Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » Past simple – regular/irregular verbs
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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

Grammar chart explaining the spelling rules for forming the past simple of regular verbs with '-ed', including examples and variations based on verb endings.

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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

Irregular verbs don’t add -ed to make the past simple. Some very common irregular verbs are:
List of irregular verbs in the past tense with their infinitive forms and example sentences for A1 level English grammar learners.

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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.