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
like
liked
escape
escaped

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

stop stopped
plan
planned

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

try tried
carry
carried        

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

play played
enjoy
enjoyed

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.

 

Discussion

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

Comments

Carolina000's picture
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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.

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rrfalletto's picture
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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

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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.

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beasam0109's picture
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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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_auro_'s picture
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_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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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saiff 5 September, 2019 - 10:32

Yesterday, I went to the college to study. When I finished the class I went to my home. I watched move until 6:00 pm.

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Aguero 5 September, 2019 - 10:31

Yesterday, i woke up at 8:00 to have a class about english communication, with my teacher,we studied about some past words and how to talk with it,after that we finished at 10:00am then i went to MacDonald's to take my breakfast, then that i came back to my house tired but happy.

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salemalshamsi99 5 September, 2019 - 10:30

Yesterday I went to H.C.T. at 11:00. I was leaved at 2:00, after that I went to restaurant to eat lunch with my friend. My father called my to come early because he want me to take him to super market.

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r2r6 5 September, 2019 - 10:16

Last day i was studying english than we went to home i slept for two hours then i start playing on my phone.

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i55t 5 September, 2019 - 06:28

yesterday I went to college, then I went to my home , I ate my launch, I watched movie during the day and finally I went to bed.

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vp1j 5 September, 2019 - 06:26

Yesterday i went to the college to study when i finished the class i went to my home and i slept over until 7:00 pm.

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empty 25 June, 2019 - 11:32

Yesterday was a terrible day for me . I slept until 10.30 AM so I didn't realized my hamsters were killing each other! Fortunately , Both of them survived the fight . Then , I drank some orange juice for breakfast . And I went to bed at 11.00 PM.

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Youjiro 31 January, 2019 - 13:32

I love this class .This is very helpful . I use learning grammar .
yesterday I went to shopping to buy a daily items such as chopstick ,hanger,cup,and soap.
On my way I stuck in heavy rain .It was strong wind .I forget umbrella in my house .I was disappointed for that.I got in the rain on my way .I alive at the store ,I bought umbrella and daily items. Return to the house rain was stopped .I thought I spend waste of money.

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Vivian8899 3 November, 2018 - 01:25

He didn’t drive fast when the accident happened.
He wasnt’t drive fast when the accident ( correct) happened.
Are they both past simple?
Why do we use “wasn’t in here?

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