Learn English | A new lesson every week
Book your course now

Past Simple Tense

Average: 3.8 (540 votes)


'Sandra picked an apple.'

The past simple tense is, of course, used to talk about things which have happened in the past. Here are a few points for you to review and rememeber

Past Simple is used to describe events which happened in the past.

Usually, these verbs end with –ed:

Play → Played = ‘Ringo played drums in The Beatles.’

Open → Opened = ‘I opened the window when it became too warm.’

Watch → Watched = ‘Michael watched Star Wars twice yesterday.’

However, English has many irregular verbs where the past tense does not take the –ed form. There is no reason why, or special rule, so you will just have to remember them when and as you find them.  Here are some examples:

Go → Went = ‘Simon went to the bank yesterday.’

See → Saw = ‘He saw Madonna in concert last week.’

Take → Took = ‘Sam took her time to answer.’

Using did for questions about the past

We use did to ask questions about  the past.

Did  + noun/pronoun + infinitive:

Did you eat breakfast today?

Did Victoria leave?

Did they take the train?

Using did/didn’t to answer questions

Did is the past tense of 'do'. Didn’t means 'did not'.

We can give positive and negative answers using did:

Did you eat breakfast today?
→ No, I didn’t (eat breakfast).

→ Yes, I did (eat breakfast).

Using didn't to make negative statements 

Here are a few examples of how we can use didn't to make negative statements:

'We didn't take a camera on holiday.'

'I didn't do anything over the weekend. I just stayed at home'.

'Elvis didn't sing that song. Buddy holly did.'

Now choose the correct words to these sentences below:

  • Jenny ___ you in the park.

  • ___ you watch the game yesterday?

  • I ___ up at 7 this morning.

  • For years, Einstein ___ in an office.

  • Did you ___ the window?

  • The bride ___ a white dress.

  • She didn't ___ me my name.