Past simple

The simple past is used to talk about things that happened or existed before now.

Notes

We use the simple past with words like yesterday, ago and the other day.

Learn FREE with videos and interactive exercises

Past simple - Video

WATCH THE VIDEO AND REPEAT:

"WHAT DID YOU DO YESTERDAY? I PLAYED TENNIS.

WHAT DID YOU DO AFTER THAT? I STUDIED GEOGRAPHY.

WERE YOU TIRED? YES, I WAS. BUT I LIKE GEOGRAPHY!

LAST YEAR I TRAVELLED TO MEXICO AND I DIDN’T GET LOST."

Past simple - Affirmative form

We make the past simple by adding ED to the base form of a verb:

I PLAYED

YOU PLAYED

HE/SHE/IT PLAYED

WE PLAYED

YOU PLAYED

THEY PLAYED

Watch out!

If a verb ends in E, we add D:

  • Live → Lived

If a verb ends with a consonant + Y, Y becomes I and we add ED:

  • Cry → Cried

If a verb ends with a vowel and a consonant, we double the consonant and add ED:

  • Travel → Travelled

 

Download the worksheet below and practise!

Past simple - Interrogative form

We use DID to make questions. Follow this structure: DID + PERSONAL PRONOUN + VERB (base form)

DIDPERSONAL PRONOUNVERB
DIDIPLAY ?
DIDYOUPLAY ?
DIDHE/SHE/ITPLAY ?
DIDWEPLAY ?
DIDYOUPLAY ?
DIDTHEYPLAY ?

 

Download the worksheet below and practise!

Past simple - Negative form

We use DID to make negatives and then we add NOT. Follow this structure: PERSONAL PRONOUN + DID NOT/DIDN'T + VERB (base form)

Long formContracted form
I DID NOT PLAYI DIDN'T PLAY
YOU DID NOT PLAYYOU DIDN'T PLAY
HE/SHE/IT DID NOT PLAYHE/SHE/IT DIDN'T PLAY
WE DID NOT PLAYWE DIDN'T PLAY
YOU DID NOT PLAYYOU DIDN'T PLAY
THEY DID NOT PLAYTHEY DIDN'T PLAY

 

Download the worksheet below and test yourself!

TO BE

The verb TO BE is an irregular verb. Look at the table:

AFFIRMATIVE FORMNEGATIVE FORMINTERROGATIVE FORM
I WASI WAS NOT | I WASN'TWAS I ?
YOU WEREYOU WERE NOT | YOU WEREN'TWERE YOU ?
HE/SHE/IT WASHE/SHE/IT WAS NOT | HE/SHE/IT WASN'TWAS HE/SHE/IT ?
WE WEREWE WERE NOT | WE WEREN'TWERE WE ?
YOU WEREYOU WERE NOT | YOU WEREN'TWERE YOU ?
THEY WERETHEY WERE NOT | THEY WEREN'TWERE THEY ?

 

Let's see if you know the past simple of the verb TO BE! Download the worksheet below:

TO HAVE

The verb TO HAVE is an irregular verb too. Look at the table:

AFFIRMATIVE FORMNEGATIVE FORMINTERROGATIVE FORM
I HADI HAD NOT | I HADN'THAD I ?
YOU HADYOU HAD NOT | YOU HADN'THAD YOU ?
HE/SHE/IT HADHE/SHE/IT HAD NOT | HE/SHE/IT HADN'THAD HE/SHE/IT ?
WE HADWE HAD NOT | WE HADN'THAD WE ?
YOU HADYOU HAD NOT | YOU HADN'THAD YOU ?
THEY HADTHEY HAD NOT | THEY HADN'THAD THEY ?

 

Let's see if you know the past simple of the verb TO HAVE! Download the worksheet below: