How to Learn the Past Simple Tense

The past simple tense is one that many English learners have difficulty with. The number of irregular verbs can be daunting and the three different sounds of irregular verbs cause problems. But there are some great ways that you can practise this tense.

With the rules for regular verbs being quite straightforward, problems with the past simple tense arise with pronunciation. The three different sounds follow rules but ones that are not easy to remember and apply. The three different sounds are: /t/, /d/ and /id. The easiest rule of the three is the last one and the other two need practice. Instead of memorizing and applying the different rules, it is easier and more efficient to take some of the most common examples of each sound and repeat them over again. You will become more accustomed to the preceding sounds and will start to automatically know which sound ending to use.

The irregular verbs pose a different type of problem as they don’t follow the general rules. Many language schools and all grammar books and course books have a table of irregular verbs in the appendix. Although it is important to look over this table and see which verbs are irregular and what their form is, doing repetitive exercises will make it become easier to remember and ultimately use them. An important note here is that some of the most common verbs are irregular; this helps greatly as this repetitive use in context will have you remembering them in no time.

The past tense is used all the time in regular speech, so if you are exposed to English speakers and have regular conversations, you won’t be short of practice. But if you don’t have many opportunities to speak English then there are some ways to practice, including writing or speaking about what did at the weekend, last year, at university and also talking about your childhood. If you don’t have anyone to practice speaking with then a good alternative is to record your voice and assess yourself.

The past simple tense has some tricky features but with practice and regular speaking or written exercises, you should be able to use it freely and comfortably. For more go to my space

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