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Past Simple

Practice making and using the past simple to talk about actions that happened in the past and are finished.

The past simple is used to talk about past actions. You can make the Past tense by adding -ed to verbs. But there are verbs that don’t take -ed- they are irregular (like ‘to be’).

What do you need to know about the past simple

How to make the past tense

Irregular verbs in the past tense

How to make the verb 'to be' in the past tense

What the past tense means

How to use the past tense

Practice making the past tense

Download this explanation as a PDF

How do I make the past simple

Irregular verbs in the past tense

Some verbs are different and don’t use -ed in the past. They change completely.

Look at these common irregular verbs:

For a longer list of common irregular verbs, click here.

Try this exercise to help you remember the past simple of some irregular verbs.

How do I make the verb ‘to be’ in the past simple

What does the past simple mean?

When you use the past tense you talk about an action in the past that is finished. It is usually specific and we know when the action happened.

Here is what the past simple looks like on a timeline.

Past simple tense timeline

How do I use the Past Simple?

Finished actions

keywords: yesterday, last week, last month, last year, in {year}, {a period of time} ago

  • I moved to Australia 1 year ago.

  • I went to work this weekend.

Details about past events

Keywords: in {year}

  • I’ve been to Turkey. It was in 2005 and I went with my family.

  • In 2019, we watched all of the Marvel movies.


Practice making the past tense.

Online meeting

it's time to practice SPEAKING

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