Past simple Exercises

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Past simple form : ( verb 2 )

In English we use the past simple tense to talk about finished actions in the past.

We use 'did' as an auxiliary verb in negatives and questions and we often use the past simple with past time phrases such as 5 minutes ago, yesterday, last week, in the 1980s, and when I was a child.

Notes for use of past simple  :

In English, to change verbs to the past tense, we add '-ed' to regular verbs. For example;

work --> worked

live --> lived

walk --> walked

If the verb ends in 'e', we drop the 'e' before adding '-ed'. For example;

dance --> danced

smile --> smiled

phone --> phoned

If the verb ends in a vowel + consonant, we double the last consonant. For example;

stop --> stopped

tag --> tagged

plan --> planned

If the verb has more than one syllable, we double the consonant at the end only if the last syllable is stressed. For example;

prefer --> preferred

permit --> permitted

regret --> regretted

If the last syllable of the verb is not stressed, we do not double the last consonant. For example;

visit --> visited

happen --> happened

develop --> developed

In British English, verbs ending in 'l' double the 'l' before '-ed' whether the last syllable is stressed or not. For example;

travel --> travelled

cancel --> cancelled

If the verb ends in a 'y' or a 'w', we do not double it when we add '-ed'. For example;

stay --> stayed

play --> played

sew --> sewed

In English we do not double the consonant if the verb has two vowels before the last consonant. For example;

boil --> boiled

explain --> explained

In English we also do not double the consonant if the verb ends in two consonants. For example;

help --> helped

start --> started

However, irregular verbs change to completely different words in the past tense. For example;

go --> went

take --> took

know --> knew

The table below shows the different forms of past simple :

Example Verb : live
I / You  / We / They / He / She / It
Positive... lived.
Negative... didn't live.


Did ... live?
Short answers

Yes, ... did. /

No, ... didn't.

For the verb 'to be' we use 'was' and 'were'' in the past simple. No auxiliary verbs are used in negative sentences and questions.

Verb : Be
I / He / She / It
You / We / They
Positive... was ...... were ...
Negative... wasn't ...... weren't ...
QuestionsWas ... ... ?Were ... ...?
Short answers

Yes, ... was. /

No, ... wasn't.

Yes, ... were. /

No, ... weren't.

Past Simple Example Sentences :

Positive Examples of Past Simple :

  • I went to Japan last year.
  • She worked as a consultant for 5 years.
  • We saw a film last night.
  • He was ill yesterday.
  • They were at the party last Saturday night.

Negative Examples of Past Simple :

  • You didn't go to the gym last night.
  • He didn't attend the meeting this morning.
  • We didn't have a dog when I was a child.
  • I wasn't at home last weekend.
  • They weren't happy with the service.

Question Examples of Past Simple :

  • Did you visit New York last summer?
  • Did you eat at the Japanese restaurant last night?
  • Who did you meet at the conference?
  • Was she angry?
  • Where were you yesterday afternoon?

Past simple example sentences
Nope, my shoes and trousers just got a little bit wet.
We met at the vet a couple of weeks ago.
She was yelling at me like how dirty we were...
Today Rebecca called me about...
I hope I didn't make you wait long.
It totally slipped my mind!
Did you see any fire or smoke around?
I think we should move the desk back where it was before.
I saw a coffee shop just outside the station.
It seems you checked the production date.
Umm, she started staying with me recently.
Meanwhile I was feeling very tired and wanted to lie down for a while.
You, too, I hope you found the house easily.
The price is just about the same, but it was in much better condition.
I hope I didn't make you wait long.
You wanted to come here, I just helped you get the table!
I checked the train schedule on the internet.
Did you have much money in your purse?
They're fine, we played a game called *catch the wasp*!
And I don't know why but suddenly she went mental!


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