Hi everyone, welcome back to Aze IT Studio post. Today i am going to tell you about Simple Past Tense.

Here we go

Simple Past Tense

The simple past tense is sometimes called the preterit tense. We can use several tenses to talk about the past, but the simple past tense is the one we use most often. In this lesson we look at the structure and use of the simple past tense.

How do we make the Simple Past Tense?

To make the simple past tense, we use:

past form only or auxiliary did + base form

Here you can see examples of the past form and base form for irregular verbs and regular verbs:

simple past tense

The structure for positive sentences in the simple past tense is:

subject + main verb (past)

The structure for negative sentences in the simple past tense is:

subject + auxiliary verb (did) + not + main verb (base)

The structure for question sentences in the simple past tense is:

auxiliary verb (did) + subject + main verb (base)

The auxiliary verb did is not conjugated. It is the same for all persons (I did, you did, he did etc) and the base form and past form do not change. Look at these examples with the main verbs go and work:

Simple Past Tense

Exception! The verb to be is different. We conjugate the verb to be (I was, you were, he/she/it was, we were, they were); and we do not use an auxiliary for negative and question sentences. To make a question, we exchange the subject and verb. Look at these examples:


How do we use the Simple Past Tense?

We use the simple past tense to talk about an action or a situation—an event—in the past. The event
can be short or long. Here are some short events with the simple past tense:

The car exploded at 9.30 am yesterday.
She went to the door.

Here are some long events with the simple past tense:

I lived in Bangkok for 10 years.
The Jurassic period lasted about 62 million years.

Notice that it does not matter how long ago the event is: it can be a few minutes or seconds in the past, or millions of years in the past. Also it does not matter how long the event is. It can be a few milliseconds (car explosion) or millions of years (Jurassic period). We use the simple past tense when:
  • the event is in the past
  • the event is completely finished
  • we say (or understand) the time and/or place of the event

In general, if we say the time or place of the event, we must use the simple past tense; we cannot use the present perfect.

Here are some more examples:

I lived in that house when I was young.
He didn't like the movie.
What did you eat for dinner?
John drove to London on Monday.
Mary did not go to work yesterday.

Note that when we tell a story, we usually use the simple past tense. We may use the past continuous tense to "set the scene", but we almost always use the simple past tense for the action. Look at this example of the beginning of a story:

"The wind was howling around the hotel and the rain was pouring down. It was cold. The door opened and James Bond entered. He took off his coat, which was very wet, and ordered a drink at the bar. He sat down in the corner of the lounge and quietly drank his..."

This post shows the use of the simple past tense to talk about past events. But note that there are some other uses for the simple past tense, for example in conditional or if sentences.


Okay that's all for today. See you on the next post

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