SIMPLE PAST TENSE

Simple Past tense is used to express that something happened/took place and was finished at some time in the past. It also indicates that an activity began and ended at particular time in the past. We use the past simple to talk about actions or situations in the past.

For example:

  • Mr. Edward died ten years ago.
  • When I lived in Manchester, I worked in a bank.

Simple Past usually ends in –ed (regular), for example:

  • After we arrived at the gardens we walked down to the Education Centre.
  • She passed the final examination because she studied hard.
  • We invited them to our party last week.

But many simple past are irregular means that the simple past does not end in –ed. For example:

  • We all left the party at 11 o’clock. (leave)
  • Yesterday we went to the Botanical Garden. (go)
  • A lady took us in to a special room. (take)

The past of the verb be (am/is/are) is was/were, as the following examples:

  • It was time for us to go.
  • I was angry because Tom and Jerry were late.

In past simple question and negatives, we use did/did not (didn’t) followed by the infinitive (open/walk/go, etc) but we do not use did with the verb be

Positive Negative Question
We went to the Botanic Garden. We didn’t go to the Botanic Garden. Did we go to the Botanic garden?
They were so angry. They were not so angry. Were they so angry?

 

THE EXERCISES

 

EXERCISE 1

Read carefully the passage below, then, underline the verbs in the simple past tense form.

Postcards always spoil my holidays. Last summer, I went to Italy. I visited museums and sat in public gardens. A friendly waiter taught me a few words of Italian. Then he lent me a book. I read a few lines, but I did not understand a word. Everyday I thought about postcards. My holidays passed quickly, but I did not send any cards to my friends. On the last day I made a big decision. I got up early and bought thirty-seven cards. I spent the whole day in my room, but I did not write a single cards.

(Taken from Practice and Progress, Alexander, L.G, 2000)

 

EXERCISE 2

From the simple past form above, change the sentences into the negative forms.

 

EXERCISE 3

Give the correct form of the verbs in brackets in the passage below. Each verb must tell us what happened.

My friend, Roy, (die) last year. He (leave) me his record player and his collection of gramophone records. Roy (spend) a lot of money on records. He (buy) one or two new records every week. He never (go) to the cinema or to the theatre. He (stay) at home every evening and (listen) to music. He often (lend) records to his friends. Sometimes they (keep) them. He (lose) many records in this way.

 

EXERCISE 4

Now create sentences by using the information provided below. Number one has been done for you. You may add some words to complete the sentence as it becomes correct sentence.

cook my mother yesterday

The sentence: My mother cooked fried rice yesterday

what who when
1. order I and my boyfriend last night
2. send My grandpa a year ago
3. study Jenny last year
4. get accident My uncle yesterday
5. leave My teacher Last week

The sentences:

1)      …………………………………………………………………..

2)      …………………………………………………………………..

3)      ………………………………………………………………….

4)      ………………………………………………………………….

5)      ………………………………………………………………….

 

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