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The Simple Past

The ed ending: pronunciation and spelling

The verb to BE
POSITIVE
I was
You were
He was
We were
You were
They were

NEGATIVE
I was not / wasn't
You were not / weren't
He was not / wasn't
We were not / weren't
You were not / weren't
They were not / weren't

QUESTION
Was I?
Were you?
Was he?
Were we?
Were you?
Were they?

NEGATIVE QUESTION
Wasn't I?
Weren't you?
Wasn't he?
Weren't we?
Weren't you?
Weren't they?

The verb to CAN


POSITIVE
I
You
He
We
You
They

NEGATIVE
I
not / n't
You
He
We
You
They

QUESTION
I?
you?
he?
we?
you?
they?

NEGATIVE QUESTION
n't I?
n't you?
n't he?
n't we?
n't you?
n't they?

Simple past: regular verbs


Use:
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. The Simple Past can also be
used to describe a habit which stopped in the past.
Form:
We add the suffix ed in + sentences.
Example: She played the violin very well last night.
We use DID or DIDNT in ? and sentences
Example: Did you call me yesterday? I didnt have my mobile
on.
When answering: Yes, I did. No, I didnt.
In the simple past, the verb does not change for the different
subject pronouns.

POSITIVE
I played
You played
He played
We played
You played
They played

NEGATIVE
I did not play
You did not play
He did not play
We did not play
You did not play
They did not play

QUESTION
Did I play?
Did you play?
Did he play?
Did we play?
Did you play?
Did they play?

NEGATIVE QUESTION
Didn't I play?
Didn't you play?
Didn't he play?
Didn't we play?
Didn't you play?
Didn't they play?

Spelling of the ending -ed


Verbs ending in consonant + y drop the y and

add ied

E.g. cry cried

Verbs ending in one e simply add d


E.g. move moved
One syllable verbs ending in one vowel + one

consonant double the final consonant

E.g. stop stopped

Except: verbs ending in -y,-w,-x


E.g. snow snowed, play played, fix fixed
Verbs of two or more syllables ending in one

vowel+ one consonant also double the final


consonant if the stress is on the last syllable.

E.g. prefer preferred

Except: travel travelled, cancel cancelled

(UK English only)

Time expressions
Frequency adverbs
Yesterday, the day before yesterday
Last night, last week, last month, last year
The last time you called
Two days ago, a week ago, 5 years ago
In 1999, in October, in the summer
At 7 o'clock, at midnight, in the evening
For a while, for some time, for a month
Lately, recently

Pronunciation of the ed ending


If the verb ends in the sound /t/ or /d/ we

pronounce the ending /id/


E.g. fade faded
If the V. ends in a voiceless consonant other
than /t/ we pronounce the ending /t/
E.g. laugh laughed
If the verb ends in a voiced consonant other
than /d/ or vowel sound we pronounce the
ending /d/
E.g. beg begged, pray prayed

Exercise:
write the past tense of the following verbs and put them in the correct column.

discover laugh destroy survive crash jump


visit change travel introduce need - worry

/d/

Discovered
Destroyed
Survived
Travelled
Worried
Changed

/t/
Laughed
Crashed
Jumped
Introduced

/id/
Visited
Needed

Sunday (1) turned into a very long day. My


mum was coming back from holiday so I went
to the airport to pick her up.
Unfortunately her flight was (2) delayed for
a couple hours so I had to hang around at
the airport. I went to the bookshop and (3)
browsed around for a while, (4) flicked through
some magazines and bought a paper to read while I
(5) waited.
She finally (6) arrived at about 5 o'clock
and (7) wanted to go straight home because
she was so tired. So we (8) jumped in the car and
I (9) dropped her off at her place then (10)
headed to my flat in south London but when I (11)
tried to find my house keys, they weren't in my
pocket.
I (12) realised with horror that I must
have left them in the airport bookshop when I was
paying for my paper. So I had to go all the way back
to the airport but luckily someone had handed in my
keys and I was able to collect them and come home
again. It was a very, very long day.

Sunday (1) turned into a very long day. My


mum was coming back from holiday so I went
to the airport to pick her up.
Unfortunately her flight was (2) delayed for
a couple hours so I had to hang around at
the airport. I went to the bookshop and (3)
browsed around for a while, (4) flicked through
some magazines and bought a paper to read while I
(5) waited.
She finally (6) arrived at about 5 o'clock
and (7) wanted to go straight home because
she was so tired. So we (8) jumped in the car and
I (9) dropped her off at her place then (10)
headed to my flat in south London but when I (11)
tried to find my house keys, they weren't in my
pocket.
I (12) realised with horror that I must
have left them in the airport bookshop when I was
paying for my paper. So I had to go all the way back
to the airport but luckily someone had handed in my
keys and I was able to collect them and come home
again. It was a very, very long day.

Listen to these sentences. Is the person pronouncing the 'ed' endings correctly or
not?
1. He liked ice-cream when he was young.
a. Correct
b. Wrong
2. She closed the door.
a. Correct
b. Wrong
3. They invited you to the party.
a. Correct
b. Wrong
4. She waited at the bus stop for an hour.
a. Correct
b. Wrong
5. I phoned you last night but you weren't in.
a. Correct
b. Wrong
6. I watched television all last night
a. Correct
b. Wrong

Listen to these sentences. Is the person pronouncing the


'ed' endings correctly or not?
1. He liked ice-cream when he was young.
a. Correct, 'liked' was pronounced with a / t / sound.
2. She closed the door.
b. Wrong, 'closed' was pronounced with an / d / sound. It
should be / d /.
3. They invited you to the party.
a. Correct, 'invited' was pronounced with an / d / sound.
4. She waited at the bus stop for an hour.
a. Correct, 'waited' was pronounced with an / d / sound.
5. I phoned you last night but you weren't in.
a. Correct, 'phoned' was pronounced with a / d / sound.
6. I watched television all last night
b. Wrong, 'watched' was pronounced with an / d / sound.
It should be / t /.