Confused by Verbs | Past Tense Verbs – Part 2

In my previous post, I showed how for many regular verbs, we add ‘d’ or ‘ed’ to them to transform them into the past tense. I hope the worksheets that accompanied the post came in handy when practising this particular type of transformation.

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

Did your little one like the short story found in each worksheet? I decided to put the verbs in the context of a story instead of just having the children convert verbs that are written in random and unrelated sentences into past tense as I feel that it is easier for children to learn grammar when it is meaningful to them. I have also tried to choose topics that are familiar to the children. This is because to nurture the love for reading in young children, it is important that they read something that they can relate to or that interests them. This makes it easier for them to imagine the scenes related to the passages in their minds.

In this second part of the “Confused by Verbs” series, I will be discussing verbs that end with ‘y’ and their transformation into past tense.

A vowel may tame the ‘y’ tail

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

When a vowel comes right before the ‘y’ that is the last letter of the verb, there is a chance that this ‘y’ tail can be tamed to accept ‘ed’. The table below highlights some of the verbs that follow this rule:

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

However, take note that this rule does not apply to the word ‘buy’ even though the vowel ‘u’ comes right before ‘y’. Instead, you need to remove ‘uy’ and add ‘ought’ to form the past tense.

So Long Pals!’

Other than “buy”, there are 3 ‘ay’ verbs that cannot be tamed to accept ‘ed’. We use the phrase “so long pals” to remind ourselves of these 3 ‘ay’ verbs that choose to drop their ‘y’ tails and instead attach ‘id’ to the end of the verb to generate the past tense. This is illustrated in the table below:

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

A consonant sets the ‘y’ tail free

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

When a consonant comes right before the ‘y’ tail of the verb, the ‘y’ tail drops and a new ‘ied’ stump grows to form the past tense. Look at these examples in the table below:

Confused by Verbs. Grammar

Here’s a worksheet [Worksheet 1A] that you can do with your child so that your child can familiarise himself/ herself with the transformation of verbs that end with a ‘y’ tail.

Now that your child is familiar with the transformation of verbs that end with ‘y’, let’s revise and challenge your child by getting him/her to transform verbs that have been covered in this post as well as the previous one into their past tense forms. Try to recall the rules that your child has learnt previously as he/she attempts this worksheet. Check out Worksheet 1B now!



How did your child do? If you child is still confused by the different transformations, revise and go through these transformations again. Just like what the American writer Robert Collier once wrote, ‘Sucess is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.” Do look out for the next post on verb transformations! =)

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