In our third lesson of Level 1, we will learn the English simple past tense of the top 10 verbs. We covered the simple present tense of the verbs in lesson 1 and lesson 2. Let’s begin learning and practicing the past tense. Learn the words and make sure you practice the pronunciation as well with the accompanying videos.
Remember* Words in red are the new words we’re learning now. Blue words are words we learned a little before. Continue to practice these words as well.
Verb #1: To Be
Our first verb is to be. The English simple past tense of ‘to be’ has two different forms. It will help to remember the simple present tense.
I + (present) am —> (past) was
He, she, it + (present) is —> (past) was
We, you, they + (present) are —> (past) were
They were playing in the middle of the street. It was very dangerous.
I was happy when I received a gift from my father.
She was the prettiest girl in school.
The boys were in Chicago for a trip.
If they were a little older they would have got the senior discount.
The clothes were all over the floor.
Mrs. Brown was my favorite elementary school teacher.
Verb #2: To Do
Verb number two is to do. The English simple past tense of ‘to do’ is ‘did’. Remember we can use the verb to do when asking questions. We can similarly use the ‘did’ to ask about past actions.
Do —> Did
When she finished reading the newspaper she did the crossword on the back page.
Did you buy a new car?
I was sick so all I did was sleep all day.
After my son did his homework, our family went out for dinner.
Arthur did five extra laps after practice.
Verb #3: To Have
The English simple past tense of to have is had. Let’s check out the examples.
Have —> Had
Our family had a great time on our vacation to Hawaii.
Tommy had his favorite breakfast this morning.
I only had a few dollars left after buying a new cell phone.
Carrie went home because she had a cold.
They all had the week off work.
Verb #4: To Go
The simple past tense of to go is went. Let’s check out some examples.
Go —> Went
The children went to the zoo for their school field trip.
After work, I went to the movies for a change.
Sharron went to Japan to study Asian art.
He went to the office to get his paycheck.
Trying to find a job, Crystal went to the city to give out her resume.
Verb #5: To Get
The past tense of ‘get’ is ‘got’. Let’s jump right into the examples.
Get —> Got
Don got a new job last week, he’s very excited about it.
The kids got in trouble for throwing a ball through a window.
I got an extra ticket to the concert for you.
The twins got matching clothes from their parents.
I got my wife a beautiful necklace for our anniversary.
Verb #6: To Say
Verb number 6 is ‘to say’. The English past tense is ‘said’.
Say —> Said
She said that she would call you after she finishes work.
I listened carefully to what my manager said.
James said he wanted to grab a bite after the game.
He said he would pick up his mother in the morning.
After taking a shower, Carly said she was going out.
Verb #7: To Think
The simple past tense of ‘to think’, is quite different than other verbs. It is thought. Let’s consider the examples.
Think —> Thought
She thought she was going to be late for work.
The whole team thought they could easily win.
I thought Jane was very cute.
Doug thought about being a teacher in the future.
We thought about traveling to Asia for the summer.
Verb #8: To Know
Verb #8 is to know. The simple past tense is ‘knew’.
Know —> Knew
She knew her father would be angry, but she went into her father’s briefcase anyway.
Everyone knew the Nets would lose the game.
If they knew what was to come, they never would have started a business together.
Rachel knew all the correct answers on her English test.
I already knew I wouldn’t be able to get the job, but I still applied.
Verb #9: To Make
The English simple past tense of make is made. Let’s see it used in some examples.
Make —> Made
Our family went to the beach where my brother and I swam and made castles in the sand.
We went for a drive to the city and made a day of it.
Julie’s mother made delicious pizza for all of us.
I was happy I made the cut for the school’s basketball team.
Every Saturday morning my father made a big breakfast for the entire family.
Verb #10: To Take
Our final verb, the tenth is to take. The past simple tense of ‘to take’ is ‘took’. Here are the examples.
Take —> Took
We took a five-minute break before loading up the trucks.
Before going to work, Jack took his son to school.
She took 10 dollars from her purse and handed it to the cashier.
It took Susan about an hour to find her keys.
It took about 15 hours to fly to China.
English Simple Past Tense
This is the English simple past tense for the first 10 verbs, the most important, most used verbs in the English language. The verbs are: to be, to do, to have, to go, to get, to say, to think, to know, to make, to take.