The Simple Past Tense
The simple past tense is used for actions that started and finished at a specific time in the past. When using such verbs in sentences, it is not necessary to specify the tense. However, it should be understood that the past is mentioned in the sentence.
- We finished our project last week.
- Max came back home.
It is used to describe several completed actions in a sentence, one after the other.
- I went for a walk, fed the birds in the park, and grabbed a coffee at my favorite coffee shop.
It is used to describe a process that started and ended in the past. In this usage, the duration of the action is long and it is used by specifying times such as all year, all day.
- Children jumped on the trampoline all day long.
It can also be used in sentences for past habits. These types of sentences have the same purpose as ‘used to’. It should be understood in the sentence that the mentioned action is a habit. Time expressions such as “always”, “often”, “usually”, “never” can be used to reinforce this meaning.
- I joined a hiking club until I was 24.
Simple Past Tense Positive Sentences
While the simple past tense is used in a positive sentence, the second form of the verb is used after the subject. In the Simple Past Tense, the second form of the verb does not change according to the subject, except for the verb -to be. Verb to be, ‘am’ and ‘is’ turn to ‘was’ and ‘are’ turns to ‘were’.
Subject + Verb 2nd Form + Complement
- I watched a fantastic movie last night.
- We played volleyball last week.
- They were here yesterday.
Simple Past Tense Negative Sentences
While the simple past tense is used in a negative sentence, the auxiliary verb “did” is used in the form of “did not” or “didn’t” by taking the negative suffix. In simple past tense negative sentences, the verb is used with its 1st form.
Subject + did not + Verb 1st form + Object
- I didn’t have my lunch.
- He didn’t clean his room.
- They didn’t read this book.
Simple Past Tense Question Sentences
When forming a question sentence with the simple past tense, the auxiliary verb of the Simple Past Tense, “did”, comes first. The verb should be used in its 1st form as in negative sentences.
Did + Subject + Verb 1st Form + Complement ?
- Did you see the cat behind the tree?
- Were you in the park yesterday?
- Did he do his homework?
Regular and Irregular Verbs
In order to transform regular verbs into their 2nd form in English, these verbs are given the suffix -d, -ed, or -ied in accordance with certain rules. For irregular verbs, these rules are mostly not valid.
Examples of Regular Verbs
- play ⇒ played
- stop ⇒ stopped
- fix ⇒ fixed
- snow ⇒ snowed
- rain ⇒ rained
- need ⇒ needed
- help ⇒ helped
- add ⇒ added
- worry ⇒ worried
- jump ⇒ jumped