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    English The Simple Past Tense

    Beginner English - Level A1

    Overview

    The simple past tense is the one-word past tense of verbs in English. This module looks at regular and irregular verbs in the simple past.

    Vocabulary

    Narrating about a sequence of past events

    Greenville, South Carolina at Falls Park in downtown at night.

    Back to the Course

    English A1

    Regular and Irregular Verbs

    To form the past tense with regular verbs we use the base form of the verb and add the ending “-ed”.

    pasttensereg.verb_

    We cannot use the ending “-ed” with irregular verbs. They follow a different conjugation table.

    Examples:

    eat (ate), begin (began), break (broke), buy (bought), drive (drove), go (went), know (knew), leave (left), make (made)

    ate a hamburger yesterday.
    He drove home last night.
    We went to the game last week.
    She knew him from earlier.
    left after lunch.
    You made a mistake.

    The Verb "to be" 

    To form the past tense of “to be”, we use “was” and “were”.

    Pasttense-1
     

    Examples:
    I was happy.
    You were honest.
    He was funny.

    To form the past tense of “to be” in the negative, we simply add “not”.

    Pasttensenegative
     

    Examples:
    I was not happy.
    You were not honest.
    He was not funny.

    Questions with “was” and “were”:

    Questionswithwasandwere-1
     

    Question: Was I happy?      Answer: Yes, I was.
    Question: Was he honest?  Answer: No, he was not.
    Question: Were they late?  Answer: Yes, they were.

    Simple Past with "do"

    To form a negative, or to ask and answer questions in the Past Tense we need to use “to do” + a verb in the infinitive.

    Negative:

    Didnew


    Questions:

    DID2


    Short Answers:

    ShortAnswers_Did


    Questions with “Wh-” question words: 

    Whpasttensequestions

    Simple Past Negative Examples

    • I didn’t go to school last night.
    • You didn’t understand.
    • She didn’t eat dinner yesterday.
    • He didn’t go to work.
    • We didn’t have fun last night.
    • They didn’t call you.

    Past Simple Question Examples

    • Did you eat dinner?
    • Did he go to work?
    • Did he have lunch?
    • When did they go on vacation?

    Additional Activities

    Review the lesson above and complete additional activities to build your understanding of this topic. For the activities listed below, log in for additional access. It's free.

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