the simple past
(a.k.a. the past simple)

We use the simple past to talk about actions that are completed / finished.

Did you travel to Japan last year?
Yes, I traveled to Japan.
No, I did not travel to Japan last year.

There are 2 types of past tense verbs.

  • Regular: end in -ED
  • Irregular: verb 2 (run ran run)

Positive sentences (+)
-ED or verb 2

We watched a movie.
We swam in the pool.

Negative sentences (-)
didn't + verb 1

We didn't swim in a pool.
We did not watch a movie.

Questions (?)
did + verb 1

Where did he go?
Did you call me?
When did you call?

Watch out for the BE Verb:
We do not use 'DID' with the BE verb.

Were they late?
Yes, they were late.
No, they weren't late.

Was he late?
Yes, he was late.
No, he wasn't.

Use WAS with he, she, it, and I.
Use WERE with you, we, and they.

Practice - The box will turn green when you enter the correct answer.

  1. The students football. (+, play)
  2. The nurse the sick man. (+, help)
  3. you to class? (?, go)
  4. They in the lake. (-, swim)
  5. They in the ocean. (+, swim)
  6. I home until late. (-, get)
  7. you the movie? (?, like)
  8. Yes, I the movie. (+, like)
  9. she your name? (?, remember)


Songs to Practice Irregular Verbs

The Cat Song

Mr. Morton Was

Still confused? Check out these videos with Thai translations.

Pronunciation Guide

-ED is pronounced 3 different ways

  • "D" - played, opened, continued
    • used after voiced/throat sounds
  • "T" - watched, jumped, helped
    • used after unvoiced/lip sounds (Place the back of your hand over your mouth. You should feel air on the back of your hand with these sounds.)
    • -p -f -s -sh -ch -k
  • "ID" - visited, created, decided
    • used after words that end in "d" or "t" sounds

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