The sentence pattern for the past tense is the same as the present tense in English. Subject + verb...
However, the verb is different. When talking about the past, we need to use past tense verbs. This is the hardest part about learning and using the past tense in English.
We add "-ed" to the base form of a verb to make the past tense. Sometimes, if the last letter of the verb is "e", then we just add "-d". We call these regular verbs.
Look at a few examples.
|clean → cleaned||finish → finished||use → used|
|paint → painted||play → played||bake → baked|
|turn → turned||ask → asked||plead →pleaded|
|like → liked||hate → hated||need → needed|
Now, look at the difference between the present tense and the past tense.
|Present Tense||Past Tense|
|I clean my house every Saturday.||I cleaned my house last Saturday.|
|She paints very well.||She painted this picture.|
|Don't turn the TV on.||He turned on the TV an hour ago.|
|I can't finish.||I finished yesterday.|
|We play baseball every Sunday.||We played baseball last Sunday.|
|I ask the teacher many questions in class.||I asked the teacher many questions.|
|He uses this to work.||He used this work, but now he doesn't.|
|She bakes cakes for a living.||She baked a cake for the party.|
|They beg for help.||They begged for help.|
|I like you.||I liked it when I was young.|
|They hate action movies.||They hated that action movie.|
|I need help.||I needed help yesterday.|
If a word ends in a consonant (letters that are not a, e, i, o, u) and "y", then we add "-ied" to make the verb into past tense form. If a word ends in a vowel (a, e, i, o, u) then add "-ed".
|carry → carried||stay → stayed||marry → married|
|study → studied||hurry → hurried||cry → cried|
There are some verbs that end in "y" that are irregular. They do not follow the rules above. We will cover irregular verbs in the next lessons.
If you know the past tense form of the verb, then it is easy to make a past tense sentence. It is essential that you know and are able to use it well. Example Sentences
English Conversation 1
- I cried during the movie last night.
- I hated the restaurant yesterday.
- I hurried to work because I was late.
- I baked a cake for her.
- You studied hard and passed the test.
- You worried too much about the test.
- You skated very well in the competition.
- You married a good man.
- We cried when we heard the news.
- We tried to finish today, but it was impossible.
- Mark and I watched a good movie last night.
- Tim and I talked about politics all night.
- He hurried to class.
- He needed to borrow some money yesterday.
- Dan wanted to see a movie last night, but he was busy.
- The boy cried because he was sick.
- She studied hard but failed the exam.
- She raked the leaves in the yard last Saturday.
- Mary liked your proposal yesterday afternoon.
- The girl tried her best.
- My dog cried a lot last night.
- My computer exploded yesterday.
- It rained a lot last month.
- It snowed a lot last winter.
- They cried together after the movie.
- They studied hard together for the math test.
- They worried about their daughter.
- The men worked all night.
A) I prepared so hard for that job interview, but I failed.
B) That is too bad, but don't worry. There are also more opportunities.
A) Thanks. I know that, but I feel frustrated. I worked so hard.
B) Come on. Let's get some coffee and talk about it. English Conversation 2
A) It snowed a lot last week.
B) I know. My family canceled our trip because the roads were too icy.
A) That's too bad.
B) I was disappointed, but it was okay. We stayed home and watched movies. It was relaxing. Try making your own sentences. Say them aloud in a clear voice to practice speaking English. It will also help you remember this important English grammar point. Use the verbs in the lesson above and try other verbs that you know.