Simple Past Tense

Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind.


  • I saw a movie yesterday.
  • Last year, I traveled to Japan.
  • She washed her car.

The simple past is formed by adding ed to the base form of the verb (the infinitive without to).

base                               form+ ed =simple past

walk                                walked

push                                 pushed

greet                                 greeted

watch                                watched

Irregular verbs form the past tense by a change in orthography (spelling).

base form                      simple past

buy                                 bought

do                                   did

fly                                   flew

forget                             forgot

light                                lit

go                                   went

say                                 said



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