• English grammar
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  • 1 English alphabet
  • 2 English pronunciation and phonetics [0/3]
  • 3 English articles [0/9]
  • 4 English pronouns [0/39]
  • 4.1 English personal pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.2 English impersonal pronouns (it, there, ...) [0/4]
  • 4.3 English object pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.4 English possessive pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.5 English reflexive pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.6 English reciprocal pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.7 English demonstrative pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.8 English relative pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.9 English indefinite pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.10 English interrogative pronouns [0/4]
  • 5 English nouns [0/16]
  • 6 English adjectives [0/38]
  • 6.1 Adjectives of quality in English [0/4]
  • 6.2 Demonstrative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.4 Quantity adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.5 Interrogative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in English [0/8]
  • 6.7 Comparatives and superlatives [0/10]
  • 7 English adverbs [0/18]
  • 7.1 Position of adverbs in English [0/2]
  • 7.2 Adverbs of manner in English [0/2]
  • 7.3 Adverbs of place in English [0/2]
  • 7.4 Adverbs of time in English [0/2]
  • 7.5 Adverbs of quantity in English [0/2]
  • 7.6 Adverbs of frequency in English [0/2]
  • 7.7 Adverbs of degree in English [0/2]
  • 7.8 Adverbs of probability and certainty in English [0/2]
  • 7.9 Adverbs of opinion and observation in English [0/2]
  • 8 English prepositions [0/12]
  • 9 English verbs [0/122]
  • 9.1 Present tenses in English [0/29]
  • Fill in the correct present tense in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise about all present tenses in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Mixed present tenses exercise in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Practice all the English present tenses (Score -/-)Free
  • 9.1.1 Present simple tense in English [0/5]
  • 9.1.2 Present continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.3 Present simple vs present continuous in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.4 Present perfect tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.5 Present perfect continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.6 Difference past simple and present perfect in English [0/4]
  • 9.2 Past tenses in English [0/20]
  • 9.3 Future tenses in English [0/21]
  • 9.4 Auxiliary verbs in English [0/9]
  • 9.5 Present participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.6 Past participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.7 Modal verbs in English [0/11]
  • 9.8 Phrasal verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.9 Regular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.10 Irregular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.11 Gerund (-ing form) in English [0/8]
  • 9.12 Infinitive verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.13 Imperative in English [0/2]
  • 9.14 Reported speech in English [0/2]
  • 9.15 Active and passive voice in English [0/2]
  • 10 English conditionals [0/20]
  • This chapter will discuss the past simple tense in English. This tense is used for describing a completed action that took place in the past. 

    How to form the past simple tense

    How the past simple tense is formed, depends on whether the sentence is:

    1. Affirmative: expresses the truth of a certain assertion.
    2. Negative: expresses the falsity of a certain assertion. 
    3. Interrogative: expresses a question.

    1. Affirmatives

    Structure: subject + conjugated verb + rest of the sentence

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    Examples:

    • He visited his grandmother.
    • We played soccer last week.
    • They saw the movie yesterday.

    2. Negatives

    Structure: subject + negative auxiliary (did not) + infinitive verb + rest of the sentence.

    The table below shows how the negative auxiliary is formed for every subject.

    Subject Negative auxiliary
    I did not
    You (singular) did not
    He / she / it did not
    We did not
    You (plural) did not
    They did not

    Examples:

    • He did not visit his grandmother. 
    • We did not play soccer last week.
    • They did not see the movie yesterday.

    3. Interrogatives

    Structure: Did + subject + infinitive verb + rest of the sentence + question mark

    Examples:

    • Did he visit his grandmother?
    • Did we play soccer last week?
    • Did they see the movie yesterday?

    Usage of the past simple tense

    Use Example
    Temporary frequency
    • I often walked home after school.
    • She sometimes brought her laptop with her.  
    Definite point in time
    • Last week I drove from Barcelona to Valencia.
    • Yesterday I woke up at 7 o'clock. 
    Indefinite point in time
    • He played soccer when he was a child.
    • I went to the supermarket the other day. 

    enlightenedYou can recognize the use of the past simple tense when the sentence contains words as:

    • Often
    • Sometimes
    • Always
    • Last week
    • Yesterday
    • Last month
    • The other day
    • Ages ago
    • A long time ago
    • in 2000 / 2001 / 2002

    Conjugation of the simple past

    The English verbs can be split up into regular and irregular verbs. These are both conjugated differently. 

    Regular verbs in past simple

    The simple past of the English regular verbs are formed by adding '-ed' to the infinitive of the verb.

    Rule: infinitive verb + ed

    Subject to watch to walk
    I watched walked
    You (singular) watched walked
    He / she / it watched walked
    We watched walked
    You (plural) watched walked
    They watched walked

    Irregular verbs in past simple

    The table below shows the conjugation of the past simple of irregular verbs 'to swim', 'to feel', 'to have' and 'to be'.

    Subject to swim to feel to have to be
    I swam felt had was
    You swam felt had were
    He / she / it swam felt had was
    We swam felt had were
    You  swam felt had were
    They swam felt had were

    Train your skills by doing the exercises below.