Conjugating Verbs to Past Form (〜た)

    • Verb
    • Conjugation Form
    The plain past form refers to the た form of verbs. Verbs in this form end in 〜た or 〜だ, like 食べた (ate), 飲んだ (drank), and 来た (came).

    What Is the Past Form?

    The plain past form always ends in either 〜た or 〜だ. It is conjugated in exactly the same way as the て form, but with 〜た in the place of 〜て (or 〜だ instead of 〜で). So if you've already learned the て form, you now know the た form too. If not, let's take a look at how to put together the た form. Alternatively, if you want to know more about how this form is used, click here.

    Godan  → 会った
     → 立った
    代わ → 代わった
     → 写した
     → 書いた
     → 泳いだ
     → 死んだ
     → 学んだ
     → 休んだ
    Ichidan 食べ → 食べ
    起き → 起き
    閉じ → 閉じ
    Irregular  → 行った
    来るく  →  来たき 
    する → した

    Godan Verbs

    Godan verbs differ according to their ending, but all verbs with the same ending change in the same way.

    All godan verbs that end in 〜う, 〜す, 〜つ and 〜る change their ending to 〜った:

     + った = 会った
     + った = 立った
    代わ + った = 代わった

    All godan verbs that end in 〜す change their ending to 〜した:

     + した = 写した

    All godan verbs that end in く change their ending to 〜いた:

     + いた = 書いた

    All godan verbs that end in ぐ change their ending to 〜いだ:

     + いた = 泳いだ

    And finally, all godan verbs that end in む change their ending to 〜んだ:

     + んだ = 休んだ
     + んだ = 学んだ  

    The verb 行く is the only exception among the godan verbs. It ends in 〜く so we would normally expect it to behave like 書く above, but in fact the past tense is:

     + った = 行った

    Ichidan Verbs

    For ichidan verbs, we simply remove the 〜る from the dictionary form and add 〜た:

    食べ + た = 食べ
     + た = 見

    Irregular Verbs

    Finally, we have our two irregular verbs. These two are always irregular no matter what verb form we're talking about (and there are only two of them—hurray!):

     + た =  き 
     + た = した

    So there you have it. Now you know how to conjugate verbs into the past form!