Past Simple Tense With e Example Sentences

Past Simple

Hello everyone! This time we are looking at Past Simple.

Past Simple is formed by adding ed to the end of verbs. It is used to talk about something that is finished in the past and to tell a story in chronological order, when each event is finished before the next begins. We usually use words indicating time, such as yesterday, last night and six months ago with Past Simple.

1. SOMETHING FINISHED IN THE PAST

Example:

Farooq played piano yesterday.

How to form Past Simple statements, questions and negatives

I played piano yesterday.

Did I play piano yesterday?

I didn’t play piano yesterday.

You played piano yesterday.

Did you play piano yesterday?

You didn’t play piano yesterday.

He/She/It played piano yesterday.

Did he play piano yesterday?
He didn’t play piano yesterday.

We played piano yesterday.

Did we play piano yesterday?

We didn’t play piano yesterday.

They played piano yesterday.

Did they play piano yesterday?

They didn’t play piano yesterday.

Notice that only positive statements have an ed added to the end of the verb. To form a question, use did, which puts the question into the past so there is no ed on the end of the verb. To form a negative, use didn’t and again there is no ed on the end of the verb.

The other thing to notice is that there are a lot of irregular verbs in English (verbs that are not put into the past by adding ed) e.g. swim becomes swam in the past, not swimmed. Other verbs like this are make – made, stand – stood, drive – drove, ride – rode, write – wrote, buy – bought, teach – taught, read – read, cut – cut, put – put, go – went, sing – sang, get – got, have – had and many others! You need to memorize these verbs!

2. EVENTS TOLD IN CHRONOLIGICAL ORDER

Example,

Emma stood up, walked across the room and opened the window. (1st she stood up, 2nd she walked across the room and 3rd she opened the window).

PAST SIMPLE VERSUS USED TO

Past Simple is used to talk about an action that only happened once in the past e.g. He crashed his car two weeks ago, as well as past habits e.g. He played football every Saturday when he was young. To talk about past habits, we can also useused to e.g. He used to play football every Saturday when he was young.

Notice, you can’t use used to to talk about something that happened only once, so he used to crash his car two weeks ago is WRONG!

Used to in statements, questions and negatives :-

I used to play piano.
Did I use to play piano?
I didn’t use to play piano.

You used to play piano.
Did you use to play piano?
You didn’t use to play piano.

He/She/It used to play piano.
Did he use to play golf?
He didn’t use to play golf.

We used to play piano.
Did we use to play piano?
We didn’t use to play piano.

They used to play piano.
Did they use to play piano?
They didn’t use to play piano.

Notice that used to ends in d for positive statements but there is no d on use to for questions or negatives. The verb following used to or use to is always infinitive.

That’s all for now! Test your knowledge on Past Simple versus Used to in Grammar Quiz !

Grammar Quiz

Test your knowledge of Past Simple and Used to. Circle the correct answer, A or B.

1.

A. Tom cooks dinner last night.

B. Tom cooked dinner last night.

2.

A. Did he cook hamburgers?

B. Did he cooked hamburgers?

3.

A. No, he didn’t cooked hamburgers.

B. No, he didn’t cook hamburgers.

4.

A. I standed in the queue for half an hour!

B. I stood in the queue for half an hour!

5.

A. I wrote a letter to my grandmother.

B I writed a letter to my grandmother.

6.

A. I used to watched T.V. for hours every night.

B. I used to watch T.V. for hours every night.

7.

A. I used to go to the cinema every Friday when I was young.

B. I use to went to the cinema every Friday when I was young.

8.

A. Did you use to smoke?

B. Did you used to smoke?

9.

A. Susan didn’t used to ride her horse every weekend.

B. Susan didn’t use to ride her horse every weekend.

10

A. He used to save the boy from the burning building.

B. He saved the boy from the burning building.

Answers: 1.B, 2.A, 3.B, 4.B, 5.A, 6.B, 7.A, 8.A, 9.B, 10.B

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