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Difference between drank or drunk

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In the realm of English grammar, the distinction between drank and drunk frequently poses challenges for learners and native speakers alike. These terms are integral to the conjugation of the verb “to drink,” which describes the act of consuming liquids. The correct usage of drank and drunk hinges on their grammatical context within sentences, a topic that merits detailed exploration to foster a clearer understanding.

Quick Facts Table

Part of SpeechVerb (Past Tense)Verb (Past Participle)
TenseSimple PastPresent Perfect, Past Perfect, Future Perfect
Example UsageI drank water.I have drunk water.

Difference Between Drank and Drunk

Definition of Drank

Drank is the simple past tense form of the verb "to drink." It is used to indicate that the action of drinking was completed in the past. This form does not require the use of auxiliary verbs.

Definition of Drunk

Drunk serves as the past participle form of "to drink." It is primarily utilized in perfect tenses and necessitates the accompaniment of auxiliary verbs such as "have," "has," or "had.

Origin of Drank

The term drank originates from the Old English “dranc,” which signifies the past tense of drinking. Its usage has evolved over centuries but retains its simple past tense application.

Origin of Drunk

Drunk derives from the Old English “druncen,” historically used as the past participle form of “drink.” It reflects the language’s Germanic roots, maintaining its role in forming perfect tenses.


  • Drank is pronounced /dræŋk/.
  • Drunk is pronounced /drʌŋk/.

Comparing Drank and Drunk

When comparing drank and drunk, it’s essential to understand their grammatical roles and appropriate contexts:

  • Tense Usage: Drank is used for actions completed in the past, without connection to the present. Drunk is used in perfect tenses that link the past action to the present or future.
  • Auxiliary Verb Requirement: Drank does not require an auxiliary verb, whereas drunk does.

Comparison Table

Necessity for Auxiliary VerbNoYes
Common Usage ContextNarration of past eventsDescribing experiences up to the present
Example SentenceYesterday, I drank a lot of water.I have never drunk so much water before.

Usage in Sentences with Explanations

Use of Drank in Sentences

  1. He drank the entire bottle last night. (Simple past action)
  2. We drank coffee together yesterday. (Completed action)
  3. They drank tea while discussing the project. (Past event)
  4. She drank quickly before leaving. (Past action with urgency)
  5. I drank water after my run. (Simple past narrative)

Use of Drunk in Sentences

  1. He has never drunk this type of tea before. (Present perfect for new experience)
  2. They had already drunk all the soda. (Past perfect for completed action before another past action)
  3. I have drunk enough water today. (Present perfect for action affecting the present)
  4. She will have drunk all her juice by noon. (Future perfect for action completing before a specific future time)
  5. We have drunk coffee every morning this week. (Present perfect for habitual action)


Understanding the distinction between drank and drunk is pivotal for accurate and effective communication in English. Drank is the simple past form used for actions completed in the past, while drunk is the past participle form used with auxiliary verbs in perfect tenses. Mastery of these terms enhances clarity and grammatical precision in both written and spoken English.

Commonly Asked Questions

  • When should I use “drank” instead of “drunk”?
    • Use drank for simple past tense without auxiliary verbs.
  • Can “drunk” be used without auxiliary verbs?
    • No, drunk requires an auxiliary verb like “have” or “had.”
  • Is “drunk” ever used as an adjective?
    • Yes, drunk can describe someone who is intoxicated.
  • How can I remember the difference between “drank” and “drunk”?
    • Remember: drank for past actions, drunk with “have” or “had” for connections to the present or future.
Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith, writer at, blends creativity with insight, exploring technology, culture, and psychology. With a background in English Literature, she crafts engaging stories inspired by nature and urban life. Outside writing, she enjoys exploring and continuous learning.View Author posts

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