Learn English Past Simple Regular and Irregular with My favorite band

One of my favorite bands in the United States is named Cloud Cult. They just played a concert close to my hometown in the U.S., but because I’m still living in Argentina I was bummed (disappointed) I wasn’t able to attend. So, after listening to some of their songs I decided to do a lesson on past simple regular and irregular verbs for everyone. Enjoy!

English Past Simple Regular Verbs

  • With regular verbs we add ed to the end of the verb. For example walk changes to walked. (Verb + ed)
  • Spelling changes; If the word ends in an E such as: SMILE we only add D to the end: SMILED. If the word has a consonant then a Y such as: TRY we change the Y to an I and add ED. So TRY changes to TRIED. If the word end in one vowel (a,e,i,o,u) followed by a consonant such as: TAP then we double the consonant. So TAP changes to TAPPED.
  • Pronunciation of the ED ending to indicate past sounds like a T. DO NOT ADD AN EXTRA SYLLABLE. (It sounds like this: playt)
  • Pronunciation of ED ending when the word ends in a T or a D. When a word ends in a T or D we pronounce the extra syllable when adding ED to the end to indicate past. Such as START changes to STARTED; LAND changes to LANDED. We pronounce the extra syllable so it sounds like (STAR*TED LAN*DED)


Although there is no rules about how to change irregular verbs there are some patterns that happen. Really you should memorize, (ughhh, I know), speak, take classes, watch movies, and listen to music as much as possible to get the irregulars down. But below you will see some categories and patterns.

  1. Very Irregular: These are the special verbs. to be (am/is/are) changes to was/were. Have/has changes to had. Go changes to went. Do/Does/Don’t/Doesn’t changes to did/didn’t.
  2. Doesn’t Change: There are the few strange verbs that don’t change from present/past/participle. Cut, Shut, Put,hit, let, Cost.
  3. Change Last Letter to T: Usually (not always) when the word ends in a D it changes to a T like: build-built, spend-spent, send-sent, lend-lent. Normally (not a solid rule) if the word has double EE it changes to T like: sleep-slept, keep-kept, feel-felt. Others: lose-lost, leave-left.
  4. Change the Letter to a D: No real pattern to this one. Make-made, hear-heard.
  5. Change the Middle Letter to an O: Sometimes when the vowel is an I we change the I to an O. Like: win-won, drive-drove, find-found. When the word has double LL we change the middle letter to an O and add D to the end: sell-sold, tell-told. Often when there is an EA combination the EA change to an O such as: steal-stole, break-broke, wear-wore.
  6. Change the Middle Letter to an A: Mostly when the word has and I it changes to an A. Like begin-began, give-gave, drink-drank, sing-sang, swim-swam, sit-sat. O and U also change to A like run-ran, come-came, become-became.
  7. Change the middle Letter to an E: If the word is OW we usually change it to EW like: know-knew, grow-grew, throw-threw.
  8. Ought/Aught/Ould-Sometimes the whole word changes and only the first letter stays the same like: buy-bought, teach-taught, catch-caught.


Now Watch The Video and do the exercise:

  • How many past irregulars are in the song?
  • How many past regulars are in the song?
  • What other verb tenses are there in the song?
  • Can you retell us the story of the song?

Below are the lyrics, fill in the spaces:

I _____ grandpa on my transistor radio,

Though he _____ in his bones twenty years ago,

And he ____, “Kid, theres something that I’d like to show you,

Get your things, its time for us to go”

So I ____ my backpack, my flashlight, and a bag of caramel corn,

I ____ my bicycle, and the radio, and I headed on the road, I said

“I’m ready for what I’m about to see, Yup”

I ____ north ’til rain had turned to snow

Through rusty towns and dusty gravel roads

And I ___, “Grandpa, where is this thing you wanted to show me?”

He said, “Kid, you got a long way to go”

So I ____ through canyons, caves and catacombs, I sailed on bicycle boats

I _____ in chapels and brothels, I ____ the nicest folks

I said, “I’m ready for what I’m about to see, Yup”

I heard grandpa on my transistor radio

He said, “Kid, its time for me to go,

And I know that there was something that I _____ to show you,

But its time for you to find it on your own.”

Let me tell you about rage when a signal ____ that day,

Theres nothing out there and I don’t care–its to take my life away

“I’m not ready and I don’t want to see, Nope”

Its been years since I _____ my transistor radio

Yet I keep going to where it seems I’m ______ to go

And I finally ____ what he wanted to show me

Where I’ve been, where I am, is the show

Where I’ve ____, where I am, is the show

Where I’__ been, where I am, is the show

Hope you enjoyed another Lesson and the song. If you like the song you should check out the band, they are pretty under as they say in Argentina but are becoming more popular.

Email us if you have questions, or are interested in our English classes.