Past Tense: Regular Verbs

Lisa C. Newcomer Information

When we talk about past actions, situations, or events that have finished, we use the simple past tense, coupled with past time references — words and phrase such as

  • yesterday, the day before yesterday, …
  • ____ ago: a while ago, four weeks ago, …
  • Last ____: last night, last month, last Saturday, …
  • past dates or events: on September 1, 2020, when I woke up this morning,…

In today’s English Learning Tips for Newcomers, we will take a quick look at how to change regular verbs into the past tense.

For regular verbs, the past tense is made by adding “ed” to the base form of the verb.
  • For example:  walk — walked
  • It’s very simple, eh? However, there are exceptions. With some verbs, you need to add -d or change the ending.
If the verb ends in “e”, you simply need to add “d” to form the past tense.
  • For example:  live – lived
If the verb ends in a consonant plus “y”, you need to change “y” to “i”, then add “ed”.
  • For example:  try – tried
If the verb ends in a vowel plus a consonant that is not “w” or “y”, you need to double the consonant, then add “ed”.
  • For example:  stop – stopped
Quiz time!

Try this online exercise and see if you mastered what you’ve learned today: Choose the correct past tense form for each verb.

Before you go, also check out our previously published English Learning Tips articles!

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