Easy Learning

The past simple tense - Easy Learning Grammar

Typical forms of this tense are as in:
  • I met her.
  • She met him.
  • I went there.
  • She went there.
Because the past simple consists of one word only, the past simple tense of do, which is did, is used as the supporting auxiliary when you want to:
  • ask a question,
  • Did I meet him?
  • Did she meet him?
  • Did I go there?
  • Did it go there?
  • make a negative statement using not,
  • I did not meet her.
  • He did not meet her.
  • I did not go there.
  • He did not go there.
  • or make a response.
  • Did you see Jenny yesterday? – No, I didn’t.
  • Did Penny phone you? – Yes, she did.
We use the past simple tense to talk about:
  • single actions in the past.
  • He locked the door and left the house.
  • I went out and brought the cat back in again.
  • habitual actions in the past, often with always, never, or often.
  • In those days I always went to Juliano’s for lunch.
  • I cycled in every day and that soon made me fit.
  • I often visited Glasgow on business when I was in publishing.
  • past actions where a definite time is mentioned. It is often used with a time expression such as ago or last month, when the action is seen as finished.
  • Some time ago now, I went to America for a month.
  • Once upon a time there was a king in a faraway land.
  • I saw Roger a little while back.
  • I bought the microwave a year ago.
  • points where the main action is broken. The rest of the sentence uses the past continuous tense to describe the past activity or action.
  • I was clearing out the garage when a car came down the drive.
  • We were leaving the house when the phone rang.

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