The simple past is a fundamental building block of English grammar that young learners should learn early on. We’ve recently developed a third version of our popular Simple Past lesson with more explanations, illustrations, and engaging exercises! (more…)
Our Spotlight lesson this week was our Simple Past grammar lesson. When it comes to learning the simple past, students rejoice at the lack of subject-verb conjugation. Unlike the simple present, where students must add an -s to the end of third person singular subjects, the simple past has only one form for all subjects. There’s more good news when English language learners realize they must only add -ed to the end of the base verb to form the simple past for regular verbs.
However, irregular verbs can pose a problem for learners. How do they memorize all the various endings and changes that irregular past tense verbs take? Repetition is key, and if teachers can make it fun, students are more likely to want to practice! (more…)
Many languages have a one-to-one spelling-pronunciation relationship, but the English language has no such thing! This is why English pronunciation is difficult for learners to master. On top of the 26 vowel sounds and many tricky consonant sounds such as “th”, students need to learn the pronunciation of endings that change according to the last sound of the word. For example, the past tense ending -ed can be pronounced as /t/, /d/, or /ɪd/ depending on the last letter of the verb. Luckily there are rules for such cases!
Today’s blog post was inspired by this week’s Spotlight lesson, Juan and Sofia – Simple Past Reading, which has an exercise on the spelling rules for adding -ed (the past tense ending of regular verbs). I thought it would be helpful to blog about the different ways of pronouncing the -ed ending. Note that I use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) in this post. Play the audio examples at the end of this article for pronunciation practice for your students or children.
1. Pronounce the -ed ending as /t/ following voiceless consonants. (more…)
The simple past is a verb tense that students are introduced to fairly early on. It usually follows the simple present and the present progressive. It’s pretty hard to have a conversation in English without using the past tense. From sentences like “What did you do last weekend?” to “Did you watch that show last night?”, the simple past is essential to speaking as well as reading, writing, and listening. Try presenting the simple past to your young learners using the tried-and-true method below, which includes explaining the form and use, listing the time markers, giving examples, and using interesting lessons and fun activities to practice this common verb tense. There’s also a handy list of common irregular verbs at the end!
This week at Sprout English our focus is on the simple past. The lesson of the week is Eva from the Simple Past Stories section in the Library. This four-page lesson includes a reading and discussion questions that are available in both print and digital form. There are also two fun activities to practice past verbs, a word maze, and a crossword puzzle. Finally, students can practice writing and speaking by using past verbs to talk about clothes and fashion. (more…)