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Practice Speaking in the Past Tense

Many students of English forget to speak in the past tense. The present is the first tense that people learn, and it is more essential for everyday life. And yet, the past is needed in order to sound fluent. This page provides questions that you can ask yourself. Your answers should be timely and true--then you will remember them. Create one or more sentences for each word. The examples sentences will help you get ideas and will show you correct grammatical patterns.

You will also study pronunciation of -ed here. All the words in the chart below have an -ed ending that sounds like -ed. Learn about the 3 ways of pronouncing -ed.



Example 1

Example 2


Name an event or fact of life that you have accepted.

I accepted the promotion gladly.

I accepted the fact that there is corruption everywhere.


Describe someone who acted in a certain way.

He acted like he knew everything.

She acted happy, but I could tell that she was angry.


Name a school to which you were admitted.

I was admitted to the University of New Mexico.

I was admitted to my high school.


Name something you decided last week.

I decided to go out on Thursday.

I decided to spend less money on groceries.


Name a recent time when you expected to meet with someone.

I expected my father's visit.

I expected my doctor's phone call yesterday.


What is included in your health insurance or your rent?

Vision is included in my health benefits.

Electricity is included in my rent.


Name something that statistics have indicated recently.

Stock market numbers have indicated the slow growth of the economy.

The baseball player's statistics indicated that his career was in trouble.


Describe how long an event lasted.

The party lasted all evening.

The meeting lasted an hour.



Example 1

Example 2


Name something you needed recently.

I needed a new jacket this year.

I needed to sleep a lot last week.


Describe an event reported in the news.

CNN reported on the Middle East.

The BBC reported on Scotland's proposed independence.


Name something you started recently.

I started exercising more.

I started to look for a new job.


Name something that was suggested to you.

My husband suggested that I should work less.

My boss suggested that I work more.


Name something that is tested regularly.

Blood pressure is tested every time a person goes to the doctor.

Medical equipment is tested before it is used.


Name a time you waited in the last week or month.

I waited in line at the grocery store.

I waited for my friend's text.


Name something you wanted recently.

I wanted to buy new boots.

I wanted to go to California and tour the West Coast.

*Remember that the T in "wanted" is usually removed when people speak. Also, in the words "indicated," "reported," "started" and "waited" the final T will sound like a D because the -ed ending now places it between two vowel sounds. See T Sound rules.

Bonus: Describe an event from the news or something that happened at your workplace. Use at least 6 of the verbs on this page.

Also practice speaking in the past tense when -ed sounds like T and when -ed sounds like D.

Speaking Practice

ESL Advanced

Pronunciation of -Ed

Student Questions

About Speak Method
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