Simple Past Tense

 In Verb Tenses

The simple past tense is used to talk about finished actions in a finished period of time,  for example:

Yesterday evening I took a photograph of the sunset.
Last year I started learning English.
When I was in Italy I ate a lot of pasta.
Five minutes ago I finished my homework.
Last weekend I attended my cousin’s wedding.

But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves!

Verb tenses: simple past tense

What do we understand by verb tenses? They are verbs that indicate the time of an action, condition or event. They are categorized according to the time frame: past tense, present tense, future tense.

Our grammar blog will explore the many forms of tenses within each of these categories, beginning with the past tense. The most common form of the past tense is the simple past tense. It is also called the past simple tense.

simple past tenseSIMPLE PAST TENSE


The simple past tense of regular verbs is formed by adding – ed to the infinitive. The simple past has regular verbs.
For example: “to play”
Simple past:   I played (regular verb)

We played. She danced. He waved.

 Not all simple past verbs end in -ed. Such verbs are called irregular verbs.

Simple Past: I ate (irregular verb)

The irregular verb is a word that does not conform to the usual rule – i.e. adding ‘ed’ or ‘d’ to the root word to describe the past form of a verb. Irregular verbs are very common in English grammar!

Note that the auxiliary “did” is used to form the negative and interrogative forms.

For example:

I waited. I did not wait. I didn’t wait. Did I wait?

Whether you call it Simple Past Tense, or Past Simple, this tense is pretty easy to understand, don’t you agree?

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