Humanities › English Practice in Using the Past Forms of Regular and Irregular Verbs A Sentence-Completion Exercise Share Flipboard Email Print gradyreese/E+/Getty Images English English Grammar An Introduction to Punctuation Writing By Richard Nordquist English and Rhetoric Professor Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester B.A., English, State University of New York Dr. Richard Nordquist is professor emeritus of rhetoric and English at Georgia Southern University and the author of several university-level grammar and composition textbooks. our editorial process Richard Nordquist Updated July 23, 2018 This exercise will give you practice in using the correct past forms of regular verbs and irregular verbs. Before attempting the exercise, you may find it helpful to review Forming the Past Tense of Regular Verbs and introduction to Irregular Verbs in English Instructions The paragraph below has been adapted from the opening chapter of Black Boy, an autobiography by Richard Wright. Complete each sentence correctly by changing the verbs in brackets from the present tense to the simple past tense. For example, the verb tell in the first sentence should be changed to told. When you have completed the exercise, compare your answers with those at the bottom of this page. From Black Boy, by Richard Wright One evening my mother [tell] _____ me that thereafter I would have to do the shopping for food. She [take] _____ me to the corner store to show me the way. I was proud; I [feel] _____ like a grownup. The next afternoon I looped the basket over my arm and [go] _____ down the pavement toward the store. When I [reach] _____ the corner, a gang of boys [grab] _____ me, [knock] _____ me down, [snatch] _____ the basket, [take] _____ the money, and [send] _____ me running home in panic. That evening I [tell] _____ my mother what had happened, but she [make] _____ no comment; she [sit] _____ down at once, [write] _____ another note, [give] _____ me more money, and [send] _____ me out to the grocery again. I crept down the steps and [see] _____ the same gang of boys playing down the street. I [run] _____ back into the house. Below (in bold) are the answers to the exercise above: Practice in Using the Past Forms of Regular and Irregular Verbs. Answers From Black Boy, by Richard Wright One evening my mother told me that thereafter I would have to do the shopping for food. She took me to the corner store to show me the way. I was proud; I felt like a grownup. The next afternoon I looped the basket over my arm and went down the pavement toward the store. When I reached the corner, a gang of boys grabbed me, knocked me down, snatched the basket, took the money, and sent me running home in panic. That evening I told my mother what had happened, but she made no comment; she sat down at once, wrote another note, gave me more money, and sent me out to the grocery again. I crept down the steps and saw the same gang of boys playing down the street. I ran back into the house.