This revelation is certain to shake her trust.

9. To eliminate something

Example: With credit cards, you can eliminate the need for cash.

Besides that, there are some idioms relating to the “sake” word, as below:

10. Shake the foundations of something or shake something to its foundations

It means challenging one’s core convictions.

Example: The issues shook the foundations of the legal system.

11. Shake in your boots/shoes

It means to experience intense fear or apprehension

Example: She usually shakes in her shoes before going to the test room.

12. Shake a leg: An old-fashioned and informal word used to signal someone to get started on something or move more quickly.

Example: I need to be there before it gets dark, so let’s shake a leg.

Mean of the “shake” word above is demonstrated by Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, so you are assured of their accuracy of them.

Practice Exercises

Here below are some exercises for you to work out about the past tense of the shake:

  1. My mother came back when I was … the door’s lock.

A. shakes

B. shaking

C. shook

D. shake

2. My dad … his colleague’s hands to agree with the deal.

A. shakes

B. shaking

C. shook

D. shake

3. My body … because of the cold last night.

A. shakes

B. shaking

C. shook

D. shake

4. He likes … his pen when thinking.

A. shakes

B. shaking

C. shook

D. shake

5. Last night, the scared cat … terribly because of the rain. 

A. shake

B. shaking

C. shook

D. shakes

 Answer keys:

  1. b
  2. a
  3. c
  4. b
  5. c