1,034 FREE Past Simple Worksheets

FREE Past Simple Worksheets

Verb tenses are some of the most important aspects of a new grammar’s language - and also one of the trickiest to get right in the beginning. As an ESL teacher, you know how challenging it can be to design tense exercises that keep students engaged, while also making sure they’re well-drilled on the fundamentals of a certain tense. Balancing the need to teach proper use of the past simple tense with the need for fun and challenging activities in the classroom can often seem like a chore.

Different teachers take different approaches to this challenger. Some simply drill their students on tense until the students can successfully produce every form of a given verb - as was the practice for decades - while others take a more modern approach, and try to mix it up in the classroom with a hodgepodge of games, reading, speaking, and other exercises. Your approach may involve any or all of these elements - which is why it’s important to have a diverse grab-bag of resources at your disposal.

BusyTeacher.org has got you covered. Our 1,034 past simple tense worksheets are guaranteed to keep your students talking, creating sentences, and working together to help each other learn the rules of how an English verb is used in the past simple tense. These worksheets provide a variety of interesting and relevant topics, which means your students can take what they’ve learned out of the classroom, and start applying it to their real-world English speaking and writing, right away.

Some of our past simple tense worksheets are just simple verb lists and grammar exercises - all complete with pronunciation guides and usage examples, of course. Others use popular songs whose lyrics fall mostly into the past simple tense - freeing you from the hassle of tracking down a song that’s useful for teaching this tense. Other worksheets help you bring writing or speaking exercises into the classroom, and encourage students to use the past simple tense to talk about their own lives. And still others lay out the rules for board games, so your students can play and learn at the same time.

One handy feature of BusyTeacher.org is the ability to view any of our 1,034 past simple worksheets as a thumbnail, without having to click and wait for the worksheet to load. This is a handy time-saver, as it can give you a general idea of what each worksheet looks like without requiring you to even leave this page. Plus, every worksheet on this site is completely free to download and use in your lessons - you don’t even have to register or provide any information to us in return.

How can you be sure these worksheets will work for you? Because they all come directly from the classrooms of ESL teachers around the world, who’ve found them to be especially effective for teaching the past simple tense. Got a worksheet of your own that you’d like to share? Just click the “Submit a worksheet” button at the bottom of this page, and you can join our worldwide community of contributing teachers.

So scroll down, check out our worksheets, and find out what benefits BusyTeacher.org has to offer your classroom!

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ESL Articles
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GRAMMAR TIP:What Is Past Tense?
A past tense (abbreviated pst) is a grammatical tense that places an action or situation in the past of the current moment (in an absolute tense system), or prior to some other event, whether that is past, present, or future (in a relative tense system). Not all languages mark verbs for the past tense (Mandarin Chinese, for example, does not); in some languages, the grammatical expression of tense is mixed with the expression of mood and/or aspect (see Tense-aspect-mood). In English, there are two verb forms which are commonly called "past tense", the so-called simple past, sometimes misleadingly called the preterite, which is a true tense, and the present perfect, which is generally considered an aspect rather than a tense. These combine with other aspects including the continuous and progressive aspects to create several additional forms: Simple past is formed for regular verbs by adding -d or – ed to the root of a word. Examples: He walked to the store, or They danced all night.
Freebase CC-BY
Source: Past Tense on Freebase, licensed under CC-BY
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Action Verb

Action Verb

Past Simple,
Prepare a list of main texts you want to practice. For example if you want to practice making sentences using the simple past tense, choose a number of verbs as your main text,  e.g., read, e ...
1 Views 3,084 ElemPre-Int
Anne of Green Gables (Story Book)

Anne of Green Gables (Story Book)

» » Past Simple
This worksheet is appropriate for improving students' listening skills. It's suitable for elementary students. This is based on the story book called "Anne of Green Gables". Hope you find it ...
2 Views 1,276 BegElem
Past Simple vs Past Continuous Powerpoint

Past Simple vs Past Continuous Powerpoint

Afni Yusuff
This powerpoint slide is excellent for teachers to explain the difference between simple past and past continuous (progressive). The slides are detailed with interesting animations, pictures, soun ...
8 Views 2,460 All
Past Perfect Powerpoint

Past Perfect Powerpoint

Afni Yusuff
, Past Simple
This powerpoint provides complete explanation and examples of the  sentence structures. It also provides pictures and  differences between past simple and past perfect so students are ab ...
5 Views 1,371 All
Battleships - Past Simple Questions

Battleships - Past Simple Questions

Alena
» » Past Simple
It is played the same as a regular Battleships game in pairs. Students mark their fleet (I laminate my worksheets for students to use erasable markers) and use either different design or different ...
11 Views 10,074 ElemPre-Int
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Verb Tenses

Verb Tenses

Veronica
Verb tenses are tools that English speakers use to express time in their language. You may find that many English tenses do not have direct translations in your language. That is not a problem. By ...
5 Views 6,735 Pre-IntInt
Movie Worksheet: Mr. Bean at the Hospital (Mixed Past Tenses)

Movie Worksheet: Mr. Bean at the Hospital (Mixed Past Tenses)

English Through Videos
This fun video activity is to practise using mixed past tenses, including past simple, past continuous, and past perfect. The video shows Mr. Bean at the hospital. Learners must combine two senten ...
7 Views 10,193 IntAdvExam
Movie Worksheet: Past Simple Photo Story

Movie Worksheet: Past Simple Photo Story

BusyTeacher Contributor
This is a fun video activity to practise using the past simple tense. Watch the video from the link below. The video tells a story using photographs. Students should watch the video and then try t ...
7 Views 10,205 BegElemPre-Int
Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

This worksheet is suitable for improving your students' writing skills. They are going to write three paragraphs about three types of life style in the past, present and future. They sho ...
6 Views 10,375 BegElemPre-IntInt
Song Worksheet: Satellite by Lena Meyer

Song Worksheet: Satellite by Lena Meyer

Maria
This is a song worksheet by Eurovision song contest winner Lena Meyer. The song can be downloaded at youtube or other websites. It can be used best to practice past simple and entertain students. ...
4 Views 6,226 ElemPre-IntInt
Movie Worksheet: Describing Accidents (Past)

Movie Worksheet: Describing Accidents (Past)

English Through Videos
This fun video activity is to practise using various narrative tenses, including past simple, past continuous, and past perfect. The video has many clips of accidents, slips, and falls. Learners s ...
6 Views 7,788 ElemPre-IntIntAdvExam
Complete the Sentence Game

Complete the Sentence Game

I use this activity for warming up or as a team competition game. It is very fast, it will not take you more than five minutes. I read aloud a line by line and students try to be fast completing t ...
7 Views 9,553 ElemPre-Int
Past Simple and Negative Past Simple

Past Simple and Negative Past Simple

Abbybabs
» » Past Simple
A worksheet about the construction of the past simple and past simple negative, both with "didn't" and "weren't / wasn't". Provides examples and explanation of forming the past negative with "didn ...
6 Views 7,197 ElemPre-Int
I am Malala

I am Malala

Natalia
In this worksheet students write the past tense of some verbs and complete Malala Yousafzai´s biography  using the verbs. There are also some reading comprehension questions and the opp ...
7 Views 6,096 ElemPre-Int
Regular and Irregular Verbs Past Tense

Regular and Irregular Verbs Past Tense

Krystal
» » Past Simple
This worksheet helps students practice forming past simple regular and irregular verbs. I used pictures to help students to understand each sentence.
6 Views 9,246 Pre-Int
Past Simple

Past Simple

Past Simple,
This is a worksheet based on the story of Anne of Green Gables for reviewing  the past simple tense. Have your students write questions. Hope it works.
4 Views 9,482 ElemPre-Int
Present Simple and Past Simple

Present Simple and Past Simple

Tal Katzav
Past Simple,
A test or worksheet for the 8th or 7th  grade. It can be suitable for strong 6th grade (ESL class). The questions are multiple choice. The second part of the worksheet or the test includ ...
3 Views 6,683 ElemInt
Simple and Continuous Tenses Table

Simple and Continuous Tenses Table

Olga
Simple and continuous tenses scheme with examples (present, past, future, present perfect). It's a simple table aimed at revising and/ar learning present and progressive tenses (present simple and ...
2 Views 7,810 BegElem
Famous People - Past Simple

Famous People - Past Simple

Past Simple,
This worksheet includes some cues about three famous people. Put the students into groups of three and have them tell  other groupmates about them using past simple. It is appropriate for ele ...
7 Views 9,806 Elem
Past Simple Questions

Past Simple Questions

» » Past Simple
This worksheet helps you to improve students' speaking skills. This is also related  to simple past. It's appropriate for elementary students and maybe upper levels. Hope you find it use ...
6 Views 9,439 ElemPre-Int
Louis Book

Louis Book

Rania Foka
» » Past Simple
This worksheet has been designed for young learners who have already been taught the past simple tense. It's a story of a boy having a new book with some illustrations for the purpose of motivatio ...
4 Views 2,935 Elem
Movie Worksheet: The Teacher

Movie Worksheet: The Teacher

InmaLama
This is the story of the first Afro-American teacher who was appointed principal at a school. There are many things to learn from her testimony including good values. Good for looking for details ...
7 Views 8,744 IntAdv
Song Worksheet: The Way by Fastball

Song Worksheet: The Way by Fastball

Nérida
This is a nice and meaninful song by Fastball. I find it very useful for my students. I use it to improve both spelling and pronunciation of past simple verbs. My students do not only  comple ...
3 Views 5,955 ElemPre-Int
Movie Worksheet: Maze Runner, Quiz

Movie Worksheet: Maze Runner, Quiz

Nitya
I showed the movie Maze Runner to the students and after it finished with this quiz.  Students respod to questions on paper and whoever answers more questions correctly wins some candies or a ...
2 Views 4,845 Pre-IntIntAdv
Past Simple- Find Someone Who ( Was/Were)

Past Simple- Find Someone Who ( Was/Were)

Khatuna Tavartkiladze
» » Past Simple
It's a nice speaking activity. Students are asked to mingle and ask as many students as possible. Tell students to write questions they will ask the rest of the students in advance to make su ...
6 Views 6,164 ElemPre-Int

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