Peggy Chau

Rookie (Hong Kong)

The Past Simple - Poem by Peggy Chau

Every year I struggle
with students on the past simple.
This year my students can’t tackle
and they’ve asked questions I can’t handle:

If we have “held” and “hold”
and we have “tell” and “told”
and also “sell” and “sold”,
why not “bell” and “bold”?

I force them to remember:
“lend” and “lent”
“spend” and “spent”
“send” and “sent”.
They then say “tend” and “tent”
One more: “vend” and “vent”.

Don’t forget “forgot”,
Remember “get” and “got”,
But “let” shouldn’t be with “lot”
and they asked: How about “set” and “sot”?

“Why not? ” they asked.
I started to lose my temper.
“Don’t ask, just remember!

But finally they still say:
“sit” and “sat”
“meet” and “met”
and so…
“bit” and “bat”
“hit” and “hat”
“fit”, the past “FAT”!

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, January 30, 2010

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