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.


Language level: 


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


Luna's picture
Luna 15 August, 2020 - 10:42

Yes, l did
Yesterday, l woke up and l did exercise at 6:15 . l had breakfast with some milk tea . When learned english

1 user has voted.
Giovannichoi's picture
Giovannichoi 12 June, 2020 - 03:36

I went to BC (British Council) on Wednesday to increase my English skills with my teacher Rachel!!

1 user has voted.
Sherry4869's picture
Sherry4869 13 May, 2020 - 15:05

Yes,I liked this Grammer Snack!!!
Yesterday was not a very nice day. The day was so hot. I don't like hot weather. I read my favourite book of Sherlock Holmes in my free time in a cold room with Air Condition. I wanted to eat some ice cream. But it is a dangerous season to eat ice cream. It is the time of COVID-19!!!!!!!!!

2 users have voted.
sofka's picture
sofka 19 April, 2020 - 18:55

yesterday I drew all day on my graphics tablet. and later in the evening we had dinner and again I sat at the computer and drew all night, I ate a lot of everything but I do not regret it

2 users have voted.
FedericoB8's picture
FedericoB8 25 March, 2020 - 18:43

yesterday I woke up at 9, after breakfast I followed an online Latin lesson, then I did my homeworks.
After lunch I played with playstation and ping-pong, in the evening I saw the film "Fast and Furious 8".

1 user has voted.
marchese's picture
marchese 23 March, 2020 - 09:57

Yesterday I woke up early, had breakfast and had video lessons with some teachers, then I started doing my homework while listening to music. Finally in the evening I had dinner and I watched a tv series with my sister. Usually my days re like this.

2 users have voted.
Micheleanto's picture
Micheleanto 20 March, 2020 - 17:27

Yesterday i celebrated the father’s day with my father, we ate the cake and i did my homework.
Finally, after dinner, we watched a film together.

1 user has voted.
asiasantin's picture
asiasantin 20 March, 2020 - 16:18

Yes I liked it. Yesterday I woke up early, I put my house and my room in order with my mom, then I spent all afternoon doing my homework. Finally in the evening I prepared pizza, watched a good movie, and finally went to bed

1 user has voted.
gattifederica's picture
gattifederica 20 March, 2020 - 16:04

Yesterday I got up at 8 o’clock and I had breakfast. Then I participated in video calls with my teachers and my classmates. I had lunch and I did my homework in the afternoon. After I listened to music and I went online. I had dinner with my parents and then I chatted with my friends. Finally I watched TV series and I went to bed.

2 users have voted.
BttChiara's picture
BttChiara 20 March, 2020 - 15:57

Yes, I liked a lot this grammar snack. It was really fun!
Yesterday I spoke to my friend and I told her the news. After that I learnt some English vocabulary and I watched a film.

1 user has voted.
ballerinichiara's picture
ballerinichiara 20 March, 2020 - 15:05

Yesterday in the morning I had some video lessons. In the afternoon I cook some biscuist at chocolate with my brothers and they were delicious!
We also ate they after dinner!

1 user has voted.
bea_mara's picture
bea_mara 20 March, 2020 - 14:49

Yes, I like it. Yesterday I didn't do many things. I had two video lessons in the morning and then I watched some TV until lunchtime. In the afternoon I watched a streaming movie with my family and in the evening we played Monopoli. It was a very peaceful day.

1 user has voted.
Naogiosu7's picture
Naogiosu7 20 March, 2020 - 13:55

Yes i did. Yesterday i woke up at 7 o'clok, i made crepes and we had breakfast together. Auround 9 i made the video lesson with my class and the teacher until 10 and then i took a shower. I had luch with mom and dad. I did my homework, i read a comic and i had dinner. I saw my tv series and i went to sleep

1 user has voted.
Carolina000's picture
Carolina000 20 March, 2020 - 13:35

My day yesterday was not very exciting: in the morning I took part in the online lessons of Italian and Latin. In the late afternoon instead I did training with my teammates and finally in the evening I watched tv and I relaxed.

1 user has voted.
rrfalletto's picture
rrfalletto 20 March, 2020 - 13:35

Yesterday i was in quarantine, so my day was a little boring, because i did my homework all the time and in the evening i watched tv

1 user has voted.
JasmineD03's picture
JasmineD03 20 March, 2020 - 11:41

Yes, I did. Yesterday I go to up at 8:30 am because I had a history video lesson, at 9:30 I finished it and at 10 am I had breakfast. From 11:30 to 13 I had another Latin video lesson. At 13:30 I had lunch and ten I started to watch an episode of a Tv series on Netflix.ù
After watching the TV series I went to do my homework until 4:30/5 pm. At 5 I trained with my friends in a video call. After training I made chocolate cookies with my sister and they came out very good. After I was on video call with another friends of mine and we did some homework together. Then I had dinner with my family and we all watched a movie together. Before going to sleep I took a shower, I took off my makeup and I surfed a little on social networks.
Unfortunately because of the coronavirus my city is in quarantine and we cannot go out, but I still manage to have a nice day.

2 users have voted.
beasam0109's picture
beasam0109 20 March, 2020 - 11:33

yes, i did. Yesterday I woke up at 8.30 am, went to the kitchen and had a cup of milk and some biscuits, then I brushed my teeth and took a shower, I tidy my room, I made the bed, putted the clothes in the closet. At lunch I ate with my family, after I did some homework, listened to music and prepared a chocolate cake with my mom for my brother's birthday, after dinner we saw a film together

1 user has voted.
Desy's picture
Desy 20 March, 2020 - 11:11

Yesterday I woke up at 8.30 am, then at 9:00 I had an online Italian lessons, and at 11:30 an Latin online lessons. At 1pm I had lunch and in the afternoon I did my English homework. At 8 pm I had dinner and then I watched TV with my brother. Finally at 11 pm I went to sleep.

0 users have voted.
Ely's picture
Ely 19 March, 2020 - 18:31

yesterday i woke up at 9 o' clock i had breakfast and i did my homework .
at 12:30 i had lunch with my family.
in the afternoon i watched the tv
in the evening i had dinner with my parents and i went to bed.

1 user has voted.
MatildePace's picture
MatildePace 19 March, 2020 - 09:41

Yes, I did. Yesterday I woke up at 9 a.m., I had breakfast with coffee. Then I did my homework. After homework I took a shower. Since it was a beautiful day I went to the garden to read a book. I spent some time with my family and I called a friend of mine who I missed because I haven't seen her for a long time. Before dinner I played the guitar, I like to play the guitar because it relaxs me. After dinner I watched TV with my brother and I went to sleep.

2 users have voted.
_auro_'s picture
_auro_ 20 March, 2020 - 14:53

Yes, I like it!
Yesterday morning I had videolessons and in the afternoon I celebrated my grandfather's birthday, we (me and my family) greeted him in a video chemistry because because of the virus in circulation we cannot leave the house except for valid reasons.

0 users have voted.
giorgia_marchetti's picture
giorgia_marchetti 20 March, 2020 - 14:41

Yes, I did. Yesterday i woke up at 8.30 to follow a digital history lesson, after i had a breakfast and i have a shower. During the morning i tided my room. At 14.00pm i had lunch and after i did my homework. At 9pm i had dinner and i watched a film with my family. I went to bed at 11.30

0 users have voted.
q_r65's picture
q_r65 5 September, 2019 - 10:58

Yesterday, I learn about the grammar and a new verbs, Also a new skills in reading and talking, Such as the voice when we said a word how we spell it and write it, Also I learn a new skills in the vocab, regular verbs and grammar.

0 users have voted.
Hamadzf's picture
Hamadzf 5 September, 2019 - 10:42

Yesterday I went to the college , I studied grammar. Then in 10:00 AM i came back to home . Initially i studied to IELTS Exam (Reading writing and listening) . After that i went with my family to AlAin mall for shopping some items and ate dinner . so we finished at 10:00 pm.

0 users have voted.
h00384049's picture
h00384049 5 September, 2019 - 10:37

Yesterday I came to college early in the morning at 8 and I finished my lectures at 2 o'clock and went home.

0 users have voted.