Simple Past Tense

Simple past tense is the form of verb that show past time.

Level: Beginner

What is simple past tense?

1. Simple past tense is the "-ed" form of regular verb. We call it 'past form'.


  1. Charlie acted well. 
  2. Micky called in a doctor. 
  3. The old man died in his house. 
  4. He helped the poor.

2. Some verbs do not have any "-ed" form. They are irregular verbs. They have special past tense forms. Here are some examples:

  1. We went to the market yesterday. ["went" is the past form of "go"]
  2. He did the job . ["did" is the past form of "do"]
  3. I saw him in the market. ["saw" is the past form of "see"]
  4. He came here last night. ["came" is the past form of "come"]

Form: Subject + Past Form of Verb

Use of Simple Past Tense

We us the past simple tense talk about actions or events that occurred in the past. Here are some examples:

1. With Time Markers

We use the simple past tense with definite time markers like "yesterday", "last night", "three week ago", "in 1994", etc.  

  1. Yesterday, he went to the store.
  2. Last week, they traveled to Paris.
  3. In 2005, I graduated from college.
  4. She visited London last year.

But we can use simple past without definite time markers if we can understand that the action happened sometime in the past. 

  1. Shakespeare wrote Hamlet. 
  2. Columbus discovered America.
  3. The Titanic sank in the deep sea.

Level: Intermediate

2. Interrupted Actions

When one shorter action comes in the middle of another longer action, we use the shorter action in past simple and the longer action in past continuous. 

  1. The accident happened when we were going to school. 
  2. While I was swimming in the river, a shark attacked me. 
  3. As it was raining outside, we stayed in the room. 
  4. I was reading when the phone rang.
  5. They were having a picnic when it started raining.

But if the actions happen one after another, we use two past simple verbs. 

  1. When I opened the door, I saw Martin. 

3. Conditional Sentences (Type 2)

  1. If I had more money, I would buy a new car.
  2. If she studied harder, she would have passed the test.

4. Past Habits or Routine

  1. They always watched that TV show on Sundays.
  2. Edison was never absent from school.

5. Series of Completed Actions

  1. The movie started at 7 PM and ended at 9 PM.
  2. He entered the room, looked around, and then left.
  3. First, I woke up; then, I took a shower and had breakfast.
  4. She arrived, met with the team, and started the presentation.

Simple Past Tense Worksheet

1. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb in the simple past tense.

  1. She ---------- (read) a novel yesterday.
  2. They ---------- (visit) the museum last week.
  3. He ---------- (finish) his homework an hour ago.
  4. We ---------- (watch) a movie on Friday night.
  5. I ---------- (travel) to Paris last summer.

2. Use the right forms of the verbs in brackets. Use past tense. 

Yesterday, the sun (1) ---------- (shine) brightly in the clear blue sky as I (2) ---------- (walk) along the peaceful trail. Birds (3) ---------- (sing) their melodious tunes from the treetops, and a gentle breeze (4) ---------- (whisper) through the leaves. I (5) ---------- (stop) by a bubbling brook and (6) ---------- (watch) as the water (7) ---------- (glisten) in the sunlight. It was a moment of pure serenity, a memory I will always cherish.

3. Use the right forms of the verbs in brackets. Use past tense. 

Last summer, I (1) ---------- (travel) to Europe for an unforgettable vacation. My journey (2) ---------- (begin) in Paris, where I (3) ---------- (explore) the iconic Eiffel Tower and (4) ---------- (stroll) along the charming streets of Montmartre. From there, I (5) ---------- (take) a train to Rome, where I (6) ---------- (admire) the grandeur of the Colosseum and (7) ---------- (indulge) in mouthwatering Italian cuisine. After Italy, I (8) ---------- (fly) to Greece and (9) ---------- (visit) the ancient ruins of Athens before (10) ---------- (relax) on the stunning beaches of Santorini. Each day (11) ---------- (bring) new adventures and memories that I (12) ---------- (cherish) forever.

4. Use the right forms of the verbs in brackets. Use past tense. 

Yesterday, I (1) ---------- [wake up] to the sound of birds chirping outside my window. I (2) ---------- [stretch] and (3) ---------- [yawn] before getting out of bed. The sun (4) ---------- [shine] brightly in the sky as I (5) ---------- [make] my way to the kitchen. I (6) ---------- [brew] a fresh pot of coffee and (7) ---------- [enjoy] its aroma filling the room. After breakfast, I (8) ---------- [go] for a refreshing morning walk in the park. I (9) ---------- [listen] to the rustling leaves and (10) ---------- [watch] squirrels as they (11) ---------- [play] among the trees. It (12) ---------- [feel] invigorating to be outdoors in the crisp morning air. Later in the day, I (13) ---------- [meet] up with a friend for lunch. We (14) ---------- [chat] and (15) ---------- [laugh] as we (16) ---------- [recall] old memories. As the day (17) ---------- [come] to a close, I (18) ---------- [settle] down with a good book and read until I (19) ---------- [feel] myself (20) ---------- [grow] sleepy. Reflecting on the day's activities, I (21) ---------- [realize] how much I (22) ---------- [enjoy] those simple moments.

5. Use the right forms of the verbs in brackets. Use past tense. 

Lisa: Hey Mark, how was your weekend? What you (1) ---------- [do]?

Mark: Hey Lisa! My weekend was great. On Saturday, I (2) ---------- [went] hiking with some friends. We (3) ---------- [explored] a new trail and (4) ---------- [enjoyed] the stunning views from the top of the mountain.

Lisa: That sounds amazing! What else happened?

Mark: Well, on Sunday, I (5) ---------- [decided] to relax a bit. I (6) ---------- [watched] a movie that I had been wanting to see for a while. Then, I (7) ---------- [cooked] dinner at home and (8) ---------- [tried] out a new recipe.

Lisa: Nice! Which movie did you watch? And what kind of recipe did you try?

Mark: I (9) ---------- [watched] "Inception," it's a classic that I somehow hadn't seen yet. As for the recipe, I (10) ---------- [attempted] to make a homemade lasagna. It (11) ---------- [took] a bit longer than I (12) ---------- [expected], but it turned out delicious.

Lisa: "Inception" is a mind-bending movie, for sure. And homemade lasagna sounds mouthwatering! Did anything else interesting happen?

Mark: Actually, yes. While I was walking in the park on Sunday afternoon, I (13) ---------- [ran] into an old friend from high school. We (14) ---------- [talked] for hours, (15) ---------- [caught] up on each other's lives, and (16) ---------- [shared] a lot of laughs.

Lisa: Sounds like a well-rounded weekend! Hiking, movies, cooking, and unexpected reunions. I'm glad you (17) ---------- [had] such a nice time.

Mark: Thanks, Lisa! It was definitely one of those weekends that I'll remember for a long time. How about you? How (18) ---------- [was] your weekend?

Lisa: My weekend [was] pretty relaxing. I (19) ---------- [visited] a local art gallery and (20) ---------- [spent] some quality time reading at a café. It was exactly what I needed after a busy week.

Mark: That sounds lovely. We both had a great balance of activities and relaxation.

6. Here is a story with verbs in brackets. Rewrite the story with the correct forms of verbs in simple past or past continuous tense.

The Magical Garden Adventure

Once upon a time, in a small village, there (1) ---------- (live) a curious and adventurous girl named Lily. Lily (2) ---------- (love) exploring the world around her. One sunny morning, she (3) ---------- (decide) to go on a new adventure.

Lily (4) ---------- (put) on her sneakers, (5) ---------- (grab) her backpack, and (6) ---------- (set) off toward the nearby woods. She (7) ---------- (walk) along a narrow path, listening to the birds (8) ---------- (sing) sweet melodies. Suddenly, she (9) ---------- (spot) a hidden gate covered in ivy.

With excitement bubbling inside her, Lily (10) ---------- (push) the gate open and (11) ---------- (enter) a magical garden. The flowers (12) ---------- (bloom) in vibrant colors, and butterflies (13) ---------- (flutter) around in a dance. In the center of the garden, there (14) ---------- (stand) a charming fountain.

As Lily (15) ---------- (approach) the fountain, it (16) ---------- (sparkle) with a soft glow. She (17) ---------- (read) the inscription on the fountain's base: "Make a wish and see the magic flow." Lily (18) ---------- (close) her eyes tightly and (19) ---------- (make) a wish with all her heart.

To her amazement, the water in the fountain (20) ---------- (begin) to swirl and shimmer. A friendly gnome (21) ---------- (appear) from behind a mushroom, introducing himself as Gilbert. He (22) ---------- (explain) that the garden (23) ---------- (possess) magical powers and (24) ---------- (grant) wishes to those with pure hearts.

Lily and Gilbert (25) ---------- (become) fast friends. He (26) ---------- (show) her around the garden, where trees (27) ---------- (whisper) secrets and animals (28) ---------- (chat) playfully. They (29) ---------- (discover) a patch of colorful seeds and (30) ---------- (plant) them in the rich soil. The seeds (31) ---------- (start) to sprout and grow into enchanted flowers that (32) ---------- (glow) in the moonlight.

Lily (33) ---------- (spend) hours in the garden, learning from Gilbert and enjoying the enchanting surroundings. She (34) ---------- (realize) that the real magic was in the simple moments and connections she (35) ---------- (make) with the magical creatures.

As the sun (36) ---------- (begin) to set, Lily (37) ---------- (thank) Gilbert and the magical garden for the wonderful day. She (38) ---------- (walk) back home, her heart (39) ---------- (full) of gratitude and joy. From that day on, Lily (40) ---------- (visit) the magical garden whenever she (41) ---------- (need) a dose of wonder and happiness.

And so, Lily's adventures (42) ---------- (continue) as she (43) ---------- (explore) the magical garden's mysteries, (44) ---------- (learn) its secrets, and (45) ---------- (treasure) the moments that (46) ---------- (make) life truly magical.

6. Rewrite the following sentences in the past simple tense. Remember to change the verbs to match the tense.

  1. She reads a book every evening.
  2. They play football after school.
  3. He watches TV in the afternoon.
  4. I visit my grandparents on weekends.
  5. The cat sleeps on the windowsill.
  6. We eat breakfast at 7 AM.
  7. The birds sing in the morning.
  8. He usually drinks coffee in the morning.
  9. The train arrives at 9:30 AM.
  10. She goes to the gym on Mondays.