Simple Past Tense - Quynh Huong Center for Foreign Language Translation & Education

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8 Aug 2014

Simple Past Tense

a. Spelling:
  • The normal rule is to add "_ed" after regular verbs. Ex: Work => worked, start => started, play => played...
  • If the verb ends in "_e", add "_d". Ex: Love => loved, like => liked, change => changed...
  • If the verb has only one syllable + one vowel + one consonant, double the consonant. Ex: Stop => stopped, plan => planned, travel => travelled... The consonant is not doubled if it is "y" or "w". Ex: Played, Showed...
  • In most two-syllable verbs, the end consonant is doubled if the stress is on the second syllable. Ex: preferred, admitted...
  • If the verb ends in a consonant + y, change the "_y" to "_ied". Ex: Study => studied, try => tried, deny => denied.... There are many common irregular verbs.
b. Form: S + Ved
c. Uses:
  • The past simple expresses a past action that is now finished. Ex: we played tennis last Sunday. I began to learn English 10 years ago. John left 2 hours ago.
  • To express actions which follow each other in a story. Ex: Mary walked into the room and stopped. She listened carefully. She heard a noise coming from behind the curtain. She threw the curtain open, and then she saw... He woke up early, jumped out of bed, dressed quickly and without having breakfast, left home.
  • To express a past situation or habit. Ex: when I was a child, we lived in a small house by the sea. Everyday I walked for miles on the beach with my dog.
Note: the time expressions are used with past simple: "last year, ago, yesterday, in 1990..." Ex: I was born in 1897. She met her teacher at the school yesterday.

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