ICE: your on-line English school. Lesson 1

Feb 13, 2012


It's not called past difficult!!! It's easy!!

Many English students, even advanced ones, make mistakes with the past simple, but it really isn't that hard!!

The first thing to say about the past simple is that most verbs are regular.
When a verb is regular, you take verb and add -(e)d. For example, arrive-arrived attack-attacked.
A lot of students find it difficult to pronounce -ed. Here are the basic rules:
If the word ends in -ed, look at the stem. Does it end in -t or -d? If it does, you need to say "id". There is an extra syllable. For example, hate-hated decide-decided paint-painted taint-tainted fit-fitted add-added. You need to add an "id" sound to the rest of the verb.
On the other hand, if the stem ends in any other letter (not -t or -d), don't say "id", say "t" or "d". Don't add a syllable. For example, wash-washed sunbathe- sunbathed play-played.

However, there are many verbs which are irregular. You have to LEARN them. The teacher can't do it for you.
Use a good English text book, or look on the internet, and learn both the past simple and the past participles at the same time.
Some are very common verbs. E.g. eat ate eaten. Others are not so common. E.g. dig dug dug.
It's very important to learn both the spelling and the pronunciation(use a dictionary or ask your teacher).

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