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?

Form

Affirmative

I/you/we/they/he/she/it

did/watched/went etc.

Negative

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?