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Why do we write read unchanged for present and past, while study changes; we have studied.

The present form of read is read, pronounced as "reed". The past form of read is also read but it is pronounced as "red".

Is it a regular verb or an irregular verb?

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    Irregular in the sense that it doesn't follow the pattern of present -> past = X -> Xed. – Matt E. Эллен Jan 11 '14 at 10:21
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    I'm not sure I understand your confusion. There are lots of verbs in English that don't follow the X -> Xed pattern. Why is read troubling you? – Matt E. Эллен Jan 11 '14 at 10:32
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    I think you might be interested in the great vowel shift. – Matt E. Эллен Jan 11 '14 at 12:13
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    “Why” questions are nearly impossible to answer without writing a PhD thesis–length reply full of research and conflicting theories. – tchrist Jan 11 '14 at 14:34
  • @tchrist: I thought the same at first look. But the OP was more likely asking about the technical reasoning, like "what are the rules behind this situation?" – SuperDuck May 13 '18 at 23:31
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This is largely because that's what M-W.com says, observe.

read,

read verb \ˈrēd\
: to look at and understand the meaning of letters, words, symbols, etc.

: to read the words of (a book, magazine, etc.)

: to speak aloud the words of (something written)

However, readed just shows,

Readed

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    I think it's the other way around. We don't say it because M-W tells us to, M-W says this because that's what we say. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 11 '14 at 12:30

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