Past simple


The past simple is used to talk about past actions that are not limited in duration. It can be used to describe an action that happened in a second or an action that took place thousands of years ago.

Basic notes about past simple

FORMFormation rule: subject + verb-(e)d OR: subject +past simple form of an irregular verb
Affirmative/positive: I/You/We/They/He/She It finished/studied/did/went
Negative: I/You/We/They/He/She/It did not (didn’t) finish/study/do/go
Interrogative: Did I/you/we/they/he/she/it finish/study/do/go?
USE/FUNCTION1. Actions happened and finished at a definite time in the past explicitly known from the context.
2. Actions that happened and finished at a time in the past are implicitly known from the context.
3. Actions that occupied a period of time in the past are now terminated.
4. Past habits
5. With conditional type 2
EXAMPLES1. I cut the watermelon yesterday.
2. Jannet was born on Independence Day.
3. Alexandra and her husband lived in this apartment for twenty years.
4. I used to go to cafés every morning.
5. If I were you, I would accept the job.
– ………… ago.
– yesterday
– in+month/ year/ season
– on+day


Put the verbs between brackets in the past simple tense (affirmative, negative, and interrogative)

  1.  Last year I (spend) my holiday in Ireland.
  2. It (look) great.
  3. I (travel) around by car with two friends and we (visit) lots of interesting places.
  4. Yesterday evening we (go) to the café.
  5. Last night I( learn) lots of English words.
  6. Last week I (see) her at the beach.
  7. He (answer) the question.
  8. They (call) us.
  9. We (climb) a mountain.
  10. John (collect) stamps.
  11. We (live) in London.
  12. I (feel) hungry.
  13. He (go) to school.
  14. We (have) lunch in an Italian restaurant.
  15. Paul (stay) with Anny.
  16. The teacher (test) our English.
  17. Emmily (leave) the door open.
  18. Jeff and Linda (cycle) home.
  19. You (repair) the car.
  20. He (wear) a blue shirt.

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