Level: beginner

With most verbs, the past tense is formed by adding –ed:

called liked wanted worked

But there are a lot of irregular past tense forms in English. Here are the most common irregular verbs in English, with their past tense forms:

Base form Past tense
be
begin
break
bring
buy
build
choose
come
cost
cut
do
draw
drive
eat
feel
find
get
give
go
have
hear
hold
keep
know
leave
lead
let
lie
lose
make
mean
meet
pay
put
run
say
sell
send
set
sit
speak
spend
stand
take
teach
tell
think
understand
wear
win
write
was/were
began
broke
brought
bought
built
chose
came
cost
cut
did
drew
drove
ate
felt
found
got
gave
went
had
heard
held
kept
knew
left
led
let
lay
lost
made
meant
met
paid
put
ran
said
sold
sent
set
sat
spoke
spent
stood
took
taught
told
thought
understood
wore
won
wrote

We use the past tense to talk about:

  • something that happened once in the past:

I met my wife in 1983.
We went to Spain for our holidays.
They got home very late last night.

  • something that happened several times in the past:

When I was a boy, I walked a mile to school every day.
We swam a lot while we were on holiday.
They always enjoyed visiting their friends.

  • something that was true for some time in the past:

I lived abroad for ten years.
He enjoyed being a student.
She played a lot of tennis when she was younger.

  • we often use expressions with ago with the past simple:

I met my wife a long time ago.

Past simple 1
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Past simple 2
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Past simple questions and negatives

We use did to make questions with the past simple:

Did she play tennis when she was younger?
Did you live abroad?
When did you meet your wife?
Where did you go for your holidays?

But questions with who often don't use did:

Who discovered penicillin?
Who wrote Don Quixote?

Past simple questions 1
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Past simple questions 2
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We use didn't (did not) to make negatives with the past simple:

They didn't go to Spain this year.
We didn't get home until very late last night.
I didn't see you yesterday.
 

Past simple negatives 1
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Past simple negatives 2
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Level: intermediate

Past simple and hypotheses

We can also use the past simple to refer to the present or future in hypotheses (when we imagine something). See these pages:

Comments

Hi.Excuse me.Why has not the list of irregular verbs been completed?But this site is very great.thanks

Just try to download pdf format and the audio visual the best fits on your Pc that is the main reason sometimes are not working properly. The configuration settings are lack of downloadable materials to support your Pc to interact. Hoping that you will be fixing these problems to continue your learning activity here. Thank you English team

If I benefit from this site and use with my students why not to express my gratitude???? 
Thank you dear BC team!

Thank you! I'm happy to hear that you and your students find it useful.
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi
I would like to contact with you by chat for improving in English
 

i wish to benefite too,, 

Hi Guys,
    I was wondering if U.S.A English grammar is as same as British English grammar?
Although I like this site and it's useful ,but i am not sure if it can helps me in American English.
Thanks.

Hello kehama!
 
In most cases, British English and US grammar are identical. There are a small number of differences, but they do not cause any confusion - an American and a British speaker will not misunderstand each other's grammar. We're also updating our grammar section with some information about the differences, so look out for that - but in the meantime, you'll find our site just as useful as an American site!
 
Regards
 
Jeremy Bee
The LearnEnglish Team 

Hello everyone! I am a new member of British council. I think your website will help me to improve my english. I read about past simple and I have a question Do we have to use time in past simple? Do we have to say time necessarily?

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