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Past simple – regular verbs

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.

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