♔ THE PAST SIMPLE

key_small 1. THE FORM:

 

In English the verbs can be either REGULAR or IRREGULAR.

Example of a Regular Verb : TO WORK

 

AFFIRMATIVENEGATIVEQUESTION
I WORKED I DIDN'T WORK DID I WORK ?
YOU WORKED YOU DIDN'T WORK DID YOU WORK ?
HE WORKED HE DIDN'T WORK DID HE WORK ?
SHE WORKED SHE DIDN'T WORK DID SHE WORK ?
IT WORKED IT DIDN'T WORK DID IT WORK ?
WE WORKED WE DIDN'T WORK DID WE WORK ?
YOU WORKED YOU DIDN'T WORK DID YOU WORK ?
THEY WORKED THEY DIDN'T WORK DID THEY WORK ?

 

If the verb is irregular, all you have to do is learn the list by heart.

Example with an Irregular Verb : TO BEGIN

The form doesn't change : To Begin, I began.

 

AFFIRMATIVENEGATIVEQUESTION
I BEGAN I DIDN'T BEGIN DID I BEGIN ?
YOU BEGAN YOU DIDN'T BEGIN DID YOU BEGIN ?
HE BEGAN HE DIDN'T BEGIN DID HE BEGIN ?
SHE BEGAN SHE DIDN'T BEGIN DID SHE BEGIN ?
IT BEGAN IT DIDN'T BEGIN DID IT BEGIN ?
WE BEGAN WE DIDN'T BEGIN DID WE BEGIN ?
YOU BEGAN YOU DIDN'T BEGIN DID YOU BEGIN ?
THEY BEGAN THEY DIDN'T BEGIN DID THEY BEGIN ?

 

2. THE SPELLING RULES for Regular Verbs:

 

Verbs ending in e, just add -d:

I live - I lived

I dance - I danced

 

Verbs ending in consonant + y, just change y to I, then add -ed.

I try - I tried

I cry - I cried

 

Verbs of one vowel + one consonant (but not w or y),  just double the consonant, then add -ed.

I stop - I stopped

I commit - I committed

 

For all the other verbs, just add -ed.

I walk - I walked

I talk - I talked

 

3. THE USES

 

We use the Past Simple for single complete events in past time. We often use it with time expressions like yesterday, at 9 o’clock, When?, in 2005 etc:

I went to the cinema yesterday evening.

She worked until 9 o’clock last night.

When did you last go to the dentist?

 

We use the Past Simple to tell a story in past time:

We left our house very early on Saturday morning and drove to the beach.  The children were excited and they wanted to stop somewhere along the way to buy some games. So we decided to stop in the nearest village….

 

We also use the Past Simple to talk about repeated events, or habits in the past:

When I was young, I always walked to school.

 

We also use the Past Simple for complete events, even when they continued for a long time:

The teacher: How long did the First World War last?

The pupil: It lasted about 5 years, I think.

My brother lived in London for 6 years. Then he went to live in Maidstone.

 

 

After reading this lesson you may want to do some exercises, then click HERE.

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