Past simple of to have English Course Lesson 29

Lesson 29


This tutorial is focusing on the Simple past of have.

I had.

you had.

he,she,it had.

we had.

you had.

they had.


1/Sentence Practice

Peter pays a compliment. That is very good Jeanne. When I was at school we had lessons in pronunciation.

We had to learn a poem and we had to say it in front of the class. English pronunciation is difficult even for the English

There are lots of sounds in English that do not exist in other languages. I had problems with the “TH” sound.

In fact, I had to go on Saturday mornings to have lessons. Sara has very good pronunciation,

I bet you had no problems when you were young. You’re right I had no difficulty. I had a very good upbringing.

My elder sister had elocution lessons. She had the patience to teach me. I was lucky.

So remember Jeanne, English is not phonetic. Excuse me what is phonetic again? Can you explain me?

You mean can I explain, to you. You do not want me to explain what you do or why you do it.

You want me to explain to you “what is phonetics”.

Phonetics is when there is a direct correspondence between symbols (letters) and sounds.

In English, the same letters can have different sounds. For example: Though, Tough, Through, Thought.

Their spelling is similar but they sound very different. English is not phonetic.



2/Vocabulary Practice

  • I had to.
  • to pay a compliment
  • lessons in pronunciation
  • We had to learn a poem.
  •  in front of the class
  • even for
  • There are lots of sounds
  • to exist
  • in other languages
  • to have problems
  • the “TH” sound
  •  on Saturday mornings
  • I bet you
  •  when you were young
  • You’re right
  • I had no difficulty.
  • a good upbringing
  •  elder sister
  •  elocution lessons
  • have the patience
  • English is not phonetic
  • to explain to someone
  •  what you do
  •  why you do it
  •  direct
  • correspondence
  • symbols (letters)
  • sounds
  • Though
  • Tough
  • Through
  • Thought
  • the spelling
  • similar
  • to sound different


Past simple of “to have”.

The past simple of “to have” is irregular. Let’s see how to form positive, negative, and interrogative statements!

Positive form of “to have” 

I had, you had, he had, she had, it had, we had, you had, they had

Negative form of “to have” 

I had not, you had not, he had not, she had not, it had not, we had not, you had not, they had not

I hadn’t, you hadn’t, he hadn’t, she hadn’t, it hadn’t, we hadn’t, you hadn’t, they hadn’t

Interrogative form of “to have” 

had I? had you? had he? had she? had it? had we? had you? had they?

had I not? had you not? had he not? had she not? had it not? had we not? had you not? had they not?

hadn’t I? hadn’t you? hadn’t he? hadn’t she? hadn’t it? hadn’t we? hadn’t you? hadn’t they?

When to use “to have” in the simple past? More examples

1/ completed actions – when it is over

The kids had an early night last night.

I had a nice lunch break.

2/ when I focus on the duration of an action:

They had a two-hour power cut.

He had a headache for 2 hours.

3/ when an action has happened once,  never or several times in the past:

I had a headache every time.

They had homework every week.

4/ for a series of actions in the past:

We bought groceries. We cooked. We ate.

5/ for facts or generalisations in the past:

For a twelve-year-old he had a large vocabulary.

These criminals had troubled backgrounds.

Signal words / adverbs of time that go with this tense:


Last year

last Wednesday

last time

2/ IN

in March

in 2000

in the winter


when he was a teenager

when I had a cat

when that happened



the other day

Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Last year, did you have the flu?

Yes I had the flu last year.


Did you have your exam last week?

Yes, I had my exam last week.


Did he have a large vocabulary?

Yes, he had a large vocabulary for a 10 year old.


Did you have any difficulty with the journey?

No, I had a good journey.


Why did you learn the poem?

I had to learn the poem at school.


Did you have any problems learning the poem?

Yes, I had a few problems, it was very long.


Was she a good teacher?

Yes, because she had patience.


Can you pronounce though?

No, I cannot pronounce though.


Did you talk to your cousin?

Yes, I had a talk with her this morning.


Has Sarah good pronunciation?

Yes she had lessons.

Exercises Lesson 29

Comprehension Practice

Vocabulary Practice

Grammar Practice