Spelling of verbs in the Past Simple
How to spell regular and irregular verbs in the Past Simple
You need to know all forms of irregular verbs very well. For the Past Simple you need the form of the verb which can be found in the 2nd column of the table of irregular verbs.
do → did → done
Add –ed with regular verbs:
regular verbs → infinitive + –ed
Sometimes there 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.
stop – stopped
sob – sobbed
tap – tapped
We do not double the consonant if the vowel is not stressed:
benefit – benefited (Here we stress the first e, not the i.)
In British English we double one -l at the end of the word:
travel – travelled
equal – equalled
1.2. one -e at the end of the word
Only add -d.
bake – baked
save – saved
smile – smiled
1.3. verbs ending in -y
Change -y to -i after a consonant. Then add –ed.
hurry – hurried
Add –ed with verbs ending in -y preceded by a vowel (a, e, i, o, u):
play – played