How to use simple past tense?

How to use SIMPLE PAST TENSE?

In this lesson, we will learn all about the rules, usages, and practise a conversation related to simple past tense. Enjoy learning!

Watch a video of past tense for more clarity. 

RULES

TO BE VERB

  • POSITIVE: SUB + WAS/WERE + OBJECT
  • NEGATIVE: SUB + WAS/WERE + NOT + OBJECT
  • INTERROGATIVE: WAS/WERE + SUB + OBJECT?

Positive Negative Negative short form Yes / No Questions
I was I was not I wasn’t Was I?
You were You were not You weren’t Were you?
He was He was not He wasn’t Was he?
She was She was not She wasn’t Was she?
It was It was not It wasn’t Was it?
We were We were not We weren’t Were we?
They were They were not They weren’t Were they?

TO HAVE

  • POSITIVE: SUB + HAD (2ND FORM OF HAVE) + OBJECT
  • NEGATIVE: SUB + DID NOT + HAVE + OBJECT
  • INTERROGATIVE: DID + SUB + HAVE + OBJECT?

Positive (TO HAVE) Negative (to have) Negative short form Yes / No questions
I had I did not have I didn’t have Did I have?
You had You did not have You didn’t have Did you have?
He had He did not have He didn’t have Did he have?
She had She did not have She didn’t have Did she have?
It had It did not have It didn’t have Did it have?
We had We did not have We didn’t have Did we have?
They had They did not have They didn’t have Did they have?

TO DO (ACTION VERBS)

  • POSITIVE: SUB + VERB 1/VERB 1 (S/ES) + OBJECT
  • NEGATIVE: SUB + DO NOT/DOES NOT + VERB 1/VERB 1 (S/ES) + OBJECT
  • INTERROGATIVE: DO /DOES + SUB + VERB 1/VERB 1 (S/ES) + OBJECT?

Positive (of ‘play’) Negative (of ‘play’) Negative short form Yes / No questions
I played I did not play. I didn’t play. Did I play?
You played You did not play. You didn’t play. Did you play?
He played He did not play. He didn’t play. Did he play?
She played She id not play. She didn’t play. Did she play?
It plays It did not play. It didn’t play. Did it play?
We play We did not play. We didn’t play. Did we play?
They play They did not play. They didn’t play. Did they play?

Simple Past Tense Usages

Usage1

It refers to actions or events completed in the past. It often occurs with adverbs or adverb phrases of the past time, like yesterday, last night, yesterday morning. For example –

  • Last night, we all watched Big Boss.
  • Three days back, I went to the market for shopping.
  • I stayed up last night.
  • Did you complete your assignment yesterday?
  • He did not bring ice-cream for me.
  • He drew a beautiful painting for me, on my birthday.

Usage 2

Habitual action by ‘used to’ –

  • We used to splash in the puddles while returning home from school.
  • We used to listen to music in free time.
  • She used to get annoyed easily when she was going through a hard time.
  • Earlier, fruits and vegetables used to be fresh as well as pure.
  • I used to live in a joint family before my marriage.
  • Did you use to study hard when you were a student?

Usage 3

To indicate a situation that existed over a period of time in the past. For example –

  • She never vented out her frustration on anyone, when she was severely ill.
  • He flew the kite on Raksha-Bandhan.
  • Terrorists executed Pulwama attack and killed around 40 CRPF personnel, on 14 Feb. 2019.
  • Apex court banned Instant Triple-Talaq.
  • Last Diwali, no one burst crackers.
  • They planted saplings on World Environment Day.

CONVERSATION ON PAST TENSE 

SIMPLE PAST TENSE

Sam- Where did you go yesterday? You did not tell me even!

Sarah- I went to get married (Sarcastic), so I did not tell you. What if you ruined my marriage!

Sam- Hahaha! You got married! Whose life did you ruin? Who dared to marry you? I really want to say thanks to that guy. He showed courage to invite troubles, indeed.

Sarah- Everybody was not born coward like you and I did not ruin anyone’s life. I simply did not want to tell you that where was I. So I lied.

Sam- I knew it, you did not ruin anyone’s life except your brother and that is me. 

Sarah- Actually I attended one party last evening. There I met your friend Manish. He told me about the accident you did, last month. This morning, I narrated the incident in front of our parents and they were really furious. 

Sam- You did so, But why? What did mom say after knowing that?

Sarah- She did not say much but seemed very disappointed. So now go and face the music.

Learn more of present simple tense, present perfect tense, present perfect continuous tense.

 

What is the rule of simple past tense?

The main rule is that for every verb in English, there is only one form of it in the past tense

Why do we use past simple?

The simple past  is a verb tense which is used to show that a completed action took place at a specific time in the past

How do you make a past tense question?

We make past tense questions by using “question word + did”. Use “did” with every subject when making past tense questions.

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