Past Simple Tense in English

Usage of the Past Simple Tense

Past Simple is used when it comes to routine actions, as well as a one-time short action in the past. In both cases, this action happened at a certain moment in the past and is complete.

To facilitate remembering and understanding of Past Simple in English, there are word-indicators:

- Yesterday

- last week (month, year, Monday etc.)

- three days ago (a week ago, 2 hours ago etc.)

- in 1990 (2015, 2000 etc)

That is, these are any words that relate to the exact time in the past.

In 2016 they visited Europe for the first time.

We met our friends five days ago.

Yesterday she watched a film.

 

Forming Past Simple

+ Affirmative sentences

In Past Simple, in affirmative sentences, regular verbs have the following form:

You need to add the ending -ED to the verb stem.

This rule is applied to all persons.

I

watched TV yesterday.

You

He

She

It

They

We

Negative sentences

To create a negative sentence in Past Simple, the auxiliary verb DID NOT (didn’t) is necessary. A notional verb returns to its original form (without the ending).

I

did not (didn’t)

watch TV yesterday.

You

He

She

It

They

We

? Interrogative sentences

To make a question in Past simple we need the same auxiliary verb DID, which is put at the beginning of the sentence before the subject. The auxiliary verb DID is common for all persons. As well as in negative form, a notional verb returns to its original form.

Did

I

 

 

 

watch TV yesterday?

 

 

You

He

She

It

They

We

Irregular verbs follow the same rules, except for affirmative sentences. In this case verbs change their form and it is necessary just to remember it (Irregular verbs list)

We went to work by car.

We did not go to work by car.

Did we go to work by car?

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