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Lesson 6a: Past Tense Verbs

We usually make the past tense by adding "d" or "ed" to the verb root word. For example, Hannah talked to her friend.

Some verbs have irregular past tenses. For example, Hannah told him about her holiday. We do not add "d" or "ed" to the irregular past tense verb, but change the spelling. Tell becomes told not telled.

Examples of Past Tense Verbs

To be

We also make the past tense by using the verb "to be" and add "ing" word.

Root word Present tense Past tense Future tense
To be is/ am/ are was/ were will/shall

More Verb Tense Examples

Past Tense; She was talking to her friends. Was is the verb "to be". Talking is the verb root word.

Past Tense Verbs Worksheets

Regular Verbs

Examples of Regular Verb Tenses

Root word Past tense
Walk I walked.
Walk plus to be I was walking.
Help I helped.
Learn I learned.
Learn plus to be I was learning.

Irregular Verbs

Irregular verbs do not follow the spelling pattern of regular Verbs and some irregular verbs do not change their spelling at all.

Examples of Irregular Verbs Not Following the Spelling Pattern

Root word Past tense
Write I wrote.
Write plus to be They were writing.
Grow It grew.
Teach She taught.
Teach plus to be We were teaching.
Think He thought.

Examples of Irregular Verbs That Do Not Change their Spelling

Root word Past tense
cost I cost
hit They were hitting.
read It read.
let She let.
put We were putting.
shut He shut.

Past Tense Time Words

Time words tell us when an action happened in the past.

yesterday yesterday evening yesterday morning yesterday
yesterday afternoon the day before yesterday
last last night last Summer last Monday
last week last Autumn last Tuesday
last month last Winter last weekend
last year last Spring last Friday
ago a few minutes ago two days ago a month ago
an hour ago a week ago five years ago
in in 1961 in the 1920's in the 16th century

Lessons on the basic rules of English Language Arts verb tenses will better equip your child to express their ideas in writing. The lessons provide models and valuable suggestions. Worksheets are structured as stepping stones to build your child's fundamental English Grammar skills.

Writing Tip: The verb is the word that indicates the time that the event is occurring. It may be happening in the present tense, past tense or future tense.


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