The Past Tense of Rise: Here’s What It Is and How to Use It

Learning a new language is arguably the best way to broaden your horizons if you are looking at any kind of job dealing with public service or global politics.  Interpersonal relationships between countries and governments are greatly improved when people are able to communicate clearly, and if you learn a language that is rarely spoken or known, you make yourself invaluable to your employer.  However, learning a language can be difficult because it can be hard to keep track of all the rules that different languages follow in their grammar.

English is considered one of the most notorious languages for keeping track of which rules are common and which rules are broken often.  People who learn English as a second or even third language struggle to remember spellings, verb tenses, singular and plural subject/verb agreements, and several other common grammar mistakes.  

In this article, let’s explore the verb “to rise”, learn its proper use, how to use its past tense, look for its synonyms, and learn its etymology and context.

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What’s the difference between rise and raise?

To first understand a word, its history, and how to use it properly, it is important to first define what it actually means.  According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, the word rise can be defined as, “to assume an upright position especially from lying, kneeling, or sitting”, or “to take up arms”.  Some secondary definitions are “to return from death”, “to appear above the horizon” (like the sun), or “to move upward”.

In total, there are eighteen commonly accepted definitions of the verb “to rise” in both its transitive and intransitive forms.  

Part of what makes English such a difficult language to master is that no matter where you look, there are rules, and then there are exceptions to those rules.  For example, the common rule for making the past tense in English is to add “-d” or “-ed” to a verb to give it the past tense.  For example, the verb cook becomes cooked, and the verb bake becomes baked.  In both situations, you either add the “-ed” or the “-d” suffix and the word is past tense.

To create the past tense of rise, instead of adding a suffix, you actually change the spelling from “rise” to “rose”.  The past participle, used to convey an action that has been completed, is “risen”.   

What does rise stand for?

Rise is also used as an acronym from time to time.  Here are some of the most common uses of RISE as an acronym:

  • RISE: Research in Special Education
  • RISE: Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution
  • RISE: Regional Initiative in Science and Education (in Princeton, New Jersey) 

The History and Origin of the Word

One of the best ways to understand a word is to learn where it came from.  A word’s etymology can reveal a lot about the changes a word has gone through to get to where it is today in modern English.  According to, the word rise comes from the Old English word “risan”, which means “to rise, rise from sleep, get out of bed”.  It was first used in the early thirteenth century and originated from the Proto-Germanic word “us-risanan”, which means “to go up”.

Unlike many nouns in the modern English language, many verbs (especially those with common irregularity) actually get their roots in western European languages from the medieval time period rather than ancient Latin and Greek.  

Examples of the Word in Context

Another great way to learn how to use a word is to explore the word being used correctly.  Either reading the word in its proper context or hearing someone else use it in conversation.  Here are some common examples of the word “to rise” in context:

  • “The sun will rise every morning, no matter what the weather looks like.”
  • “Rising up in the morning as a farmer is one of the most difficult but important parts of the job.”
  • “The sun rose over the skyline creating a beautiful painting of pink and blue colors that pierced the sky.”

Synonyms for Rise

Finally, to really solidify a word into your vocabulary, it is useful to explore words with similar or same definitions.  The more words you know that can fit into a specific context, the easier it will be to remember which ones to use.  Here are some synonyms for the verb “to rise”:

  • To climb is a synonym that really means something along the lines of rising along something, like a mountain
  • To grow is to get bigger or taller, and many plants that grow end up rising
  • To move up means to rise but probably works in business contexts

In Summary

At the end of the day, communication comes down to your audience.  When asking whether or not something is a real word, what you are really asking is whether or not people use it often enough for it to be considered correct.  The reason for this distinction is that language is directed by culture, not the other way around.  The words people use in common conversation eventually become correct even if they are not considered correct by a dictionary.  For example, the word selfie was added to several dictionaries a few years ago due to its prevalence in context and in culture.  

Learning how to communicate to the audience that you are tasked with communicating to is the first step in really making progress.  Once you learn how to read an audience, you will be ready to speak or write whatever you want to.  By the end of this article, you are now familiar with the irregular form of the past tense of rise, and you should be prepared to use it.  Good luck!