Simple Past Spelling Rules

If the verb ends in a consonant, add -ed.

  • help –> helped
  • return –> returned

If the verb ends in -e, add -d.

  • live –> lived
  • create –> created
  • die –> died

In one-syllable words, if the word ends in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination (CVC), double the final consonant and add -ed.


  • hop –> hopped
  • rub –> rubbed

However, do not double one-syllable words ending in -w, -x, or -y.

  • bow –> bowed
  • mix –> mixed
  • play –> played

In words of two or more syllables that end in a consonant-vowel-consonant combination, double the last consonant only if the last syllable is stressed.

  • prefer –> preferred (The last syllable is stressed.)
  • visit –> visited (The last syllable is not stressed)

If the verb ends in a consonant + y, change the y to i and add -ed.

  • worry –>worried
  • carry –> carried

If the verb ends in a vowel + y, add -ed. (Do not change the y to i.)

  • play –> played
  • annoy –> annoyed

Exceptions: pay-paid, lay-laid, say-said