What Is The Past Tense Of Sink? Sank Or Sinked?

By Benjamin Essek

What Is The Past Tense Of Sink?

The past tense of sink is “sank.” It is an irregular verb, so we won’t add the “-ed” to the base form. To get the past tense form of “sink,” you just need to change the vowel -i into -a.

The past participle of sink is “sunk” or “sunken.” Check out the below table to learn more verb forms of sink:

Base Form/Infinitive Form (V1) sink
Present Form/3rd Person/Singular Form sinks
Past Simple Tense Form (V2) sank
Past Participle Form (V3) sunk/ sunken
Present Participle/Gerund sinking

How To Pronounce “Sink” And “Sunk” Correctly? 

“Sink” is pronounced as /sɪŋk/, and “sank” is pronounced as /sæŋk/ in both British and American English.

You can refer to the table below for more details:

Verb Forms Pronunciation 
British English language American English language
sink /sɪŋk/ /sɪŋk/


/sæŋk/ /sæŋk/
sunk/ sunken






sinking /ˈsɪŋkɪŋ/ /ˈsɪŋkɪŋ/

How to pronounce sink, sank, and sunk correctly? You can learn from the below videos:

How to say sink:

How to say sank:

How to say sunk:

What Are The Definitions Of Sink? How To Use Sank?

Like any other verb’s past tense, you can use the past tense of “sink” to talk about an event completed before speaking.

Below are the meanings of the verb sink:

  • To go down under the surface of a liquid or soft substance.

Example: The ship sank during the storm, disappearing beneath the waves..

  • (For a person) To move downward, like falling or sitting down.

Example: As I stepped on the wet floor, I lost my balance and sank to the ground.

  • (For an object) to move slowly downward.

Example: The heavy stone sank slowly into the water.

  • To become less in amount, volume, or strength.

Example: The company’s profits sank after the economic downturn.

  • To become quieter.

Example: As the sun set, the city sank into darkness.

  • To dig a deep hole in the ground.

Example: The archaeologists took shovels and sank a deep hole in the ground.

  • To stop someone or their plans from succeeding.

Example: The unexpected news sank her hopes of getting the promotion she had been working so hard for.

  • To hit a ball into a golf hole.

Example: She skillfully sank the golf ball into the hole with a single stroke.

  • To quickly drink a lot of alcohol or liquid.

Example: After a long day, he sank several glasses of cold water to quench his thirst.


Created on By Benjamin Essek

Past Tense Of Sink

Choose the correct answer to fill in the blank:

1 / 7

Last year, a boat in the Pacific ____ tragically due to an explosion.

2 / 7

By the time we reached the shore, the sun had already set, and the boat had ____ deep into the ocean.

3 / 7

With a loud thud, he ____ onto the couch and took a nap after the long hike this morning.

4 / 7

I can see the stone _____ to the bottom of the pond. (Click here to learn the past tense of see)

5 / 7

Last month, they _____ a well in their backyard to get access to fresh water.

6 / 7

He always ____ the basketball effortlessly into the hoop.

7 / 7

Last summer, while swimming in the lake, I accidentally kicked a rock and ____ briefly underwater.

Your score is

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What Is The Difference Between The Verb Sink And Drown?

Sink” is commonly used for nonliving things, like objects or ships, when they move downward and go under the surface of a liquid.

Example: The ship hit an iceberg and began to sink slowly.

Drown,” on the other hand, is used for animate things, like people or animals, when they go under water or a liquid and are unable to breathe, leading to their death. (Click here to learn the past tense of drown)

Example: The strong currents swept the fisherman away, and he drowned in the river.

What Are The Common Idioms Of “Sink”?

Somebody’s heart sinks: someone feels deep disappointment, sadness, or a loss of hope.

Example: When she heard the bad news, her heart sank, fearing the worst.

Sink your differences: to resolve conflicts or disagreements and come to an agreement with someone.

Example: The two business partners decided to sit down and talk, hoping to sink their differences and work together again.

Sink or swim: to face a situation without any external help or support and succeed or fail based on one’s efforts.

Example: He was thrown into a challenging project and had to sink or swim to prove himself.

Sink so low: to behave in a morally or socially unacceptable way.

Example: The journalist sank so low that even his colleagues were shocked.

Is “Sink” A Noun?

Yes, “sink” can also be a noun.

The noun “sink” refers to a basin or a large container in a kitchen or bathroom used for washing dishes, hands, or other small items.


  • The kitchen sink was clogged, causing the water to drain slowly.
  • Don’t leave these dirty plates in the sink! You need to wash them.