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How does it work? The past simple

This tense is perhaps the least 'simple' of all! We use it to talk about something that happened in the past where both the start and end time of the activity are in the past.



For example:

I walked to the shops yesterday. (to walk)

I went to the cinema last night. (to go)

I drove home from the cinema last night. (to drive)

All of these things happened yesterday so the past simple is used. The past simple is also used for events that took place last week, last month, last year or ten years ago.


As you can see from the verbs used some of these are regular and some are irregular.

What is a regular verb?

This is when we take the verb and add 'ed' to form the past tense

walk - walked

wait - waited

What is an irregular verb?

This is where the format of the verb does not take 'ed' and a new word is used instead.

go - went

drive - drove

A lot of the most frequently used verbs are irregular and there are many websites and grammar books which will provide comprehensive listings of these verbs. We also need to know which ones are regular so we can just add an 'ed'! There's a lot to learn with the past simple!


Let's look at some sentences using a selection of the most common regular and irregular verbs in the English language. Do you know what the past tense of each verb is?


ask She ________ me if she could borrow my book.

Answer

be Tim ______ very shy when he was younger.

Answer

become The singer ________ famous.

Answer

bring Anna ________ me some soup when I was sick.

Answer

call I __________ the doctor when I was sick.

Answer

choose Sally ________ a new outfit to wear to my party.

Answer

come Sally _______ to my party in a new outfit!

Answer

drink Sally _______ a glass of wine at my party.

Answer

eat Sally _______ a slice of pizza.

Answer

feel George ______ sick because he had eaten too much cake.

Answer

get I ______ changed after working in the garden.


Answer

go Adam ______ to visit his friends at the weekend.

Answer

have Betty _____ an exam at school last week.

Answer

hear Yesterday, Betty _______ that she passed her exam.

Answer

help I __________ Betty revise for her exam.

Answer

know Betty _________ the answers to most of the questions.

Answer

listen Colin ________ carefully to the instructions.

Answer

look Simon ________ everywhere for his book, but he couldn't find it.

Answer

pay I _______ the bill.

Answer

put Fiona ________ the rubbish in the bin.

Answer


read Thomas ________ a book when he was on holiday.

Answer

say Helen _______ I should read her new book.

Answer

see I ______ Helen's new book in the bookshop.

Answer

send Tom ________ me a postcard when he was on holiday.

Answer

show Elena ________ me around her new house.

Answer

sleep I _________ in the guest bedroom in Elena's new house.

Answer

start Mabel ________ to run when she saw the ice-cream van.

Answer

stay Norman ________ with his grandparents last summer.

Answer

take Norman's grandparents _______ him to the zoo.

Answer

tell Norman _______ his parents about all the things he had done.

Answer

think I ________ about you when I was on holiday.

Answer

try Melanie _______ to read the menu in Spanish.

Answer

use Olive accidentally ______ salted in her tea instead of sugar!

Answer


walk Rachel _______ to school every day when she was a child.

Answer

want Robin ______ chocolate sprinkles on his ice-cream!

Answer

watch We _________ a movie together at the weekend.

Answer

work We ________ together when we were younger.

Answer

write Tom ______ a best-selling book last year.

Answer






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