Grammar – Past simple


When to use past simple

We use the past simple anytime we want to talk about something that happened in the past. This tense is very, very common. Most stories we tell are all in the past simple.

I take the bus to school every day.

This sentence talks about every day, which is the present. So we use present simple

I took the bus to school this morning.

This sentence talks about this morning, which is in the past. So we use the past simple.

How to use past simple

To make a sentence in the past just change the verb to the past simple.

I played touch-rugby on Saturday.

I came to New Zealand last year.

They were happy last weekend.

For more practice on irregular verbs, check the irregular verb page.

To change to the past simple, you need to change the first verb in a sentence into the past form. For most verbs, this means adding –ed to the end of the verb. Verbs like this are called regular verbs. Other verbs are different in the past, and you need to learn the past forms of these. These are called irregular verbs.

Here are some examples of regular verbs and irregular verbs.

Be is different to other verbs in the past simple.


Past simple

small logo