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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 T.  After this, you can also practice with the -ed ending when it sounds like -d and when it sounds like -ed. Learn more about rules for pronunciation of -ed.

Example 1
Example 2

What is a question you asked someone?
I asked my mother how she was doing.
I asked my friend if he could meet me for lunch.

What is a personal habit you have changed?
I changed from eating pasta to eating salads.
I changed from staying up late to sleeping early.

What is a project you have developed?
I developed an advertising budget in my business class.
I developed a new test case model for my company.

When did you finish school?
I finished high school in 1990.
I finished my masters degree in 1986.

How did you help someone recently?
I helped my friends clean up after the party.
I helped my daughter with her homework.

Who did you introduce?
I introduced my girlfriend to my parents.
I introduced my friend to my manager.

What is something you liked as a child?
When I was a child, I liked playing sports.
When I was a kid, I liked dolls.

What is a promise you made?
I promised to call my wife when I had to work late.
I promised to visit my father more often.



Example 1

Example 2

What is a place you reached when travelling?
After a 14 hour flight, the plane landed in India.
We reached L.A. after driving for six hours.

What is a habit you have stopped doing?
I stopped smoking when I was twenty-six.
I stopped going to the restaurants when I lost my job.

Who is someone you talked to recently?
I talked to my mother this morning.
I talked to my husband last night.

What is a place you walked to recently?
I walked to a coffee shop this afternoon.
I walked into the grocery store yesterday.

When is the last time you washed your hands, face or clothes?
I washed my hands 30 minutes ago.
I washed my clothes last Thursday.

What is a TV show or movie you watched recently?
I watched Law & Order
I watched a Bollywood musical last year.

What is a place where you worked recently?
I worked at Amazon.com three years ago.
I worked in the yard, raking leaves, last week.

Bonus: Describe what you did yesterday using a lot of detail. Use at least 6 of the verbs on this page.

Now practice with the -ed ending when it sounds like -d and when it sounds like -ed. Review the rules for pronunciation of -ed.

Speaking Practice

ESL Advanced

Pronunciation of -Ed

Student Questions

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