Past Tense of Show: Showed or Shown? (Pronunciation & Usage)

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Show? 

There is something funny about this special verb. Although “show” belongs to the irregular verb group, show past tense remains similar to the regular form – showed. 

The table below will illustrate several common forms of verb show.

Bare infinitive show
Present participle showing
Past participle shown
Third person singular shows


This irregular verb has only one syllable, so the way to pronounce it is extremely simple. According to the Cambridge dictionary, the transcription is /ʃəʊ/.

Here are the transcription of “show” according to IPA

Form of word Pronunciation


V1: show



V2: showed

/ʃəʊd/ /ʃoʊd/
V3: shown /ʃəʊn/


With /ʃ/, open your mouth and round your lips. Then curve your tongue but don’t touch the upper jaw. Now release the flow of air through the gap you have made and done.

With /əʊ/, round your lips in a tense form. Then lower the jaw a bit and pull your tongue back. 

Regarding the past tense, “show” ends with the vowel “w”, which belongs to the voiced sound group. So you will add the “d” sound at the end /ʃəʊd/.

About past participle for show – shown, you also add the “n” sound when finished. The pronunciation will be /ʃəʊn/.

Click the following video to check if you have pronounced it correctly:

Definition And How To Use Showed Or Shown 

According to the  Cambridge dictionary, this irregular verb gives many different meanings. Here are several common definitions:

  • To make something visible

Ex: He drew this gorgeous work of art in just a flash, which showed his natural gift.

  • To illustrate a specific type of measurement.

Ex: The last statistic showed the total revenue of that company within a year. 

  • To make something easy to understand

Ex: I showed you the right way to turn on this computer yesterday.

  • To express opinions or emotions.

Ex: Teenagers usually showed more affection to parents when they were kids.

Quick Practice 

Created on By Benjamin

Past Tense Of Show

Here is a vocabulary quiz, including 10 questions to help you comprehend the past tense of show:

1 / 10

Many thunderous performances ….. that this singer will glow shortly.

2 / 10

Alan ….. me the way to solve this math exercise last week.

3 / 10

If you …. me the shortcut, I would not have missed the last train.

4 / 10

The teacher … him the easiest method to solve the math problem in the previous lesson.

5 / 10

I just … him how to lock the door 30 minutes ago, but he forgets right away.

6 / 10

If Alice …. more outstanding skills, she would have taken the crown.

7 / 10

When my father was alive, he always … great affection for me.

8 / 10

In the past, Julio was kind of a guy who …. off his richness.

9 / 10

Once the hidden singer … up, the audiences seemed very surprised.

10 / 10

He not only …. me the way to the concert, he also went along until we arrived at the entrance.

Your score is

The average score is 66%



What Is The Difference Between Showed And Shown?

Obviously, “showed” is the past tense of show. Meanwhile, you could use either showed or shown for the past participle form. 

Can You Use “have showed” In Present Perfect Tense?

No, you can’t. The correct present perfect tense verb of “show” is “have shown”.

What Are Synonyms And Antonyms Of Show?


  • Verb: display, demonstrate, expose, declare, reveal, prove, counsel, lead, guide, 
  • Noun: demonstration, display, performance.


  • Verb: hide, conceal, misrepresent, disprove?

Is Shown Past Tense Of Show?

No, you cannot use “shown” for the past tense verb show. This type of transition is mainly for the present perfect and past participle forms. For the past tense, you have to use only this verb transition – showed.