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What Is The Past Tense Of Copy?

English Past tenses can be both tricky and confusing especially when factoring in Irregular Verbs with their more common regular verbs in the language. We have collated a series of pages that will help show you the difference formats ( conjugations) of English irregular verbs. – Those that don’t follow the “rules” there are quite a few! so you can use the search bar below after you have learnt the past tense of copy to search for other English verbs you need to know

The Past tense of copy, although a regular verb, ends in a vowel sound. This means the final letter /y/ is replaced with I before the letters /ed/ are added to make the past tense form. However depending on the tense being used this can change to both copy and copying.

The full tense structures you can see in the table below. We have also added other tenses of the verb copy following the past tense of copy to give a resource on just one page rather than multiple pages. Speaking of resources we also have games and worksheets on both past tense of copy and other verbs, and other verb tenses below the table for free download.

Table 1: Past Tense of Copy, including other tenses and conjugations.

Tense and Verb FormVerb Form (conjugation)Verb tense Sentence Examples of Copy
ImperativecopyI copy all my work.
Simple Past Tensecopiedi don’t remember how to do it, i just copied my friend.
Past participlecopiedi have copied my work all year
Past Continuous tensecopying (was/were)we were all copying the answers as fast as we can.
Past Perfect tensecopied (had)I had copied the information of the board
Past Perfect Continuous Tensecopying (had been)The class has been copying since the start of the year.
present participlecopyingThey are copying the designs
Third person singularcopiesShe copies my dance moves
Present continuous tensecopyingLook through the window, they are all copying the teacher.
Present perfect tensecopiedI have copied my favourite sports team to get better.
Present perfect continuous tensecopyingWe have been copying the coach in training
Simple futurecopy (will)Children will copy their parents
Future Continuouscopying (will be)Tom will be copying his big sister Susan.
Future perfect tensecopied (will have)The dogs will have copied their owners actions in the dog show to win.
Future perfect Continuous tensecopying (will have)My friend will have been copying my homework all semester.
I will be copying how they do it on Youtube all year.

While copy is a regular verb ( kind of) most tricky verbs in English when it comes to their form (conjugation) are irregular. We have many of the most common here on the site which you can access with the search above and below. If you wish for an extensive list them this site has a comprehensive list of irregular verbs in English.

Understanding the Verb “Copy”

The verb “copy” originates from the Latin word “copia”, which means “abundance” or “plenty”. Over time, its meaning evolved to mean “a duplicate”. In English, “copy” typically means to replicate something or produce something that is identical or very similar to an original.

Phrasal Verbs with “Copy”

  1. Copy out: To write out something in full from notes or shorthand.
    • Example: “She had to copy out her notes to make them legible.”
  2. Copy down: To write or type something exactly as it is spoken or written somewhere else.
    • Example: “Make sure to copy down what the teacher writes on the board.”
  3. Copy from: To reproduce or imitate the work of another, especially in a context of cheating.
    • Example: “Students are warned not to copy from each other during exams.”

Nuances in Usage

  • Copy vs. Replicate: While both words suggest making a duplicate, “replicate” often implies a more exact or scientific process, whereas “copy” can be more general.
  • Copy + Prepositions: “Copy” can be paired with various prepositions to create specific meanings:
    • Copy of: An instance or replica of an original. E.g., “Do you have a copy of the report?”
    • Copy to: To send or share an identical piece of information with someone. E.g., “Please copy me to that email.”

Common Mistakes

  1. Incorrect: Can you copy this to me? Correct: Can you send me a copy of this?
  2. Incorrect: I copied out from the internet. Correct: I copied it from the internet.
  3. Incorrect: Don’t forget to copy down the notes. Correct: Don’t forget to copy the notes down.

You can check other past tense words by clicking on the links in the table below.

Table 2: Table of Links for irregular Past Tense Verbs

learn keepfindbe

We also have articles and worksheets which we will link examples of below, and if you need more you can try the search box.

Resources to Teach Tenses

if you find yourselves on our site and are a teacher, or a parent or even a student for that matter, we are called Making English Fun, and we aim to make learning English a little more fun that it can be. So with that in mind we have a selection of resources to teach past tense of copy, and any other verb actually that you can access from the list below.


So the simple answer, and where you will be correct most of the tim, is that the past tense of copy is copied unless you are using some of the more complex English tenses. We have highlighted those in the table as well for your assistance and reference.

We also have a full list of irregular verbs from A – Z on the site which you can access from the link here.


I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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