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GRAMMAR Past simple: Positive (A2 Basic)

Learn or review for free GRAMMAR about the Past Simple: Positive, at A2 Basic level of English, with our interactive online exercises.

Past simple

We use the past simple to describe completed actions in the past.

We often use past time expressions with the past simple, e.g. yesterday, last week, when I was a child.

I arrived home yesterday.
I bought a new car last month.
I often visited my grandparents when I was a child.
I sometimes went to the theatre when I lived in Mexico City.
I liked sweets a lot when I was at primary school.
I had a lot of friends at university.

Regular and irregular verbs

Past simple verbs are the same for all persons: I / you / we / they / he / she / it.

I worked. She worked. They worked.
You went. He went. We went.

Some verbs are regular. We add -ed to make the past simple:

work ➔ worked

help ➔ helped

Some verbs are irregular and you will need to learn their past forms:

meet ➔ met

buy ➔ bought


most verbs ➔ add -ed start ➔ started
watch ➔ watched
verb ends in -e ➔ add -d live ➔ lived
die ➔ died
verb ends in consonant + -y ➔ change -y to -i then add -ed try ➔ tried
cry ➔ cried
verb ends in one vowel (a, e, i, o, u) and one consonant (g, n, t, etc.) ➔ double the consonant and add -ed stop ➔ stopped
plan ➔ planned
never double the consonants w, x or y ➔ add -ed only show ➔ showed
play ➔ played


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