The Simple past tense


The Simple past tense

I – The form of the simple past tense

There are two types of forms for the simple past tense: REGULAR and IRREGULAR :

1 – Regular form : verb + ed
Watch → watched
Listen →  listened
Play → played
Cry → cried
2 – Irregular form : has no rule (this means that we change all the spelling of the verb)
Be →  was/were
Do → did
Have → had
Speak → spoke

click here to see a complete list of irregular verbs.

Regular verbs
Affirmative Negative (Didn’t = did not)
I       watched
You   watched
He      watched
She    watched
It        watched
We     watched
You    watched
They   watched
I  didn’t  watch
You  didn’t  watch
He  didn’t  watch
She  didn’t  watch
It  didn’t  watch
We  didn’t  watch
You  didn’t  watch
They  didn’t  watch
Did  I  watch?
Did  you  watch?
Did  he  watch?
Did  she  watch?
Did  it  watch?
Did  we  watch?
Did  you  watch?
Did  they  watch?
Irregular verbs
Affirmative Negative (Didn’t = did not)
I       Spoke
You   Spoke
He      Spoke
She    Spoke
It        Spoke
We     Spoke
You    Spoke
They   Spoke
I  didn’t  speak
You  didn’t  speak
He  didn’t  speak
She  didn’t  speak
It  didn’t  speak
We  didn’t  speak
You  didn’t  speak
They  didn’t  speak
Did  I  speak?
Did  you  speak?
Did  he  speak?
Did  she  speak?
Did  I  speak?
Did  it  speak?
Did  we  speak?
Did  you  speak?
Did  they  speak?
Spelling rules for the simple past tense (regular verbs)
verbs ending with – e  verbs ending with vowel + y  verbs ending with consonant+y  other forms
 calculate – calculated
combine – combined
hope – hoped
hate – hated
enjoy – enjoyed
delay – delayed
stay – stayed
destroy – destroyed
study – studied
copy – copied
cry –  cried
try – tried
 work – worked
push – pushed
greet – greeted
ask – asked

Other spelling rules

a- verbs ending with -l, the consonant is always doubled after a single vowel.
travel – travelled.
cancel – cancelled
quarrel – quarrelled

b – Verbs having one syllable and ending with a vowel + consonant, we double the consonant:
stop – stopped
hop – hopped
beg – begged

c – verbs with more syllables if the stress falls on the last syllable the we double the last consonant:
ad’mit – admitted
con’fer – conferred
kid’nap – kidnapped

But If the stress is not on the last syllable, we do not double the consonant:
‘enter – entered

II – The use of the simple past tense

The Simple past tenseThe Simple past tense
The Simple past tense

The Simple past tense is used :

  • to talk about a completed action in the past.

I watched a movie yesterday.
I did some jogging last weekend.

  • to talk about a series of completed actions in the past.

He came home, switched on TV and sat down.

  • With time expressions like.

-last day, week, month, year…..
-in 2008
-when…..(used to talk about past action)
-The previous lesson, hour, day, week…..


Exercise one: Complete the crossword with the right simple past form.

Exercise twoFill in all the gaps with the simple past of these verbs.

Exercise three: Rewrite the sentences in the negative form. Use short form (didn’t).

Exercise four: Make yes-no questions from these sentences.

Exercise five: Give the right tense.


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