Past Simple Tense

Understanding verb tenses is crucial when learning English. One of the most commonly used tenses is the past simple tense, which we use to talk about completed actions in the past. This post will break down the past simple tense step-by-step, illustrating correct and incorrect usage with examples. Stick around for the end, where we’ve prepared some ‘fill in the blank’ exercises for practice!

What is the Past Simple Tense?

The past simple tense is a verb tense used to express actions that occurred and were completed at a specific time in the past. It can refer to short, instantaneous actions or longer actions that occurred over a period of time. It can also be used to convey a sequence of past events.

How to Form the Past Simple Tense

  1. Regular verbs: For regular verbs, the past simple tense is formed by adding ‘-ed’ to the base form of the verb. For example, ‘walk’ becomes ‘walked’ and ‘study’ becomes ‘studied’.
  2. Irregular verbs: For irregular verbs, the past simple tense does not follow a specific pattern. For example, ‘go’ becomes ‘went’ and ‘see’ becomes ‘saw’. These forms need to be memorized individually.

Examples of Past Simple Tense

  1. Regular verbs: I walked to the store yesterday. She studied for her exam last night.
  2. Irregular verbs: We went to a concert last week. He saw a movie this afternoon.

Incorrect Usage of Past Simple Tense

Here are some examples of incorrect usage of the past simple tense:

  1. I goed to the park yesterday. (Incorrect: use ‘went’, not ‘goed’)
  2. She see a bird in the garden. (Incorrect: use ‘saw’, not ‘see’)

Purpose of the Past Simple Tense

The primary purpose of the past simple tense is to express completed actions or situations in the past. It can be used to talk about:

  1. Single events in the past: I bought a new car last week.
  2. Habits in the past: When I was a child, I played soccer every Sunday.
  3. Sequential actions in the past: I woke up, brushed my teeth, and then ate breakfast.

Practice: Fill in the Blanks

Now it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Try to fill in the blanks with the correct past simple tense form of the verbs:

  1. I ___ (visit) my grandmother last Sunday.
  2. They ___ (run) in the marathon yesterday.
  3. She ___ (buy) a new dress for the party.
  4. We ___ (eat) pizza for dinner last night.

Check your answers at the end of the post. Keep practicing and you’ll master the past simple tense in no time!


  1. visited
  2. ran
  3. bought
  4. ate