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Verbs – Past Tense


In these lessons, we will learn

  • the Simple Past Tense
  • how to form simple past tense for regular verbs
  • how to recognize and understand the simple past tense
  • how to pronounce and spell the past tense of regular verbs
The following table gives some of the rules for the past tense of regular verbs. Scroll down the page for more examples.

Past Tense Spelling Regular Verbs

The Simple Past Tense

Verbs have different forms, called tenses. The tense of a verb tells us when the action happens.

We use the simple past tense to talk about things that happened in the past.

Examples:

The children visited the zoo last week.
The plane landed a few minutes ago.
Jerry dried his clothes in the sun.


Regular Verbs

For most verbs, the simple past tense is created by adding a d, ed or ied at the end of the word. These are called regular verbs. There are also irregular verbs which do not follow this pattern.

The following are some of the rules for regular verbs.

For verbs ending in e add a d.

Example:

Present Tense Past Tense
live lived
love loved
date dated
agree agreed
die died
queue queued
stare stared
invite invited



For verbs ending in consonant + y, change y to i and add ed.

Present Tense Past Tense
try tried
carry carried
dirty dirtied
hurry hurried
spy spied
cry cried
study studied

For verbs that are one syllable and ending in vowel + consonant (but not y or w), double the consonant and then add ed.

Present Tense Past Tense
fan fanned
grab grabbed
nod nodded
pat patted
pin pinned
rip ripped
slam slammed

For other verbs, just add ed.

Present Tense Past Tense
cross crossed
jump jumped
lift lifted
allow allowed
open opened
paint painted
walk walked
laugh laughed
There are many verbs that do not follow these rules. They are called irregular verbs.

Recognizing and understanding the simple past tense

The Simple Past Tense - Basic English Grammar
Recognizing and understanding the simple past tense. (Part one) Recognizing and understanding the simple past tense. (Part two) Recognizing and understanding the simple past tense. (Part three)
This segment gives additional practice in forming the simple past tense with regular and irregular verbs. Wh- and YES-NO questions are also presented and practiced. Recognizing and understanding the simple past tense. (Part four)
This segment gives additional practice in forming questions and presents rules for pronouncing the "-ed" ending in regular verbs.

Pronouncing and Spelling Past Tense Verbs.

This video explains how to pronounce past tense regular verbs in English. How to pronounce of regular verbs? The "ed" ending might be a "d" or a "t," depending on what comes before it. How to pronounce regular verbs in the past tense in English? ESL students can practice listening to and pronouncing the regular verbs in past tense (-ed endings).

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