In English grammar, the past simple is used to talk about finished events or actions in the past. Here are some example sentences including regular past simple verbs:
- I worked last Monday.
- They studied for an English test last week.
- She smiled when she saw him.
The past simple can also be used to talk about something you did not do.
- I didn’t work last weekend.
- He didn’t do his homework.
- You didn’t tell me!
The past simple verb doesn’t change when you talk about other people.
|Positive +||Negative –|
The past simple verb doesn’t change when you ask questions.
To make the past simple tense form of regular verbs, we add +ed .
|I work||I worked|
|He works||He worked|
However, pronunciation of regular past tense tense verbs can change.
For example, ‘He worked’ sounds like ‘He workt’
|Base verb||Sounds like /t/||Sounds like /d/||sounds like /id/|
Past simple irregular verbs
Irregular verbs don’t follow the rules above. You simply need to learn them.
For example. eat –
eated – ate
- He ate chicken for dinner last night.
Click here to see a list.
Some verbs can be used with a regular or an irregular form.
- burn (burned OR burnt)
- dream (dreamed OR dreamt)
- learn (learned or learnt)
- smell (smelled OR smelt)