Past Simple Exercises

In these past simple exercises with answers you can test your knowledge of the simple past tense. 

The exercises are on:

  • Regular Verbs
  • Irregular Verbs
  • Yes / No Questions
  • Wh-/How Questions
  • Negatives 

There are also free downloads of the past simple exercises so you can print them off and also use them in class if you are a teacher. 




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Past Simple Tense Exercises:

Regular Verbs (d/ed/ied)

  1. My wife ………………. late yesterday (to work)

  2. She ………………. to pass the test (to try)

  3. My friends ………………. at my house at 7pm (to arrive)

  4. They got  ………………. last month  (to marry)

  5. They ………………. to the zoo (to walk)

  6. The children ………………. at the local park (to play)

  7. They  ………………. up the TV up to full volume (to turn)

  8. My sister ………………. the broken window (to fix) 

  9. He ………………. not to go (to decide)

  10. She ………………. very hard while at university (to study)

  11. They ………………. all the salt here already (to use)

  12. The government ………………. to change the law (to want)

  13. He ……………….many things to do (to have)

  14. The countries ………………. what to do next (to discuss)

  15. The school caretaker’s duties ………………. cutting the grass (to include) 



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Past Simple Tense Exercises:

Irregular Verbs 

  1. The teacher ………………. very stressed about her job (to become)

  2. She ………………. so quickly I couldn’t understand (to speak)

  3. Yesterday my friend ………………. me to the bank (to drive)

  4. They ………………. ages to deliver my pizza last night  (to take)

  5. The school ………………. us a really difficult exam (to give)

  6. The manger ………………. not happy about staff arriving late (to be)

  7. He ………………. the meat as soon as he got home (to freeze)

  8. The local council ………………. up the posters yesterday (to put) 

  9. They ………………. early as usual (to be)

  10. She ………………. all her money on the weekly shopping (to spend)

  11. The thieves ………………. all her jewellery (to steal)

  12. I ………………. very little about physics at school (to understand)

  13. He ……………….his finger yesterday while chopping fruit (to cut)

  14. My wife ………………. a lovely dress last night (to wear)

  15. I ………………. a terrible cold while on holiday (to catch) 



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Past Simple Tense Exercises:

Yes / No Questions 

In this past simple exercise, change the statements into yes / no questions. For example:

(She went to Spain) Did she go to Spain?

  1. (She accepted the job) ………………………………..

  2. (Sofie drew a picture) ………………………………..

  3. (I got to the party on time) ………………………………..

  4. (They found out who stole it) ………………………………..

  5. (She chose her favourite film) ………………………………..

  6.  (They heard the door closing) ………………………………..

  7. (I had porridge for breakfast) ………………………………..

  8. (They knew she had gone) ……………………………….. 

  9. (The staff wanted a pay rise) ………………………………..

  10. (The boy lay on the grass) ………………………………..

  11. (They allowed him to come late) ………………………………..

  12. (She pointed at the sky) ………………………………..

  13. (Peter meant to fix the broken door) ………………………………..

  14. (We worked hard last year)………………………………..

  15. (John sold his son’s car) ……………………………….. 



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Past Simple Exercises:

Wh-/How Questions 

Turn these statements into questions in the past simple using:

 which, what, where, when, who, why, how, how much. For example:

Statement: He moved to London last year. (where)

Question: Where did he move to last year?


Tip 1: Use ‘did’ for verbs except for the verb ‘to be’

Tip 2: The words underlined will not be in the question


  1. The loaf of bread cost £1 (how much) ………………………………..

  2. He travelled to France by boat (how) ………………………………..

  3. They were late because of the traffic (why) ………………………………..

  4. Sue arrived yesterday with her sister (who) ………………………………..

  5. John didn’t like the red car (which) ………………………………..

  6. She got promoted to managing director (what) ……………………………..

  7. He went to the shops (where) ………………………………..

  8. She paid for everything by credit card (how) ………………………………..

  9. They arrived at 9pm (when) ………………………………..

  10. He was tired from the long journey (why) ………………………………..

  11. Mike tried to go to the concert last night (where) …………………………..

  12. They didn’t understand the question (what) ………………………………..

  13. She bought the jacket for £15 (how much) ………………………………..

  14. She had some drinks with her friends (who) ………………………………..

  15. They sold the cheapest one first (which) ……………………………….. 


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Past Simple Exercises:

Negatives 

In this past simple exercise, change the positive statements into negative ones. For example:

(She went to Spain) She didn't go to Spain

  1. (She accepted the job) ………………………………..

  2. (Sofie drew a picture) ………………………………..

  3. (I got to the party on time) ………………………………..

  4. (They found out who stole it) ………………………………..

  5. (She chose her favourite film) ………………………………..

  6.  (They heard the door closing) ………………………………..

  7. (I had porridge for breakfast) ………………………………..

  8. (They knew she had gone) ……………………………….. 

  9. (The staff wanted a pay rise) ………………………………..

  10. (The boy lay on the grass) ………………………………..

  11. (They allowed him to come late) ………………………………..

  12. (She pointed at the sky) ………………………………..

  13. (Peter meant to fix the broken door) ………………………………..

  14. (We worked hard last year)………………………………..

  15. (John sold his son’s car) ……………………………….. 



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If you found these printable past simple exercises with answers useful, also check out our other grammar worksheets that can be printed.