Forming Simple Past Tense Verbs
Forming Simple Past tense verbs is actually quite easy for regular English verbs. However, as with teaching all verb tenses, conjugation is only the beginning of the lesson.
There is essentially only one rule to follow to conjugate a regular past tense verb. Irregular Simple Past tense verbs are a bit trickier. There is no one general rule for irregulars and the student learning English as a second language or a foreign language must simply memorize irregular verbs.
As with all verb tenses, three things are essential to teach students learning English:
(1) Verb conjugation,
(2) Verb form, and
(3) Verb f u n c t i o n.
See ESL Verb Tenses for a thorough discussion on teaching verbs to adults learning ESL or EFL.
Simple Past Verb Conjugation (using miscellaneous common verbs, for example)
Forming Simple Past tense verbs in the affirmative is pretty easy. There is only one form of the verb no matter what the subject is. Regular Simple Past tense verbs are formed by adding “-ed” to the end of the base form of the verb (e.g., walked, dressed, called, enjoyed, etc.). For verbs that already end with an “e,” just add a “d” (e.g., cared, raced, decided, invited, etc.).
Here are some examples of conjugated Past Tense verbs:
1. I talked. I walked. I danced. I cared.
2. You talked. You walked. You danced. You cared.
3. She/He/It talked. She/He/It walked. She/He/It danced. She/He/It cared.
4. They talked. They walked. They danced. They cared.
5. We talked. We walked. We danced. We cared.
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