Grammar: Past Simple

Published 10/08/2015 In Blog


The Past simple is the most commonly used tense to talk about past events or states which have finished.



When is the Past Simple used?


- To talk about an action or event that happened in the past once or repeatedly:


             We bought a red car three years ago

             We went to the swimming pool every day in the Summer

             We stayed at my brother's house last year


Note that the Past Simple is often used with past time references (yesterday, three years ago, last year, etc).




How do we form the Past Simple?

Most verbs in English construct the Past Simple by simply adding -ed to the infinitive of the verb:


              start: start-ed

              play: play-ed

              learn: learn-ed



There are some spelling rules that you will have to take into account to form the Past Simple of regular verbs:


a) When the verb ends in a vowel and a consonant, the consonant is usually doubled:

             stop: stop-ped

             plan: plan-ned            


b) When the verb ends in -y, you take off the -y and change it for -ied

            study: stud-ied

            try: tri-ed


c) When the verb ends in vowel and y, you add -ed

            play: play-ed

            enjoy: enjoy-ed



However there is a long list of English verbs that have an irregular Past Simple form.

In the poster above you will find the most common ones. 


Note that the second column corresponds to the Past Simple form. 



Does the verb change for I, you, he/she, we, you, they?

No it doesn't!


Example: I played, you played, he/she played, we played, you played, they played



Hopefully this post will have helped you understand when and how we construct the Past Simple tense. If it isn't so, please feel free to write me an email with your questions at:


There are three kinds of pronunciation: /d/, /t/ and /ɪd/. Look at the table below. - See more at:
The past simple is the most common way of talking about past events or states which have finished. - See more at:

past simple simple past english grammar irregular verbs

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