Past Tense – Regular Verbs

The past tense expresses actions that have happened in the past, events that have already happened. It can be used to talk about the past or something that we imagined in the past. We can understand it is the past when we have words like “last year, last night, last Tuesday, yesterday and ago”.

Firstly we need to understand that in the English language we have Regular and Irregular verbs. It is advised that you study the most commonly used irregular verbs. However for now we will focus on the regular verbs.

Regular verbs

To form the past tense we add the suffix (-ed) to most verbs, for example the verb “walk” becomes “walked”, “kick” becomes “kicked”.

Here are some examples of sentences,

“I walked to school yesterday”.
“The footballer kicked the ball into the net”.
“He cooked dinner”.

“It rained yesterday”.

We need to pay attention to verbs ending in “e”, for example “wipe”, “live” and “close”.

To form the past simple in this case we just add “-d” to the infinitive form of the verb,

verb + -d

I lived here in 2013. (live)
She closed the window. (close)
He wiped the floor. (wipe)

How to form the past simple with verbs ending in a “-y”

Lets look at verbs preceded by a consonant (spy, envy, study), the consonants being a p, v and d.

Here the Y becomes an I and we add -ed, for example,

He spied on his neighbours. (Spy)
She envied her cousin. (Envy)
They studied for the English exam. (Study).

Try the following quiz now!

Past Tense Regular Verbs Quiz

Complete these sentences with the correct past tense form.

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Most Common Irregular Past Tense Verbs


Irregular past tense verbs in English can be rather difficult, especially because there are so many! In any case, if you learn the top 20 irregular verbs, you will most likely be able to converse with native English speakers in a positive and productive way. Our English language exercise today is dedicated to the top 20 most used irregular past tense verbs in the English language. Do you know them all?

Try the following quiz and put your knowledge to the test. Who knows? You just might learn something!

20 most used irregular past tense verbs

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the verbs in brackets.

How did the exercise go? We know they can be a bit of a pain at times, and it is perhaps the single most difficult exercise in the English language. Unfortunately there are no clear or concise patterns to follow when it comes to these verbs, so your only option is sheer memorization!

We’ve got plenty of other exercises when it comes to irregular verbs in English, especially when it comes to the past tense. Have a look at our blog to find plenty of material that will help you learn English immediately!

Here are some useful links for you to try, with various levels and grammatical themes that can help you improve your English grammar: