Examples of Simple Past Tense | Simple Past Tense and it’s uses

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He met his wife 6 years ago.

I graduated from the university

They watched a movie yesterday

You went to the bed early.

She studied in the library.

They had dinner last night.

He felt sad yesterday.

We made a cake for you.

The police found some clues.

I became a teacher two years ago.


He didn’t meet her.

I didn’t graduate.

They didn’t watch a movie.

You didn’t go to the bed early.

She didn’t study in the library.

They didn’t have dinner.

The police didn’t find any clues

I didn’t become a teacher.

He didn’t feel sad yesterday.

We didn’t make a cake for you


Did he feel sad yesterday ?
Did they watch a movie?
Did he meet her?
Did she study in the library?
Did the police find any clues?
Did we make a cake for you?
Did you go to the bed early?
Did they have dinner last night ?
Did I graduate?
Did I become a teacher?

Q. Complete the sentences with the verbs in simple past form:

  1. Last year I _______ to England. (go/ neg)
  2. I __________ Adam and her sister two days ago. (meet)
  3. It __________ a fantastic concert. ( be)
  4. My husband and I __________ lots of interesting places. (visit)
  5. In the morning we __________ on the street. (walk)
  6. It __________ a lot yesterday. (rain )
  7. Ben __________ in Russia when he was a child. (live)
  8. We __________ beautiful places. ( see )
  9. They __________ the store at 8:00. (open)
  10. My mother’s cousin __________ many problems. ( have/ neg)
  11. Ryan __________ a fish on Saturday. (catch)
  12. Tony __________ serious. It was a joke. ( be / neg)
  13. Ana and I __________ the color. ( like)
  14. We __________ basketball last week. (play)
  15. The boy __________ to play, but he couldn’t. (want)
  16. It was difficult, but they __________ the competition. (win)
  17. You __________ awful after work. (look)
  18. Timothy and his wife __________ something strange. (hear)
  19. I __________ you. (believe)
  20. We __________ number one! (be )
  21. My brother __________ a nice car last week. (buy)
  22. We all __________ to the party last night. (go)
  23. I __________ the e-mail you __________ earlier. (check/ send)
  24. Our neighbor __________ to Australia for good. (move)
  25. The students __________ a test in the morning. ( have)
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  1. didn’t go
  2. met
  3. was
  4. visited
  5. walked
  6. rained
  7. lived
  8. saw
  9. opened
  10. didn’t have
  11. caught
  12. wasn’t
  13. liked
  14. played
  15. wanted
  16. Won
  17. looked
  18. heard
  19. believed
  20. were
  21. bought
  22. went
  23. checked/ sent
  24. moved
  25. had

What is Simple Past Tense ?

The Past Simple Tense refers to actions completed before the present. The process of performing an action in the Simple Past is irrelevant. It is important that the action was performed in the past. It could have happened in the distant past or long ago.

Let’s learn the Simple Past Tense, one of the most commonly used tenses in spoken English. Here are the points you need to be aware of.

Use the Simple Past Tense

Last week, I saw a movie.

  • The Simple Past describes several actions that were performed in the past.

After finishing work, I went to the beach with my friends.

  • The Simple Past describes a process that began and ended in the past. This describes a long process that is described by defining time periods, such as “the whole year” or “all day”.

I was born in Italy and lived there for five years.

  • You can also use the Simple Past in sentences to describe past habits. These sentences serve the same purpose that the expression “used to”. This type of sentence should clearly state that the action being referred to is a routine. This can be underlined using time expressions such as always, often, usually, and never

As a young man, I played football a lot.

How to form Simple Past Tense

past simple tense

Simple Past: Affirmative sentences

The word order in affirmative sentences is subject + verb. The form of the verb is simple past for all subjects, except for ‘to be’ – was/were.

Subject + past simple + object

Take, for example:

Yesterday, I played football.

Last week, he saw his family.

In June, I was in France.

Simple Past: Negative sentences

We use the auxiliary “did not” / “didn’t” and the base verb to make negative sentences in simple past.

Subject + did not + base verb form + object

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Take, for example:

Yesterday, I didn’t play football.

The couple didn’t attend the theater last month.

He didn’t get there on time.

Questions from the Simple Past

In the simple past, we use “did” in front of the subject.

Did + subject + base verb + object

Take, for example:

Did your family play football yesterday?

Did they lose?

Was he able to clean his house last weekend?

Regular and irregular verbs

We add -ed to regular verbs to convert them from their base forms to the simple past form. The simple past form of irregular verbs is not the same as regular verbs. It can be very different and may vary greatly. You just need to know them. There are many irregular verbs but below you can find the most common ones that you need to know for daily use.

Regular verb examples

  • Place –
  • dance – danced
  • plan – planned
  • Stop – stop
  • Fix – Fixed
  • Snow – snowed
  • Rain – it rained
  • Need – Required
  • Help –
  • Add – additional
  • Worry – Be worried
  • Play – played

These examples show that we add -ed to most regular verbs. We simply add ‘d to any verb that ends in “e”. When the verb ends with “e”, we simply change the consonant to “y” and add ‘ed.

Irregular verb examples

  • Be – Was/Were
  • Buy – Purchase
  • Come – were
  • do – did
  • Eat – ate
  • Find – Found
  • go – went
  • Have – Had
  • Leave – Left
  • Make – Made
  • Pay – Paid
  • See – saw
  • Take – took
  • Tell – Told
  • Write – wrote

You can learn the simple past to describe your professional and personal lives. This fun quiz will help you to practice it.

USE 1 Completed Activity in the Past

The simple past is used to convey the idea that an act started or ended at a particular time in the past. Sometimes the speaker might not mention the exact time but have one in mind.

Here are some examples:

  • Yesterday, I saw a film.
  • Yesterday was the last time I saw a play.
  • Last year, I went to Japan.
  • Last year, I did not travel to Korea.
  • Last night, did you eat dinner?
  • She washed her car.
  • He didn’t wash the car.

USE 2 A series of completed actions

To list a set of completed actions from the past, we use the simple past. These actions occur 1st through 4th.

Here are some examples:

  • After finishing work, I walked to the shore and found a good spot to swim.
  • He arrived at the airport at 8:20, checked in at the hotel at 9:00, and met his fellow passengers at 10:00.
  • Did you mix flour with milk and then add the eggs to it?
See also  Feelings word List a-z | Feeling Words and Emotion Words in English

USE 3 Time in the Past

A simple past can be combined with a duration that starts and ends in the past. A duration is a longer action, often expressed as “for two years”, “for five minutes”, etc.

Here are some examples:

  • Two years I lived in Brazil.
  • Shauna studied Japanese five years.
  • They spent the entire day at the beach.
  • They didn’t stay for the whole party.
  • We spoke on the phone for 30 minutes.
  • A: How long have you waited for them?
    B: We waited one hour.

Use 4 Habits from the Past

A habit that has ended in the past can also be described by the simple past. It can have the same meaning as “used to.” We often use expressions like: always, often and usually, sometimes, rarely, never, when i was younger, etc. to make it clear that we’re talking about a habit.

Here are some examples:

  • When I was a kid, I learned French.
  • He played the violin.
  • He did not play the piano.
  • Do you remember playing a musical instrument as a child?
  • After school, she worked in the movie theatre.
  • They didn’t go to school and they skipped classes.

Important: When-Clauses Are First

Clauses are groups or words that have meaning, but are not always complete sentences. Some clauses start with the word “when”, such as “when did I drop my pen …”” or “when class started …””. These clauses are known as when-clauses and are extremely important. These examples contain when-clauses.

Here are some examples:

  • When I paid him two dollar, he answered my question.
  • He answered my question when I paid him two dollar.

Because both clauses are in simple past, when-clauses are crucial because they occur first. Both the above examples mean the same thing. First, I paid her $1 and then she answered my question. It doesn’t matter if “when she paid me one dollar” is at either the beginning or end of the sentence. The example below however has a different meaning. She answered my question first, then I paid her $1.


  • I paid him two dollar when he answered my question.


These examples show how to place grammar adverbs like: always, only; never, ever; still, just; etc.

Here are some examples:

  • You just called Divyani ?
  • Did you just call Divyani ?


Here are some examples:

  • Jerry fixed the car. Active
  • The car was fixed by Jerry. Passive

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