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The past simple tense is used to describe an action or event that started and ended in the past. The simple past is also frequently used to talk about past habits and generalizations.
Form of Past Simple Tense
|Positive||Subject + was/ were + …|
+ (I/ he/ she/ it + was)
+ (They/ we/ you + were)
He was tired yesterday.
We were sick last week.
|Subject + Past simple|
He went shopping last week.
They got up late yesterday.
|Negative||Subject + was/ were + not + …|
Was not = wasn’t
Were not = weren’t
He wasn’t tired yesterday.
We weren’t sick last week.
|Subject + did not + Bare infinitive|
Did not = didn’t
He didn’t go shopping last week.
They didn’t get up late yesterday.
|Question||Were/ was + Subject + …?|
Was he tired yesterday?
Were they sick last week?
|Did + Subject + Bare infinitive?|
Did he go shopping last week?
Past Simple Tense Uses
1. To talk about completed action in the past
Use the simple past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in history. Sometimes, the speaker may not mention a particular time, but they have a specific time in mind.
I went to the “Harry Potter” movie with my boyfriend 4 days ago
I met him last week.
2. To talk about a series of actions completed in the past
We use the simple past to list a series of completed actions in the past. For example, these actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.
I got up, brushed my teeth and then had breakfast.
I finished work, walked to the beach, and found a nice place to swim.
3. To talk about duration in the past
The simple past can be used with a duration that starts and stops in the past. Duration is a more prolonged action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.
He lived in USA for two years.
4. Used in conditional sentences type 2
If you studied hard, you could pass the entrance examination.
Recognition of Past Simple Tense
The sentence contains adverbs indicating frequency such as: Yesterday, last week, last month, last year, last Christmas, in 2017, ago
Lesson: Present Simple Tense
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