Drank or Drunk?

Drank or drunk come from the verb 'to drink', which means to consume a liquid. In other words, to take it through your mouth and swallow it. 

But drunk can also be used to refer specifically to alcohol, in terms of the physical act of drinking it or being a person who drinks too much.

So how do you choose which one to use? Let's find out...


Drank is the past simple of 'drink'. So it is used to talk about drinking as a completed action in the past. 


  • Yesterday I drank too much
  • My friend drank and drank until he was fit to burst
  • My son drank orange juice for the first time today


Drunk is used if you want to use the word as:

  • past participle (to make the perfect verb tenses or as an adjective)
  • noun

Past Participle 

Here it is used in order to make the perfect tenses or adjectives

For the perfect tenses, we use it with the verb have.


  • I had drunk three bottles by the time everyone arrived (Past Perfect) 
  • He has only drunk pure vegetable juice drinks since he became vegan (Present Perfect)
  • He will have drunk all the water he bought by the end of the trip (Future Perfect)

When it is used as an adjective, it usually comes after the verb. This usage always refers to intoxication by alcohol, or another factor such as love or power.


  • I got really drunk at my friend's party
  • I was drunk last night
  • Drunk on all his money and power, he refused advise from anybody


Drunk can be used as a noun, to mean a person who drinks large amounts of alcohol very often and is unable to stop.

You can tell it is a noun as it has an article before it, 'a'. The second example does not as it is plural.


  • He is a drunk. He drinks every day and he can't stop.
  • I don't like it when I see drunks begging on the street.

Tips for choosing Drank or Drunk

Drunk is the word used to describe the act of being inebriated with alcohol. So if you want to talk about yourself or someone having had too much alcohol to drink, then you will will use the word drunk and it is an adjective:

  • I was really drunk (adjective) last night. I couldn't stand up

Whilst drunk is used as an adjective, drank is used as a verb to talk about the physical act of drinking:

  • I drank (verb) a lot of water after exercising 

You should now have a better idea of whether to use drank or drunk.

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