In today’s episode you are going to learn how to talk about the past. Of course, it will be some part of the past, there is much more 😉 We’ll take a look at some basic rules about forming verbs. We are going to learn how to say that something happened in the past or didn’t happen. With us we’re having today the ancient Macedonian chief Alexander the Great. 

After today’s episode you will know how to say:

  • Byłam w Portugalii
  • On nie był w szkole
  • Książki były po angielsku
  • Michael nie słuchał muzyki

You will also know English words for:

  • następca
  • miejsce pracy
  • geniusz

And finally you’ll find out who Bucephalus was 😉

1. Warm up
Look at the picture above. Does it remind you of    anything?Who was Alexander the Great?When did he live?

2. What is this all about?        
 Today we are going to talk about the past. The past is what was once and is no longer. I would like to invite you to a trip over the realm which once was the middle of the ancient world but now doesn’t exist. Welcome to the Kingdom of Alexander the Great.

3. The story.
A. Here is how the things WERE in Persia.The Persian Empire WAS an enormous power of the ancient world.The country had great amounts of gold and silver.The ruler of the country WAS Darius IIIDarius WASN’T as powerful as his predecessors.The army WASN’T as strong as Macedonian and Greek army 

B. Now, let’s move on to the Macedonian EmpireAlexander the Great WANTED to become famous.He also DESIRED to expand his kingdom.The aristocrats LOOKED FOR a chance to become rich.Hellenic politicians believed that new lands could be new workplaces for the people. 

C. The war.Alexander the Great STARTED the war in the 334 B.C.It LASTED eleven yearsMacedonians and Greeks COULD fight well together.Alexander WAS a tactical genius.His soldiers LOVED him.In 330 B.C. the Persian king DIED. Alexander the Great still WAGED WAR against the local rulers in the Persian Empire.At the end of his life he CALLED himself a god. 

D. Death and legacyAlexander DIED suddenly at the age of 33.His kingdom was DIVIDED into different countries. Alexander’s successors DIDN’T force the local people to adapt the Greek and Macedonian culture.They DIDN’T IMPOSE their language either.
A helmet and a laurel? – hmmm… a long, long time ago… Alexander the Great: “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” realm – królestwo exist – istnieć    the ancient world – świat starożytnyamount – ilość  ruler – władcapredecessor – poprzednik   expand – poszerzyć look for – szukać  workplaces – miejsca pracy       tactical genius – geniusz taktyczny wage war – prowadzić wojnę legacy – spuścizna       divide – dzielić successor –  następca adapt – przyjąć impose –  narzucać 

4. Let me put this straight. Rules of Past Simple.


1.) Find the examples of was (był/a) and wasn’t (nie był/a) in the table. They all mean the past!

If we have MORE than one person or thing we say WERE (były/byli) or WEREN’T (nie byli/ nie były)

e.g. They were in Portugal.

       The books were in English (po angielsku).

       The workers weren’t happy.

       There were three cats in the garden.

2.) Look at the words:

wanted //desired //looked for // started //lasted

What is so special about them? THEY ALL END IN -ED!

e. g. I booked the flight

         She worked hard.

         They marked the blue line

Rule: So, how to talk about the past? Add -ED to verbs.

Now look at these words:

die – died    divide – divided

e.g. Uncle Tom died last year.

Rule: When the verb (czasownik) ends with -e you just add -d.

…and now these:

bury – buried try – tried

 e.g. We buried our grandpa yesterday.

        He spied (from spy) for Germany during the War.

        Alexander the Great married (from marry) princess Roxanne.

Rule: There are some words where you need to add -IED.

And now:

stay – stayed

e.g. We stayed in the hotel for a night.

Rule: When no consonant (spółgłoska) comes before Y you don’t change it, just leave it.



…but, we’re left with the negatives 🙂

Look at those:

didn’t force// didn’t impose

e.g. He didn’t listen to her

       We didn’t count the desks.


Curiousity didn’t kill the cat 😉

– Alexander’s beloved horse was Bucephalus

– Aristotle was Alexander’s teacher

– We dont’t know what caused Alexander’s death


1.Fill in the gaps.

a.) I …… in Barcelona (byłem)

b.) She ………… in Japan last week. (nie była)

c.) They …………… sad at the party (nie byli)

d.) It ……….. a secret. (był)

1. Form Past Simple (add -ed, -d, -ied)

a.) want –

b.) last –

c.) start –

d.) look for –

e.) die –

f.) divide –

g.) marry –

2. Write negative sentences:

a.) She listened to me –

b.) He looked at the dog –

c.) I married Isabel –

d.) They opened the envelope –

3. Find five other regular Past Simple verbs (ended with -ed, -d or -ied 🙂

4. Translate into Polish this episode’s story (3.)

By Honorata Turczyn