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.

 

Total votes: 631
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Discussion

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

Comments

q_r65's picture
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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's picture
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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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editor_rachael's picture
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editor_rachael 3 November, 2018 - 16:24

Hi Vivian8899,

 

Good question! He didn't drive is the past simple. He wasn't driving is the past continuous. 

 

In your example, we would usually say He wasn't driving fast when the accident happened. This is because we often use the past simple and the past continuous together when one action 'interrupts' another one. In this case, the accident 'interrupted' the driving. 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Rachael
LearnEnglish Teens team

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Sha99's picture
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Sha99 29 June, 2018 - 11:03

Yes I like this grammar class
Yesterday was a rainy day .I couldn't go anywhere outside. I took a picture in my mobile of outside of my house that filled with water.Some people were walking in the water,it was very difficult for them to move. And I watched a good film with my family.

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Pippatwo's picture
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Pippatwo 19 June, 2018 - 14:45

Yesterday I worked out, then took a nap and then did chores around the house. Then I practiced for a play.

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G123M 2 June, 2018 - 13:12

My name is Ghali. I am from Morocco. I live in Rabat. I go to the gym very often. I help my mom in the kitchen. I play games in my.
my name was GHALI. I WAS from MOROCCO .I LIVED IN RABAT .I STUDIED I WENT
I helped I played

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Tina - Coordinator's picture
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Tina - Coordinator 3 June, 2018 - 12:32

Hi G123M,
Thanks for your comments on LearnEnglish Teens. You mentioned that you are eleven years old. I'm sorry to tell you that the Teens site is for students from 13 to 17 years old, so we can't publish any more of your comments.
But do you know LearnEnglish Kids? This is the site for students of your age group and you can join and comment there. The address is: www.britishcouncil.org/learnenglishkids.
Best wishes and good luck with your studies!
Tina, (LearnEnglishTeens Team)

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May20 11 November, 2017 - 04:02

of course, yesterday I had class in university of 8am to 1pm, at 1pm I ate in dining room, I picked up to friend in door 3 of the university, I speaked with my friend, I played with my friend in the gree areas, I ate in house, I bathed in the night and I sleeped at 11pm

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agatha's picture
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agatha 3 February, 2017 - 09:35

Of course i love grammar snack videos,Yesterday i prepared for worshiping and i went to home at 4 o'clock,then i didn't go to the english course because it was late.When i arrived at home and i slept because i very tired and sleepy,then i did my homework at my bedroom,and i watched tv.It was so tirering day.

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pparedes984's picture
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pparedes984 3 January, 2017 - 03:52

Yesterday i woke up very late beacuse the party of the saturday was very good. after I woke up i had breakfast with my family then i slpet for another hour and after that I ate the food that we have for the party and then i visisted my girlfriend and ew had a really good time

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