Past Simple Verb – lesson 3

What is the Past Simple Verb?

The Past Simple is used to refer to the past – something that happened such as an event which is a completed event or a state or an action.  It started in the past and it finished in the past.
The Past Simple adds: ‘ed‘ on to the main verb (regular verbs).  subject+verb+ed

Simple verbs: jump / skip / use / look / walk / gave

Add ‘ed’ for the past:  I jumped / I skipped / I used / I looked / I walked

Also lot of verbs don’t end in ‘ed’ (irregular verbs) instead they change to the past tense without the ‘ed’.  For example: give becomes: gave  (gave is in the past).  More examples: be becomes: was /wereHave becomes: had.   Do becomes: did.       Notes: be, have and do are auxiliary verbs.

Example sentences: He gave him a present (positive) / he didn’t go (negative sentences use: didn’t) he did not go / did he go? (question sentences use did).


Additional information for the past Simple Verb


Lesson 3 – starts below……….



Lesson 3

Level of student for this lesson: Beginners – Lower intermediate (A1 – B2)

Aim of this Lesson: to practice using the past simple verb and vocabulary in a sentence using reading and listening (receptive).  Plus speaking (production).

Theme for this lesson: Global Goal (6) Clean Water and Sanitation   This lesson is based on a summarised story taken from the United Nations Sustainable Development website.


Vocabulary for the lesson:

First of all here is some vocabulary to help you to get through the lesson:

died….to stop living (verb)

sanitation….the process of taking away dirty water and waste (noun)

resource……something which is useful (noun)

talked….to say words aloud (verb)

spoke….to speak about something in the past (verb)

saw…… see something in the past (verb)

happened….something in the past which has come in to existence (verb)



The story below is a summary taken from the United Nations website about how there is both good news and bad news with regard to the availability of clean drinking water and sanitation around the world today:


Please read the first two paragraphs of the story:

I looked at the United Nations website and it talked about Global Goal 6.  This global goal is to ensure access to water and sanitation for all.  When it talked about the world’s situation it spoke about how there is both good and bad news with regard to sanitation and clean drinking water for all.

The good news is that during the past ten years some good things have happened.  90% of the world’s population have improved their ability to access clean drinking water.  This needs to improve but it can only happen if there is ‘a greater investment in freshwater eco systems and sanitation facilities.  The main areas around the world that are focussed upon here are: Sub-Saharan Africa & Southern Asia (India).

The bad news is that right now there are more than 2 billion people around the world who live in a situation where their resource and access to clean drinking water and sanitation to some extent might come to an end.  785 million people around the world don’t have availability to clean drinking water.

Finally, on the website I saw a terrible statistic.  It said that nearly 1000 children will die every day and have died every day because of resources which are not available and because of disease related to impure water. 

Raymond Van Neste

12 December 2019


The information above is a summary taken from the UN’s website:



Final task:

Look again at  basic verbs such as: died / saw / happen / speak, and then with your friends see if you can create some past simple sentences such as: I saw it / they saw it / it happened yesterday / I spoke with her yesterday.   Or, if you are a beginner, in your dictionary try to learn the meaning of past simple verbs such as: died / spoke / saw.  Try to learn the above verbs (past simple verbs) in the context of the story. 

Next lesson – Information:

Please note today’s lesson is the last lesson before Christmas 2019.  Lesson 4, will be published on Monday 30th December 2019, at 09.00am.

Lesson 4, will be about the future simple verb and the theme for the lesson will be Global Goal 15 – Life on Land / Forest protection.   Ten Minute English 十分钟英语 has  one lesson every week on this blog. 

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Information about the United Nations

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?