Things done in the past use the past tense. The past tense means the verb is in the past.

I run to school (present)
I am running to school (present continuous)
I ran to school (past tense)

When to use the past tense

Use the past tense when:

– Events in the past are finished
– The time must also be finished
(basically, everything is finished)

Some examples of finished time:

yesterday
2 days ago
last week
last year
5 years ago

How to make the past tense

To make the past tense, the verb needs changed.

There are two types of verb change:

+ ed

played (play)
watched (watch)
walk (walked)
cooked (cook)
lived (live)

irregular

was (am/is)
were (are)
ate (eat)
drank (drink)
went (go)
wrote (write)
bought (buy)
sold (sell)
did (do)

Examples showing the past tense

Yesterday I went to the shop. I bought an apple. Then I walked to school.

5 years ago I lived in Russia. We ate Russian food every day. My mother cooked it. It was delicious.

Last week my mother sold her car. A man bought it for $10. It was very cheap, but we were very happy.

Exercise

Put these sentences into the past tense:

1. I go to school. My teacher is angry. I don’t do my homework.

2. He is eating an apple. It is delicious.

3. They write a letter to their grandfather. It is his birthday. Their grandfather is very pleased.