Past simple regular
We often add -ed to verbs (regular verbs) to make the past simple.
- We often watch a film on Saturday. ⇒ We watched a film last Saturday.
- I live in Barcelona. ⇒ I lived in Barcelona in the 90s.
Spelling of regular verbs
When do we double the consonant?
We double the consonant when the verb ends in consonant + vowel + consonant. This is always true when the verb is one syllable.
- stop ⇒ stopped, plan ⇒ planned, shop ⇒ shopped, rob ⇒ robbed.
When the verb is two syllables, we only double the consonant when the STRESS is in the last syllable.
- reFER ⇒ referred, preFER ⇒ preferred, reGRET ⇒ regretted
But we do NOT double the consonant when the STRESS is NOT in the last syllable.
- VIsit ⇒ visited, ANswer ⇒ answered.
Past simple irregular
Some verb are irregular and they don’t add -ed to make the past simple. Some very common irregular verbs are:
Past simple – use
Past finished actions or states
We can use the past simple to talk about past finished actions or states. We know and we often mention when these actions happened with a past time expression: yesterday, yesterday morning, last night, last week, two days ago, five years ago, etc.
- Jessica called me last night.
- Rachel was a very good writer.
Past repeated actions
We can use the past simple to talk about habits or repeated actions that happened in the past but don’t happen in the present. We often use adverbs or expressions of frequency (often, always, every day, etc.).
- When I was a child, I ate sweets every day.
- In school, I always played football during break time.