Past simple

The past simple is used to talk about completed actions that happened at a fixed time in the past. It is the most commonly used past tense in English.

Past simple

The past simple

The past simple is used to talk about completed actions that happened at a fixed time in the past. It is the most commonly used past tense in English.

 

 

Regular verbs in the past simple

To form a regular verb in the past simple, “-ed” is added to the base form.

 

How to form

Most verbs in the past simple do not change with the subject.

Some more examples:

Last night, I watched a documentary about Italy. 
Last Friday I danced with friends.
Tom usually drives to work, but yesterday he walked instead.
Heather cleaned her bedroom last weekend before the party.  
Tom shaved off his beard yesterday.
After work, Nia listened to music and started reading a new book. 

 

 

Spelling rules for the past simple

The past simple of all regular verbs end in “-ed,” but for some verbs, there are some spelling changes, too.

Some more examples:

 jump

 jumped

 

 work

 worked

 

 play

 played

 

 arrive

 arrived

 

 save

 saved

  

 decide

 decided

  

 carry

 carried

 

 cry

 cried

 

 hurry

 hurried

 

 drop

 dropped

 

 hop

 hopped

 

 step

 stepped

  

 

 

Irregular verbs in the past simple

Some verbs do not take “-ed” to form the past simple. There are no specific rules about how to form irregular verbs in the past simple.

Common irregular verbs in the past simple

  go

 went

 have

 had

 do

 did

 put

 put

 come 

 came

 see

 saw

 

Some more examples:

I swam in the 500m race. 

I came to the US in 1980. 

We saw some rare birds. 

I did really well in school. 

Steve put his cup on the table. 

Sam ate two pizzas. 

We went to the zoo last week. 

They drank all the lemonade. 

They had a great vacation. 

Sheila drove to the park. 

 

 

“Be” in the past simple

The past simple of “be” is completely irregular. It is the only verb in the past simple which changes depending on the subject.

How to form

The past simple of “be” changes with the subject.

Some more examples:

He was a doctor for 40 years. 

She was a Broadway star in the 1960s. 

There was a party last night. 

We were at the library yesterday. 

There were lots of people at the party. 

They were at the movies last week.