Exercise 3

Complete the text with these verbs in past simple.


ask    arrive    fly    go    pay    say    stop    take    tell    think    want

Two summers ago we 1 on a trip to New York. We 2 from Manchester to John F. Kennedy International Airport. The journey was long but we were very excited; we are from a little village and we really 3 to visit a megacity like New York. When we 4 at our destination, we 5 a taxi to our hotel in Manhattan. The taxi driver was very nice and 6 us lots of things about New York and Manhattan.
"How much is it?" I asked the taxi driver when he 7 his car in front of the hotel. When he 8 that it was 52 dollars, I 9 that it wasn't possible, but it was! For the first –and I hope the last– time in my life, I 10 52 dollars for a taxi. I guess that's one of the problems of big cities, they are really expensive.



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

past simple regular -ed spelling

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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

Some verb are irregular and they don’t add -ed to make the past simple. Some very common irregular verbs are:
past simple - irregular verb list

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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.