In the simplest sense, verbs can be conjugated in reference to time. Present tense verbs take place in the present, and future tense verbs take place in the future. Past tense verbs refer to actions or events in the past. They can be regular verbs that simply end with a "d" or an "ed" or they can be irregular and change their spelling to show the past tense.
Regular Past Tense Verbs
The chart below includes examples of regular verbs and their past tense form, as well as their future tense form for your easy reference:
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Examples of Regular Verbs in Sentences
A great way to understand how past tense verbs are used is to see them in sentences.
- He graciously accepted the award on her behalf.
- I think Sara added too much sugar to the recipe.
- Moe admired Mr. Jones for his intellect.
- Corinne admitted that it was all her fault.
- Her parents advised against staying out too late.
- They agreed to meet at the coffee shop.
- Liz announced the grand prize winner of the night.
- The family baked a cake together.
- Timmy behaved very badly at preschool.
- The headlights nearly blinded the deer on the road.
- Flora blushed at the compliment.
- The children camped in the backyard last night.
- His father collected stamps as a hobby.
- The car crashed into the tree.
- They deserved what they got.
- Beck formed a whole new attitude about Joe.
- That really hammered the point home.
- The value meal included a side of fries and a soda.
- Andrew nodded in agreement.
Irregular Past Tense Verbs
Irregular verbs usually change the spelling for their past tense form. This chart includes examples of the original verb and the past tense:
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Irregular Past Tense Verbs in Sentences
Here are several examples of irregular verbs being used in sentences.
- The car was blue before it was painted black.
- She awoke with a start.
- Pete bent the frame when he dropped it.
- And then they bid them adieu.
- The Smiths brought pumpkin pie to the potluck dinner.
- Tina chose the purple sweater.
- The gopher dug quite a hole in the backyard.
- I can't believe that fell through the cracks.
- Eventually, Sophie found her way back home.
- As difficult as it was, Shawn finally forgave his mother.
- The suspect went into hiding.
- They held hands as they walked down the street.
- The Lee family made lemonade.
- The rabbit ran clear across the field.
- She saw quite the frightening vision.
- The house sold for over $5 million.
- He thought he could do better than that.
- The employees understood what they had to do.
- Stephen wrote numerous novels over the years.
What's Done Is Done
Wrapping your head around verb tenses can take a little bit of practice, especially when you factor in irregular verbs and the unique way they can be conjugated.
For more information on past tenses, check out ESL Past Tenses and Verb Lesson Plans.