We are going to learn on tenses. Well, you have to master the grammar rules to be a good English student!

Saturday, 24 December 2011


Past Tense Verbs 



We mentioned past tense verbs when discussing whether it was necessary to use correct grammar in your daily to do list.
As the phrase implies, they are verbs that are changed to be reflective of an action or situation that happened in the past, rather then the current timeframe. However, it gets a little more complicated than that, as there are different types...

Simple Past


When Joe was listing his tasks on the previous page we suggested he use an action verb before the noun in each task item. So he added the words in the first column of the table below...

Current Simple Past Tense
Print Printed
Order Ordered
Send Sent

We then moved on to change these into past tense verbs to signify that when the task had been crossed out, it was completed. For example whatever needed printing, had been printed.
These simple past tense verbs normally have the following letters added, -d or -ed, to the root of the word denoting that the action has happened. As a quick guideline you can use the following tips.

  • Add -d if the verb ends in e.
  • If a verb ends in -y, then change the -y to -i and add -ed.


There is another type of past tense called irregular past tense!

Irregular Simple Past



  • However, you will note that the last example in the table above varies from this general rule. 
  • It uses what is known as an irregular simple past tense verb. 
  • There are a number of verbs in common day to day use that can be categorised in this manner. 
  • The next table gives a list of some irregular past tense verbs and their past participles.
  • The latter would normally have the word "had" before them.

Current Irregular
Simple Past
Past Participle
begin began begun
come came come
eat ate eaten
go went gone
fall fell fallen
shake shook shaken
run ran run
swear swore sworn
hide hid hidden
write wrote written

If you are in doubt as to how a verb should be used to specify that an action has already happened, it is wise to check a dictionary, as it will give you the past tense of any verb you look up.

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