Thursday, May 28, 2009

Drink, Drank, Drunk

Everyone knows what drink means. The confusion comes in when figuring out when to use drank and when to use drunk (as a verb, not the other meaning mostly everyone is familiar with). It's actually pretty simple.

Drank is the simple past of drink.
  • Example: I drank two glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice this morning.
Drunk is also the past tense of drink but is only used with the verb "have."
  • Example: Instead of orange juice, I had drunk two glasses of wine and promptly felt the effects. I have drunk my way through this bottle of wine in record time.
Memorization tip: If you do not use the verb have you do not use drunk.


  1. Usage note
    As with many verbs of the pattern sing, sang, sung and ring, rang, rung, there is some confusion about the forms for the past tense and past participle of drink. The historical reason for this confusion is that originally verbs of this class in Old English had a past-tense singular form in a but a past-tense plural form in u. Generally the form in a has leveled out to become the standard past-tense form: We drank our coffee. However, the past-tense form in u, though considered nonstandard, occurs often in speech: We drunk our coffee.
    The standard and most frequent form of the past participle of drink in both speech and writing is drunk : Who has drunk all the milk? However, perhaps because of the association of drunk with intoxication, drank is widely used as a past participle in speech by educated persons and must be considered an alternate standard form: The tourists had drank their fill of the scenery. See also drunk.

  2. I'm concerned that this is a grammar mistake blog, because you seem to have made a (plural) mistake in your first example. Shouldn't it be " I drank two glasses of fresh-squeezed orange juice this morning.", rather than "I drank two glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice this morning."?

  3. Since this is a site for grammar, maybe you should correct the "drunk" sentence with "two glasses" plural instead of "two glass"

  4. I a just glad for the info and the comments!

  5. For a '' website, why is memorisation spelt with a z.
    Otherwise, very helpful!

    1. Because, both spellings a correct. The rule that -ize is only used in American English is a myth. See what the OED says:

  6. a Good one - very nice info. Thanks a lot

  7. its
    drunk = past participle

    drank = past

    drink = present

    will drink = future

  8. oh my. some people are so funny going on about the glass or glasses mistake. really need to stop masturbating over grammar sites and lose their virginity with a real girl.