Learn grammar: Past simple tense

The past simple tense is the grammar focus in Episode 2 Blue of the Fortune drama series.

We use the past simple tense to talk about finished or completed actions. It is generally one of the first areas of grammar instruction that you will encounter as a language learner or teacher due to the high number of instances that we use this tense.

There are several key rules to remember:

  1. For regular verb forms we add -ed to describe the past tense. For example “Yesterday, I walked to school.”
  2. Irregular verb forms make up a high number of very common verb usage so it is important to learn these as early as possible.

The most common verb forms to learn and remember are: have (had), do (did), say (said), go (went), give (gave), get (got), make (made), know (knew).

The ‘be’ verb is also irregular and very commonly used: is (was), are (were), am (was).

For more examples and to watch the grammar in use, click on the video below:

The most important part of practising a new area of grammar is to use the language. Once you are confident in identifying the action (finished or completed) and can determine whether the verb is regular (-ed) or irregular, try to use the word in the past simple tense in a sentence.

For independent learners, you could choose an event that happened yesterday. Write down 3-4 verbs that will help you explain the event and the actions that occurred during the event. Next try to write a paragraph with the correct form of the past tense verbs. For speaking practice, record yourself reading the paragraph and then listen back to the recording. This will assist in improving your grammar, as well as using the grammar in writing and speaking situations.

Learning English should be enjoyable. It will certainly be challenging but setting clear goals everyday helps you to achieve these goals. Understanding the past simple tense will help you on your journey.

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