Drunk or Drank: Which Is Correct? (Helpful Examples)

The past tense of “drink” comes with a few rules that we need to know about. It helps to understand both the simple past tense and the past participle when approaching irregular verbs like “drink,” and this article will explore what both of those are.

Drunk or Drank: Which Is Correct?

“Drunk” is the past participle of “drink.” We use it to talk about something that’s happened in the past and continues to happen in the present. “Drank” is the simple past tense of “drink,” which we use with a pronoun to talk about something that someone has drunk previously.

Drunk or Drank Which Is Correct

It would help you to see them both in action:

  • I have drunk a little too much. (Past participle)
  • I drank as much as I was allowed. (Simple past)

We must always include an auxiliary verb like “have” when writing the past participle. This turns it into the perfect tense, which we can use in the past, present, or future, depending on the context of the rest of the sentence.

Past ParticipleDrunk

When Is “Drank” Correct?

We’ll start with a section about the much simpler form, which is “drank.”

“Drank” is the simple past tense. We use it when something has occurred in the past, and there is no way that anything in the present or future will be able to change the outcome because the event has been and gone.

We need no extra auxiliary verbs or anything when using the simple past tense. It is known as “simple” because it is the easiest form to use.

Example Sentences Using “Drank”

Some examples might help you to understand how the simple past tense looks. Pay attention to how we use pronouns with no auxiliary verbs present because they’re unnecessary.

  1. I drank a little too much at the party last night.
  2. We drank for a long time during the night!
  3. They drank all of our best drinks, so we’ve got to go out and buy more.
  4. You drank all of it! I can’t believe you did that!
  5. He drank so much that he passed out, but he’s okay now, and he’s safe at home.
  6. We drank so much! It was a great day!

“Drank” is the simple past tense, which is the easiest tense to use in the English language. We use it when something has happened in the past and someone has drunk something already, and there’s nothing that can be done in the present to change that outcome.

When Is “Drunk” Correct?

“Drunk” is a little more fiddly, and we need to understand the past participle rules before we can use it confidently.

We use “drunk” in the past, present, and future perfect tenses. Each tense requires an auxiliary verb for it to make sense in the sentence structure. It talks about something that has started happening or will start happening but has not ended yet.

To help you understand the three perfect tenses, we can split them up as follows:

  • Past perfect: Had drunk
  • Present perfect: Have drunk
  • Future perfect: Will have drunk

The past perfect tense uses “had” as the auxiliary verb. It is rare to see, but we use it when something has happened and finished in the past, but might still impact something in the present.

The present perfect tense is the most common one and uses “have” as the auxiliary. Here, something started happening previously, and it’s either continuing at present or has just come to a close.

Finally, “will have” is the auxiliary option for the future perfect tense. We use this to talk about hypothetical situations that might occur based on our actions in the present time.

Example sentences using “Drunk”

We’ll split these examples into sections for each tense. That way, you’ll have a better understanding of how each one should look.

Past Perfect

  1. I had drunk a little too much, and I still haven’t recovered today.
  2. I had drunk their best drinks, and I’ve never lived it down!

“Had drunk” is the past perfect tense. We use it when we’ve finished drinking in the past, but there’s a chance that it still impacts us in the present based on whatever we did.

Present Perfect

  1. I have drunk a bit too much, so I’m going to go home.
  2. We have drunk all the spirits, so we’ll go to the store to get more.

“Have drunk” is the present perfect tense. We use it when we started drinking in the past, and we’ve either finished, or we’re continuing to do so in the present.

Future Perfect

  1. I will have drunk more than my share if I have any more from you!
  2. She will have drunk all my best drinks if she finds this one!

“Will have drunk” is the future perfect tense. It means that something might happen in the future, but there’s usually an “if” clause that depends on the present actions as to whether or not that thing will occur.

How “Drunk” can also be used as an adjective

We could also use “drunk” as an adjective rather than a verb.

“Drunk” is used to describe somebody who is inebriated because they’ve had too much alcohol to drink. We can describe them as a “drunk person” when talking about them to draw attention to the fact that they’re drunk.

Example sentences using “Drunk” as an adjective

  1. I am drunk because I have had too much alcohol.
  2. The drunk man is coming toward me!
  3. She’s so drunk! I can’t stand it!

“Have Drunk” Vs. “Have Drank”

“Have drunk” is correct because “drunk” is the past participle. When using the past participle, we must always include an auxiliary verb like “have” before it. “Have drank” is incorrect, and you should never use it. The simple past tense, “drank,” does not need an auxiliary verb.

Final Thoughts

When using “drunk,” you should make sure that you apply the correct auxiliary verb based on whether you’re writing in the past, present, or future perfect tense. “Drank” requires no auxiliary verb, as it is the simple past tense form.

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