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Past simple


Introduction

The past simple tense is used to talk about:
We can say when or for how long these actions happened.

Examples:

Part 1 - Past simple positive

Regular past simple verbs take "–ed".

For example:
I
You
He / She / It
We
They
walked to the office.
played tennis.
laughed.
washed the car.
(worry =) worried all day.

Irregular past simple verbs are different and must be learnt!

For example:
I
You
He / She / It
We
They
fell off the wall.
forgot the keys.
left work early.
bought some new clothes.

Some common irregular verbs:

Past simple
I
You
He / She / It
We
They
did do
got get
went go
had have
heard hear
knew know
left leave
made make
said say
saw see
told tell
won win

Practice

  • My mother shopping yesterday. (go)
     
  • We in an apartment in Thailand. (stay)
     
  • Bob to the meeting by train. (travel)
     
  • I the news on the radio. (hear)
     

Part 2 - Past simple negative

To make a negative sentence we use
"didn't (did not)" + the infinitive of the main verb (without "to")


For example:
I
You
He / She / It
We
They
didn't buy any new shoes.
go to work yesterday.
play badminton last night.

Practice

  • Sarah the competition. (win)
     
  • We soup for dinner last night. (have)
     
  • They about the accident. (know)
     
  • I help with the project. (need)
     

Part 3 - Past Simple Questions

To make a question we use
"did" + the infinitive of the main verb (without "to")

Remember to put "did" before the subject: "Did you", "Did he"

Did you ask her to the party? Yes, I did. / No, I didn't (did not).
Did he visit the office yesterday? Yes, he did. / No, he didn't (did not).
Did they buy a new house? Yes, they did. / No, they didn't (did not).

Practice

  • you the quiz? (complete)
     
  • he you? (phone)
     
  • they your friends? (meet)
     
  • the film late? (finish)
     

Further practice



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Video lessons - 10 additional video lessons including English for finance, strategy, M&A, job interviews
 
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Dictation - business English exercises