Past Simple for beginners

Past simple tense is one of the most exciting and important tenses in English. We often use it to talk about what happened before.

"Past Simple" Tense in English Grammar

What Is Past Simple Tense?

The past simple tense is used to talk about an action that is complete. It indicates actions or states of being in the past.


To form the simple past tense, you have to use the past tense form of the verb.

Regular Verbs

In the case of many verbs, you have to just add an –ed or -d if the verb already ends in -e to the base form of the verb. For example:

  • walk → walked
  • play → played
  • love → loved

Using Past Simple to Talk about Past Events

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs do not follow the rule mentioned above. These verbs have a different spelling in the past tense form. For example:

  • go → went
  • bring → brought
  • know → knew


If the verb is regular and has one syllable, with a single vowel followed by a consonant, double the final consonant when adding -ed to make the past simple:

  • beg → begged
  • skip → skipped


For negation, add did not or the short form didn't before the base form of the verb:

Affirmative Negative
I ran. I did not work.
She walked. She didn't walk.


For making questions, all you need to do is to change the place of subject and base form of the verb and use 'Did' at the beginning of the sentence:

Statement Questions
I ran. Did I run?
She walked. Did she walk?


The past simple tense is used to talk about:

  • completed actions

I had dinner at around 8 in the evening.

Mary graduated from college in 2013.

Pronunciation of -ed

'-ed' endings have three different pronunciations:

  1. /d/: after all vowel sounds and voiced consonants (except /d/)
  2. /t/: after all voiceless consonants (except /t/)
  3. /ɪd/: after /d/ and /t/


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Present Simple

All the power is in the present moment. In this lesson, you will learn all there is about the present simple tense.

Future Simple

The best way to predict the future is to create it. In this lesson, you will learn to talk about the future in English using 'will.'

Present Continuous

The present continuous tense is a basic tense. It is usually one of the first tenses you start to learn when you first start studying English.

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The past continuous tense is used quite often in English, so let’s understand exactly when to use it and how to use it. Are you ready? Let's begin.

Future Continuous

The future continuous tense is used by native English speakers quite often and this is your chance to learn and understand this tense so you can start using it.

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