The past simple – regular verbs

The past simple – regular verbs


As you watch the video, look at the examples of regular past simple verbs. They are in red in the subtitles. Then read the conversation below to learn more. Finally, do the grammar exercises to check you understand, and can use, regular past simple verbs correctly.


Alfie took his driving test for the second time this morning. Did he pass?

The past simple is the most common way of talking about past events or states which have finished. It is often used with past time references (e.g. yesterday, two years ago).

Please explain past events or states!

A past event could be one thing that happened in the past, or a repeated thing.

I stopped at a zebra crossing.
We carried on with the test.
We played tennis every day in August.

A state is a situation without an action happening.

We stayed at my grandparents' house last summer.

How do you form the past simple?

Regular past simple forms are formed by adding -ed to the infinitive of the verb.

start started
kill killed
jump jumped

That seems easy!  

Yes, but there are some spelling rules. If a verb ends in -e, you add -d.

agree agreed

If a verb ends in a vowel and a consonant, the consonant is usually doubled before -ed.

stop stopped

If a verb ends in consonant and -y, you take off the y and add -ied.

try tried

But if the word ends in a vowel and -y, you add -ed.

play played

OK, not quite so easy! But the past simple form doesn't change at all for I, you, he, she, we and they, does it?

No, the form doesn't change. See, it is easy!

What about the pronunciation of the -ed ending?

There are three kinds of pronunciation: /d/, /t/ and /ɪd/. Look at the table below.

/d/ /t/ /ɪd/
arrived asked wanted
failed crossed decided
agreed stopped started

Aaagh! How do I know how to pronounce each one?

Good question. Well, really all you need to know is that /d/ is easier to say after arrive, and /t/ is easier to say after ask. For /ɪd/, the infinitive ends in a /d/ or a /t/ sound already so you must add an extra syllable for these verbs.

All right, that makes sense, but how do you form questions and negatives?

With the verb did (do in the past) + the infinitive.

Did you pass?
You didn't fail, did you?
Yes, I did. / No, I didn't.

Right, thanks, I've got it now!

Good. But you also need to learn the irregular past simple forms.

You mean there are verbs that don't end in -ed in the past?

Yes, they don't all end in -ed. Have a look at the past simple irregular verbs too.


Total votes: 949


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Did you like this grammar snack? What did you do yesterday? Tell us about your day.


Jo - Coordinator's picture

Hi DutchTessa,
I'm afraid we haven't got anything on the past continuous yet but we would like to! Thanks for your comment. Meanwhile, have a look at these pages on LearnEnglish (our website for adults): past continuous and continuous aspect. See if that helps and please come back and tell us if it was useful! Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish teens team)

3 users have voted.
KingWolf99's picture

Yes I really like it. It was very helpful but... poor cats :(! Yesterday, I got up at 10 o clock, I had breakfast and then I went out, through the garden near my house, riding my bike. At 13.00, I had lunch and then I did my homework. I also studied portuguese. I do it for fun! After having dinner, I went to my best friend's party, in a disco. It was a great party. We drinked and danced for all the night. At 3.00 pm i went to bed. It was an happy day!

9 users have voted.
Ken's picture

I like Grammar Snack, it's fun and helpful! Very good job!
(๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و !
Today, I hit the gym after school.

29 users have voted.
imadabad's picture

Thank you very much this web site is very important for me . one day I can speak English same my friends then no one can laugh me

75 users have voted.
milliemoller's picture

I am very confused about tenses.
what is the difference between has arrived and have arrived?

I really need someone favor to explain this to me. Thank you :)

93 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture

Hi millimoller,
Has arrived and have arrived are examples of the present perfect tense. Watch this video to learn more about the present perfect:  We use 'has' when it's he/she/it and 'have' when it's I/you/we/they.
I hope this helps. Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team).

88 users have voted.
Diego_Lollo123's picture

This video was very good.
Yetserday I woke up at 11 a.m. I played with the ps3. After I ate with my father and I played guitar. I do my homeworks for 4 hours. I went to my mum's ice cream shop and I ate a fantastic ice cream. I came home and I ate rice with my family. I slept 8 hours and today is my birthday!

93 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture

Sorry, but you can't download these videos. :(
From your user name I guess that you may be a teacher. If that is the case, you shouldn't have registered on LearnEnglish Teens because it's for 13-17 year olds. You can still access all the material without being a registered user. 
With best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

113 users have voted.
Taioor's picture

I love all grammar snack videos, i have seen so far. Yesterday i studied English, IT and Maths.I tried my new fries recipe. My father and sister liked it alot. Thanks a lot" learnenglishteens"for these wonderful grammar videos. They make it so easy to understand grammar.

105 users have voted.
nguyenvuhau's picture

This grammar snack is useful to strengthen my knowledge. I'm trying to learn a lesson everyday.
Yesterday, I came home after work at 6:30. After taking a bath, I had a big breakfast with read and omelet the drank a cup of milk. After then , I went to bed until 12 because my sister waked me up to have lunch....

107 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture

Hi nguyenvuhau! A lesson every day sounds like a great idea. Good luck with it and please keep on writing comments to practise what you are learning. :)

So, you have a job? Are you going to school too?

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

99 users have voted.
Nerminka's picture

It was easier to learn new words for me after I divided them into groups, how they are formed, they are formed with some rules and after I classify them it became easier to learn. I had nothing different yesterday, I had an ordunnary day

112 users have voted.
horse2002's picture

Poor Alfie! He didn't pass his driving test for the second time in a morning (Ahahaha).
But I like Grammar Snacks very much! They are very useful.

110 users have voted.
AnaB's picture

Yes, I really liked this grammar snack. It helpped me a lot.
Well, frist I geted out of my bed, than I had breakfest, and after that I took the book in my hands. I studied a lot. When i finished I get out, to take a fresh air. Than my friedns called me, and I decided to go out with them. I called my parents, I told them that I wanna go out, Than I met my friends. After a few houres, a came home really exhausted. i even didn't notice, I fell asleep.

122 users have voted.
Lover_english's picture

I was at home the mostly of the day yesterday. I was very busy reading the new interesting book. I was watching very interesting TV programme during evening.
This grammar snack is wonderful and very usefull for me. Thank you very much.

148 users have voted.
Natalija's picture

I was at home the mostly of the day yesterday; I had to study so much for today and I had to postpone everything, including my friend's party, which I regret so much, but I didn't have a choice. My chemistry teacher is so severe, so if I hadn't studied, she'd kill me:). I'll have to make it up to my friend.
I studied chemistry for 3,5 hours-we had so many lessons to learn, and than I studied history and physics for an hour. And I went to dance classes-it was so relaxing and it lasted for 2 hours, as usually.
Than I came back home, had a dinner and went sleep.
I was tired and exhausted, but it was worth of it-I got A at chemistry:)

160 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture

Congratulations on the A grade in Chemistry. :) It was worth all the hard work and studying! 
Best wishes, Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)



151 users have voted.