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The Past Simple Tense

Updated: Feb 28







The Past Simple Tense

- When do we use the Past Simple Tense?

1. We use it to talk about an action that happened and finished in the past.

Ex. – He died.


2. We need adverbs of time to specify the past tense in our sentences.

Ex. Yesterday, ago, last night, last week, last Monday, in 2001 …etc.


- How do we form the negative with the past Simple Tense?

1. We need the helping verb (DO).


2. We use (DO) in the Past Simple Tense (DID).


3. The main verb is now in the (Base Form)


4. “Base form” means the main verb doesn’t have “s”, “ed” or “ing”


Ex. - She did (helping verb in the past simple) not see (main verb in the base form) him last night.


- Alex did (helping verb in the past simple)not work (main verb in the base form) last Wednesday.


- They did (helping verb in the past simple) not understand (main verb in the base form) the problem yesterday.



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- We can use the contraction (short) form with the negative:

Ex. - He did not (didn’t) know how to read when he was young.


- We did not (didn’t) see each other last summer.

- How do we form the question with the Past Simple Tense?

1. We need the helping verb (DO).


2. We use (DO) in the Past Simple Tense (DID).


3. The main verb is now in the (Base Form)


4. “Base form” means the main verb doesn’t have “s”, “ed” or “ing”


Ex. - Why did (helping verb in the past simple) you do (main verb in the base form) that?


- Did (helping verb in the past simple) he finish(main verb in the base form) school last year?


- How did (helping verb in the past simple) she organize (main verb in the base form) the house last weekend?



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- Regular and irregular verbs:

English verbs are divided into two groups in the past, “regular verbs” and “irregular verbs”.


+ Regular verbs end with “ed” in the past.


Ex. – Walk – walked

Visit – visited

Include – included


+ Irregular verbs change completely in the past.


Ex. – go – went

do – did

drive – drove

eat – ate

put – put

cut – cut

drink – drank

bring - brought






To practice using the (Past Simple Tense) click this link:


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