What is the best way to explain past participles of irregular verbs. For example, my students thought "have ran" would be correct vs. "have run" because run is present tense. Other than simply telling students to memorize a list, I would really love a great way to explain the logic behind the answer.
Unfortunately, "logic" and "irregular" don't cohabit very well. Here are some suggestions for things you could tell your students:
1. They should memorize irregular verbs. Memorization is a pain but since irregular verbs are among the most common verbs in English, a little pain will bring a lot of gain.
2. Don't sweat irregular verbs too much. Even if they make mistakes, in many cases the context will supply the listener with the correct meaning.
3. Point 2 notwithstanding, every time students recognize they have made a mistake with an irregular verb, they should correct themselves immediately and forcefully twice. (The rationale being that saying the correct answer twice will prevent the fossilization of the mistake... not sure if that's really true but it sounds good, right?)
4. There are some patterns among irregular verbs. Words that end with the same sound sometimes share the same pattern of irregularity. For example, "come / came / come" and "become / became / become" or "find / found / found" and "grind / ground / ground".
5. If students really can't remember the past participle form, it's often the same as the past form (roughly 50 - 60% of the time for the most common irregulars).
6. Did I mention memorization?