Past Simple of To Be – A1 Beginners English Lesson

Lesson Goals: At the end of the lesson, the students should be able to identify, and use the past simple form of the verb “To Be”. They should know the meaning of basic professions suitable for their level and be familiar with their definitions/ explanations as well.
Target Grammar: Past simple of “To Be”
Target Vocabulary: Jobs


1. Match the profession with its definition.


a person who teaches at a school or a college


a person who studies at a school or a college


a person who helps people when they are ill


a person who drives a car, a bus, a truck, etc.

2. Listen to the text and fill in the blanks.

Please note, there are no audio files available for this fill-in-the-blanks exercise. The teacher must read the text for their students.

My name is Tony. When I was a kid I wanted to be a doctor like my ______________ but I was a waiter in a________________ restaurant.

My brother was a ____________, and his ____________ Ana was a teacher. They were both very ________________ at their jobs.

My brother’s wife loved to _____________ the children at school. The children were _______________ happy and loved their teacher.

3. Answer the following questions.

  1. What was Tony? 
  2. Was Tony’s brother a teacher?
  3. Did Tony work in a big restaurant with very good food?
  4. What was Tony’s brother’s wife?

4. Mark the statements T for true, and F for false.

  1. Tony was a teacher and the children at school loved him. ___
  2. Ana was a doctor and she hated her job.  ___
  3. The children were very happy.  ___
  4. Tony’s brother was a doctor and he was very good at his job.  ___


Review the Present Simple Tense of “To be”. Look at how it changes in the Past Simple Tense.


am I was
You are You were
He/ She is He/ She was
We areWe were
You areYou were
They areThey were

In other words:

AM, IS – WAS (I was, he was, she was, it was)

ARE – WERE (we were, you were, they were)


1. Fill in the blanks with the correct form of the verb „to be“

  1. Ana _______ a teacher.
  2. Tony _______ a waiter at a restaurant.
  3. Tony’s brother _____ a doctor.
  4. Tony wanted to be a doctor like his brother when he _____ little.

2. Correct the mistakes in the sentences

Example: I worked in a bank, so I was a pilot. (banker)

  1. My sister was a driver, so she painted pictures. ( ___________ )
  2. Tony’s brother were a doctor, and he loved his job. ( ___________ )
  3. Ana were a very good teacher and the children loved her. ( ___________ )
  4. David was a waiter, so he worked in a bank. ( ___________ )

3. Underline the correct word in brackets

  1. My mother teaches English, so she is a (teacher/doctor).
  2. My brother goes to school, so he is a (student/ doctor).
  3. My best friend drives a bus, so he is a (teacher/ driver).
  4. Ana teaches Math, so she is a (teacher/ banker).


1. Go around the class and ask five people about their grandfather’s/ grandmother’s jobs.

Example: “What was your grandfather? He was a doctor.”

2. Report to the class.