Us English teachers always want our students to know the past simple and the past participle forms of a verb, sometimes known as V2 and V3. But what are they exactly and when do we use them? Let’s take a look!



The past simple and past participle are verb forms. Every verb has a basic form, which doesn’t change, such as ‘be’, ‘have’, ‘eat’ and ‘go’. We can then change this basic form when we use different tenses or phrases. The changed form depends on the tense or phrase in question. For example:

  • James drinks tea. (present tense, or V1, third person)
  • Jim is drinking tea. (verb-ing, or gerund)


We actually use the past simple verb form for only one tense: the past simple!

  • Jade drank tea.

The regular form is made with -ed. There are also many irregular forms:

  • played, watched, walked, listened, talked
  • ate, gave, thought, went, took


We use the past participle for several different tenses and forms:

  • Jude has drunk tea. (present perfect)
  • John had drunk tea. (past perfect)
  • Judy will have drunk tea. (future perfect)
  • The tea was drunk by James. (passive)

The regular form is made with -ed. It is then the same as the past simple form. There are also many irregular forms. Sometimes they are the same as the past simple form, sometimes they are different:

  • played, watched, walked, listened, talked
  • eaten, given, thought, gone, taken

So there you have it! All you have to do now is try to learn the irregular forms and how to use the different sentences in context. Okay, we admit, that’s no easy task!

If you would like to learn more about grammar and irregular verbs, then check our Facebook page for updates on the Engola World app!

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