Simple Past Tense Exercises For Beginners

Simple Past Tense Exercises For Beginners

Simple Past Tense Exercises For Beginners – Simple Past Tense or also called Past Simple is one type of tense in English. This type of tense is used to express activities/events that occurred in the past and have been completed in the present. Simple Past Tense is usually characterized by the use of the 2nd verb form (Verb 2).

It might quite difficult for beginners to understand this kind of tense, so now, we’re about to give you some exercises.

Simple Past Tense Exercises

Do your best fellas!

Exercise 1: Thinking about use

Are the past simple verbs in these sentences single actions (SA), repeated actions (RA), or past states (PS)?


I took the new CD player out of the box, plugged it in, and switched it on. (SA)

  1. Even tough we lived in a small house on the coast which didn’t have any heating, we had a wonderful, exciting childhood. ____
  2. We went to the center of the town on Sunday afternoons, and spent our pocket money on sweets and clothes. ____
  3. My friend Sally came to many house, and we talked about the new baby. ____
  4. They left at six in the evening and drove all the way home without stopping. ____
  5. I knew her when she was only the assistant in this shop. ____
  6. As children, I got up really early and nearly always got to work before 8.00. ____
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Exercise 2: Learning from learners

Some learners keep a diary about their progress in English. In this diary, write right if a verb form is right, or correct it if it is wrong!

We learned the past simple during the English lesson this morning. It didn’t was too difficult, we (1) read about some children and how they spent their pocket money, and then (2) studyied the grammar. My problem was the irregular verbs – I (3) didn’t knew that there were so many of them, and I just (4) couldn’t remember all the past forms. Once or twice, I (5) fell very silly when I (6) was wrong. I made a lot of mistakes. I (7) didn’t realize that a verb in the past was needed to add even when I say the time something happens, like ‘yesterday’. When the lesson finished, I went shopping. I (8) bought some clothes, which (9) costed more than I meant to spend! After buying the clothes, I realized that I didn’t even have enough money left to catch the train home, so I walked, and it (10) taked me nearly an hour.

Write your answers below!

1. _______
2. _______
3. _______
4. _______
5. _______
6. _______
7. _______
8. _______
9. _______
10. _______

Exercise 3: Text completion

The article below describes an unsuccessful driving test. Fill in each gap with a verb from the box in the past simple!

benot brakefeel

On my first test, I ran out of petrol. Not very long after the restart from the emergency stop*, the car (1) ___________ again, although I (2) ___________ . I (3) ____________ five times to restart it. “No,it won’t start.” I (4) ___________ to the examiner. The examiner (5) ___________ into the driving seat. Then, I (6) ___________ the car to the nearest service station, where I (7) ___________ for the petrol. “This is not your fault and will not affect whether you pass the test,” the examiner (8) ___________ , but I (9) ____________ terrified and (10) ___________ not surprised to fail for lack of observation.

*the emergency stop is the part of the test that shows that you can stop quickly in an emergency

Exercise 4: Question formation

Complete the past simple questions in the extracts from conversations. Write in a bracket ( ) which question and answer come from a conversation about a holiday, and which ones from a job interview?

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“Did you have a good time?” (holiday)
“Yes, we did thanks. The hotel was lovely and the weather was shiny.”

  1. What ____________________________________________________?
    Lots of things – my education, interests, and career.
  2. Where ___________________________________________________?
    In a small hotel just next to the beach.
  3. Did _____________________________________________________?
    Yes, very nervous. My hands were shaking!
  4. Did _______________________________________________________?
    Yes, wonderful. We ate fantastic seafood every night.
  5. What _____________________________________________________?
    I bought a new suit specially.
  6. Why _____________________________________________________?
    Because a friend told us that it was a nice place, and he was right.
  7. How many _________________________________________________?
    Three, but one of them never said anything.
  8. How long _________________________________________________?
    About 45 minutes, and then they spent a few minutes showing me round the office.
  9. How long __________________________________________________?
    Just a week. It wasn’t really long enough.
  10. How much ________________________________________________?
    Don’t ask! It was really expensive, but we enjoyed ourselves so it didn’t matter!

That was some simple past tense exercises for beginners. Keep learning new things every day fellas!

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