Past Simple

We use the Past Simple to talk about completed actions in the past when they have no connection to the present. If you would like to learn more about this tense, you’ve come to the right place. Feel free to look around, learn, and practice.

past simple

We use the Past Simple to talk about:

- COMPLETED ACTIONS IN THE PAST

The past simple ends with –ed very often (regular verbs)


Joseph studied law at university.


The kids played in the forest on Sunday.

* NOTE: With verbs ending with a consonant and y (ie:
study/carry/etc.) we must first change the y to an
i before adding –ed.

study -> studied (not “studyed”)

If the verb ends with a vowel and y (ie: play/stay), we do
not change it to an i and simply add –ed.

play -> played

However, there are many irregular verbs which do not end
in –ed in the past.


Steve went to work on his day off.


I bought a new car yesterday.

For negatives and questions we use did/didn’t + infinitive
(do/watch/go/etc).
I didn’t go to work on Monday.


Did you see the football match yesterday?

*NOTE: be careful when do is the main verb in sentences.

Frank didn’t do his homework.

What did you do yesterday?

Affirmative

I/you/we/they/he/she/it did/watched/went
etc.
Negatives
I/you/we/they/he/she/it did not / didn’t do/watch/go etc.
Questions
Did I/you/we/they/he/she/it do/watch/go etc. ?

* NOTE: If the main verb is be we do not use did as the auxiliary verb We use was/were instead.

Was she upset?

Were they interested in the project?

* NOTE: We can also use modal verbs as the auxiliary verb instead of did .

Could you play a musical instrument when you were younger?

* NOTE: Negative questions are also possible. We generally use them to show surprise,
disbelief, or shock.

Didn’t he like his birthday present?