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What’s the Past Tense of Draw? Draw, Drew, or Drawn?

To draw is in the present tense; whereas drew is the simple past, and drawn is the past participle (in all contexts). ‍

Which tense of “draw” completes the sentence?

What’s the past tense of “draw”?

What’s the past tense of draw? Draw, drew, drawed, or drawn? If you’re looking for the short answer, it’s right below. To get the full understanding, read the entire post.

The meaning of the verb “draw”

To draw, which describes the “making a picture of something or someone with a pencil or pen: i.e., Jonathan can draw very well“.

  • To draw is the present tense form of the verb.

  • Drew is the simple past tense, and have/had drawn uses the past participle form.

tenseexamples: tenses of “draw” in sentences
present tenseI draw pictures every day in my notebook.
past tenseMy mother drew a portrait of my father.
past participleFour portraits have been drawn by Peter today.

Other definitions of the verb, “draw”

Draw has a second meaning, which is understood as “to bring by inducement or allure: honey draws flies.” In this sense, draw is similar in meaning to words like ‘pull’, ‘compel’ or ‘attract’.

As a noun, a draw can refer to a lottery or raffle, e.g., ‘We cannot choose a winner, so let’s leave it to a draw.’ Draw may also mean a tie or, “a situation in which each team in a game has equal points and neither side wins: The result was a draw.”

Verb forms of draw

simpleI drawI drewI will draw
continuousI am drawingI was drawingI will be drawing
perfectI have drawnI had drawnI will have drawn
perfect continuousI have been drawingI had been drawingI will have been drawing
Tenses of ‘draw

Similar irregular verbs

base verbpast tensepast participle
Irregular verbs (two past tense conjugations).

When to use drew vs. drawn

My mother drew a portrait of my father. (simple past)

He had drawn a picture in her memory. (past perfect)

Both sentences are forms of the past tense, and so they describe something that’s happened before now. The second sentence uses the past perfect formation: past tense of have, [had] + [past participle], drawn.

Drawn and drawing are the participle forms of draw. If either appear, this tells you that it’s a perfect and/or continuous tense in grammar, and not a simple tense construction.

Examples of “draw” (present tense) in sentences

1. An artist told me he would draw a picture of the person.

2. Try to draw that picture.

3. You draw beautifully.

4. The computer can draw the graph for you.

5. I draw pictures on the wall of my examining room to explain things.

Examples of “drew” (past tense) in sentences

1. He drew his chair nearer the fire.

2. He carefully drew a picture of his wife.

3. Students drew maps of the states and labeled them.

4. She struggled to draw deep breaths.

5. She drew a picture of her dog for her mom.

Examples with the past participle “drawn”

1. She has drawn a picture of her dog for others as well.

2. They had drawn the world’s biggest picture.

3. She had a drawn face.

4. Four portraits have been drawn by Peter today.

5. He had drawn a photo in her memory.

Synonyms of draw (as in, to attract)

  • attract
  • allure
  • entice
  • compel
  • captivate
  • charm
  • enchant
  • pull
  • magnetize
  • inveigle

Synonyms of draw (meaning sketch)

  • sketch
  • illustrate
  • depict
  • paint

Origin of the word draw

From etymology online on draw (v.):

To “give motion to by the act of pulling,” c. 1200, drauen, spelling alteration of Old English dragan “to drag, to draw, protract” Proto-Germanic *draganan “to draw, pull”.

Learn more about verbs


  1. “Draw.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2023.
  2. Harper, Douglas. “Etymology of draw.” Online Etymology Dictionary, Accessed 21 February, 2023.
  3. Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group, draw. Accessed on February 21, 2023.

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