Simple past – English grammar courses

The past tense is a verb tense expressing something that has been completed by now and is usually formed by adding -ed to the verb.

Usually we form the simple past by using Subject + Infinitive + ed.

There are some irregular cases :

  • we add -d to verbs ending with -e like live->lived.
  • we double the consonant to some verbs like trap->trapped.
  • we add -ied to verbs ending with -y like cry->cried.


Let’s take a look at some examples:


First person Notes
I cleaned my room this is the simplest way to use this tense
I always cleaned my room you can use “often”, “sometimes”, “never”, “always” etc., to showcase a constant action you used to do
Last week I went to the park you can specify the time if you want
We used to be friends a long time ago you can use a more general period of time


You can ask questions with the simple past tense by using “did” instead of “do” for every pronoun. For example: did he talk? Did she talk? Did I talk? Did they talk?


You can add “not” after “did” to create a negative sentence. For example: I did not read books.

You can abbreviate “did not” as “didn’t”.


There are some verbs that are conjugated by using Subject + Past Participle and we call them Irregular Verbs. Click here to see more informations about these verbs.


Let’s do some exercises with what we have learned already. Place the appropriate simple past word in the gaps: listen, meet, cook, read, wash, go, write, eat,


  1. He _____ a book about technology.
  2. They _____ each other last year.
  3. She _____ all of her clothes on the weekend.
  4. They _____ to a concert two hours.
  5. I _____ to some beautiful music yesterday.
  6. We _____ the food in the fridge.
  7. He _____ us a meal.
  8. I ____ read your email this morning.