Past Simple Tense Exercises (With Printable PDF)

The past simple tense is one of the most basic ones used in the English language. It describes past events and is often mistaken for the past continuous. Today, I will go through some past simple regular and irregular verb exercises to help you get acquainted with this tense.

What Is Past Simple Tense?

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The simple past tense is used in speech and writing to talk about something that happened before the present. It’s important to tell apart the past simple and past continuous tenses. The latter describes a past that occurred over time, while the past simple tense describes a finished action.

For example:

  • I enjoyed going to the opera last night.
  • He ate the last slice of pizza.

The past simple tense can also be used to describe states of being. For instance:

  • I was very emotional when they began playing that song.

To form the past simple tense, just add -ed at the end of regular verbs. For example:

  • Blushed
  • Carved
  • Danced
  • Played

For irregular verbs, however, things are a bit more complicated. Some irregular verbs have a past tense form identical to the root form (such as cost, cut, or put).

However, other irregular verbs don’t follow strict rules, and their past simple tense form needs to be learned by heart. These include:

  • Go – went
  • See – saw
  • Build – built

Simple Past Tense Exercises

Complete the following past simple tense exercises that I made to help you get a better understanding of the concept. Note that the past simple worksheet below is divided into three exercises, each with its own answer key.

Simple Past Tense Exercise #1

Simple Past Tense Exercise #1

Use the words given to form sentences in the past simple tense.
Ex. What, do, you, eat, yesterday? Answer: What did you eat yesterday?

Start Over

Simple Past Tense Exercise #2

Simple Past Tense Exercise #2

Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the irregular verbs in the brackets.

Start Over

Simple Past Tense Exercise #3

Simple Past Tense Exercise #3

Choose the correct answer to add the past simple tense in the gaps below.

His apologies came from the heart, so she ______ all of his mistakes.
Jeff ______ his brother study for the exam, so he wouldn’t fail.
The only reason we lost that game is because Derek ______ really bad.
I was deceived because I _____ to believe those lies so badly!
Gabi lied to her mother about studying last night. I _____ her at the pub with her friends.
Start Over

The Final Thoughts

The past simple tense is easy to form but can prove tricky when learning the correct forms of certain irregular verbs. However, irregular verbs are the only tricky part of mastering English grammar. The rest is just logic and exercise! Practice with my worksheets, and you’ll be a master in no time.

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