Spelling of verbs in the Simple Past

How to spell regular and irregular verbs in the Simple Past

You have to know all forms of irregular verbs very well. For the Simple Past you need the form of the verb which can be found in the 2nd column of the table of irregular verbs.

go → went → gone

Add -ed with regular verbs:
regular verbs → infinitive + -ed

Sometimes the are exceptions in spelling when adding -ed:

1. Adding -ed

1.1. consonant after a short, stressed vowel at the end of the word

Double the consonant.


We do not double the consonant if the vowel is not stressed:
benefitbenefited (Here we stress the first e, not the i.)

In Britsh English we double one -l at the end of the word:

1.2. one -e at the end of the word

Only add -d.

1.3. verbs ending in -y

Change -y to -i after a consonant. Then add -ed.
worry – worried

Add -ed with verbs ending in -y preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u):
play – played