Past Simple Spelling Changes


Past Simple


We use past tense to talk about:

–> something that happened once in the past:

  • I met my wife in 1983.
  • We went to Spain for our holidays.
  • They got home very late last night.

–> something that happened again and again in the past:

  • When I was a boy I walked a mile to school every day.
  • We swam a lot while we were on holiday.
  • They always enjoyed visiting their friends.

–> something that was true for some time in the past:

  • I lived abroad for ten years.
  • He enjoyed being a student.
  • She played a lot of tennis when she was younger.

–> we often use phrases with ago with the past tense:

  • I met my wife a long time ago.

The form of the Past Simple is the same in all persons.


We use did to make questions with the past tense. 

We use did + subject + infinitive (without to) in all persons:

  • When did you meet your wife?
  • Where did you go for your holidays?
  • Did she play tennis when she was younger?
  • Did you live abroad?

But look at these questions with who:

  • Who discovered penicillin?
  • Who wrote Don Quixote?

Yes/No questions

  • Did you like the film? No, I didn’t.
  • Did she enjoy the party? Yes, she did.


We use didn’t (did not) to make negatives with the past tense.

We use didn’t + infinitive (without to) in all persons:

  • They didn’t go to Spain this year.
  • We didn’t get home until very late last night.
  • I didn’t see you yesterday.




Present Simple Spelling Changes


  • work –> works
  • live –> lives

Some verbs have present simple spelling changes for third person (he/she/it):


Verbs that end in -s, -sc, -ch, -x:

  • kiss –> kisses
  • push –> pushes
  • watch –> watches
  • relax –> relaxes


Verbs that end in -y:

  • study –> studies
  • try –> tries
  • marry –> marries
  • cry –> cries

-y doesn’t change to -ies if the ending is -ay, -ey, -oy, -uy:

  • play –> plays
  • say –> says
  • buy –> buys
  • enjoy –> enjoys
  • stay –> stays




Present Simple

The present tense is the base form of the verb:

  • I live in Sofia.
  • You are the best!
  • We like ice cream.
  • They go to the cinema.

But the third person (he/she/it) adds an -s:

  • He listens to  rap music.
  • She plays the piano.


We use the present tense to talk about:

1. Something that is true in the present:

  • I‘m 30 years old.
  • You work in the office.
  • We go lunch.
  • They sleep in different places.
  • Gorge hurries for work.
  • Anna goes to the trade centre.

2. Something that happens again and again in the present:

  • I go to the cinema every month.
  • She goes to the gym every day.

We use words like sometimes, often, always and never (adverbs of frequency) with the present tense:

  • I sometimes write at my blog.
  • Anna often eats a vegetarian sandwich.
  • I and Anna always go to bed early.
  • George never shaves his beard.

3. Something that is always true:

  • The adult human body contains 206 bones.
  • Spanish national anthem has no words.
  • Light travels at almost 300,000 kilometres per second.

4. Something that is fixed in the future:

  • I go to the theatre next week.
  • Anna comes to Bulgaria next year.
  • The bus leaves at 19.00 tomorrow evening.

Questions and negatives

With the present tense, we use do and does to make questions. We use does for the third person (he/she/it) and we use do for the others. We use do and does with question words like where, what and why.

  • Where do you live? (I live in Sofia.)
  • Does George watch movies? (Yes, he does.)
  • Where do they work? (They work in the business centre.)
  • What does she do in her free time? (She reads books, watches movies and goes to the gym.)
  • What do you do in your free time? (I relax, read, play on the video game.)
  • What kind of music do they like? (They like pop music and jazz.)
  • Do you watch movies? (Yes, I do.)

But look at these questions with who:

  • Who lives in Sofia?
  • Who plays football at the weekend?
  • Who works at Liverpool City Hospital?

With the present tense, we use do and does to make negatives. We use does not (doesn’t)  for the third person (he/she/it) and we use do not (don’t) for others.

  • I like tennis, but I don’t like football.
  • I don’t have a car, but I have a bicycle.
  • They don’t live in a flat. They live in a house.
  • We don’t go to work by bus.
  • George doesn’t like his job.
  • Anna doesn’t do exercise.