Chapter 5-8-5: The Simple Past Tense

Grammar > Using Verbs > Verb Tenses > Simple Past

I studied English last Saturday.

WHEN TO USE IT: The simple past is used to describe an action, an event, or condition that occurred in the past, sometime before the moment of speaking or writing.

POSITIVE FORM: [VERB + “ed”] or irregular verbs (see the irregular verbs table in section 5-6-1 of ESL Radius)

NEGATIVE FORM: [“did”+ “not” + base form of verb]

QUESTION FORM: [ (Wh?) + “did” + subject + base form of verb]

Some keywords often associated with this concept are last night, six months ago, when, yesterday. Each of the highlighted verbs in the following sentences is in the simple past tense and each sentence describes an action taking place at some point in past.

Last night a DJ saved my life.

A flea jumped from the dog to the cat.

Phoebe gripped the hammer tightly and nailed the boards together.

The gem-stones sparkled in a velvet lined display case.

Artemisia Gentilsechi probably died in 1652.

The storyteller began every story by saying "A long time ago when the earth was green."

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Attribution information for this page: Written by Heather MacFadyen with adaptations from englishpage.comPageID: eslid29333Page keywords: