1,057 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 1,057 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 1,057 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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Past Simple vs. Past Continuous

Past Simple vs. Past Continuous

, Past Simple
In this worksheet, students should use two tenses (past simple and past continuous) by filling in blank spaces. Rules about when each tense is used must be learned before trying to solve the works ...
1 Views 4,825 Pre-Int
The Black Hole - Sci-fi Short Film

The Black Hole - Sci-fi Short Film

"The Black Hole" is a clever Sci-fi short film about finding possible/impossible technology in an office and about the moral implications of the character's actions. This worksheet asks students t ...
1 Views 2,809 IntAdvExam
World Water Day Reading Exercises

World Water Day Reading Exercises

Andrea Paz
Reading about the importance of water. The truth is that we are lucky enough to have clean water whenever we want, but this is not the case for many people around the world. Did you know that arou ...
1 Views 3,083 ElemPre-Int
Was/Were Board Game

Was/Were Board Game

Eleni Papadogianni
» » Past Simple
This is an easy, fun way to practice answering Yes/No and Wh- questions using the verb "to be" in the simple past tense. It helps young learners get involved in the speaking process and talk about ...
1 Views 4,535 Elem
Past Simple Passive Video Activity - Describing TV Clips

Past Simple Passive Video Activity - Describing TV Clips

English Through Videos
Help your learners practice their English with this fun video activity. Watch the TV show clip and then read the description sentence, which is written in the active voice. Change the sentence int ...
1 Views 4,679 IntAdv
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-ED Endings for Past Simple with Katy Perry

-ED Endings for Past Simple with Katy Perry

Simona Nolli
» » Past Simple
All my teenagers students love Katy Perry. This an old song by Katy Perry but it is really useful to catch the correct pronunciation of-ed in regular past simple verbs. They first fill in the gaps ...
1 Views 4,491 Elem
Simple Past Video Activity - The Life of Princess Diana

Simple Past Video Activity - The Life of Princess Diana

English Through Videos
Practice your English with this fun video activity. Watch the video on the link below and complete the gap-fill activity. It can be done as a speaking task or writing task. Change the simple prese ...
1 Views 7,402 ElemPre-IntInt
Ed Sheeran - Happier Fill in the Blank Lyrics

Ed Sheeran - Happier Fill in the Blank Lyrics

Ianitx358
Past Simple, ,
Worksheet to work on listening skills with an elementary or (pre)intermediate levels. It can be used to revise irregular past simple verbs. Don't forget to have a look at the video: You can also ...
1 Views 10,020 ElemPre-IntInt
Passive Voice- Present Simple & Past Simple Exercises

Passive Voice- Present Simple & Past Simple Exercises

, Past Simple,
There is a short info section on the rules for Passive Voice, form and use for two tenses: Present Simple and Past Simple. There are two exercises to practise the Present Simple & the Past Sim ...
1 Views 13,077 Pre-IntInt
A Trip to the Hospital - Picture-Based Sequencing Activity

A Trip to the Hospital - Picture-Based Sequencing Activity

Jeff Genet
An awesome collaborative or individual exercise to practice writing, speaking, sequencing, storytelling, follow up questions and much more! Use the images as prompts to tell a story. Brainstorm vo ...
1 Views 11,958 All
Past and Present Tense Simple Lesson Outline with Teacher Instructions

Past and Present Tense Simple Lesson Outline with Teacher Instructions

Past Simple,
It is a lesson plan for teachers to use in the classroom. It is a 20 minutes lesson focusing on speaking and grammar and teaching students the difference between past & present tense. This les ...
1 Views 9,712 Elem
How Harry met Meghan/ Brangelina Love Story

How Harry met Meghan/ Brangelina Love Story

Anastasia
This is a worksheet suitable for Elementary or Pre-Intermediate students who are interested in celebrities and romance. The activity allows students to re-construct the timelines of two love stori ...
1 Views 8,141 ElemPre-Int
Past Simple - Making Negatives and Questions

Past Simple - Making Negatives and Questions

Olga Nazarova
» » Past Simple
This worksheet will help your students to practise making negative sentences and questions in past simple with irregular verbs. They already have the affirmative ones and just have to complete the ...
1 Views 14,553 BegElemPre-Int
William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

Irina Komoltseva
Past Simple, , ,
Shakespeare is one of the most popular writers the world has ever known. His creations are still popular today and millions of people still admire them. April is a good month to talk about William ...
1 Views 8,966 Pre-Int
Regular and Irregular Verbs: Past Tense

Regular and Irregular Verbs: Past Tense

Past Simple, , ,
The following worksheets consist of two pages about the past tense. They emphasize the difference between regular and irregular verbs and start with a presentation, followed by practice, and endin ...
1 Views 21,018 BegElemPre-IntInt
Interview With A Biker Reading And Speaking

Interview With A Biker Reading And Speaking

This is a short text adapted from a blog presenting an interview in reported speech. I have created questions to help students understand the text and also help them prepare for a role play. There ...
1 Views 9,658 ElemPre-Int
The Spoken Essay: Structure and Persuasion in Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech

The Spoken Essay: Structure and Persuasion in Roosevelt's Pearl Harbor Speech

Todd Davis
FDR's request to Congress to declare war on Japan in retaliation for the attack on America is historic and iconic, as much for the structure of the speech as for the gravity of the attack itself. ...
1 Views 12,820 IntAdv
Description of a Pie Chart

Description of a Pie Chart

Zaida Sanuri
Past Simple, , ,
This worksheet serves as an introduction to how to use English language expressions in describing a pie chart for ESL or EFL students. It includes vocabulary, comprehension and sentence-level writ ...
1 Views 8,094 ElemPre-IntInt
Detective & Suspect Dialogue

Detective & Suspect Dialogue

Aytac KANDEMIR
, , Past Simple
This is a great dialogue worksheet for learners who have difficulty learning some grammar topics such as past simple, past continuous and past perfect. This worksheet is not suitable for young lea ...
7 Views 22,074 ElemPre-IntInt
Emergency Services Role Play Cards

Emergency Services Role Play Cards

SI
These role play cards are designed for elementary to pre-intermediate learners. There are 6 different scenarios split between the police, ambulance and fire service. Students work in pairs to prep ...
5 Views 58,624 ElemPre-Int
Urban Legends for High School Students

Urban Legends for High School Students

BusyTeacher Contributor
This is a lesson produced to work with high school students to develop past tenses and the ability of telling and writing stories. The activities are contextualized through the genre Urban Legends ...
8 Views 15,379 IntAdv
Crossword - Present Perfect and Simple Past

Crossword - Present Perfect and Simple Past

Fontanelli
This is a simple crossword designed for elementary / pre-intermediate / intermediate students. It has been designed to help students learn the differences between past simple and present perfect, ...
18 Views 50,543 ElemPre-IntInt
Simple Tenses Conversation Questions

Simple Tenses Conversation Questions

Murilo Camarini
This is a list of several questions designed to help teach verb tenses. The questions are divided into Simple Present, Simple Past, and Simple Future. This worksheet also contains a bunch of Mixed ...
9 Views 59,845 Pre-IntInt
The Past Tenses Show Poem

The Past Tenses Show Poem

, , Past Simple
This is a little poem I came up with as a metaphor for the narrative tenses. You can use it as a poster or a fun handout for higher level groups. You can ask them why each metaphor is used and do ...
3 Views 15,826 IntAdvExam
The Legend of the Scarecrow (Past Tenses Revision)

The Legend of the Scarecrow (Past Tenses Revision)

, , Past Simple
This is a worksheet to revise the narrative tenses, namely the past simple, past continuous and past perfect. It allows students to practice their listening, reading, pronunciation, vocabulary and ...
8 Views 20,906 Pre-IntIntAdvExam

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