The Tenses of The Verbs -4- The Simple Past Tense

The tenses of the past "simple- continuous- perfect.."are so often confused, that it's a good idea to revise the simple past tense first, then in the next lessons I will connect the simple past with the other tenses but remember: if the past activity closely connected to the present ,we use the Present Perfect tense "as in the previous lesson".

                       The simple Past Tense:

    Usage :

 We use the simple past tense to talk about finished actions in the past (they can be short or long actions) ,past habits,repeated activities in the past..:

  - Shakespeare wrote many important plays.

 - He spent his holiday in the mountain.

 -The new company interviewed new employees last Monday.


1- We add -ed or -ied( for some verbs ending -y) to the infinitive of regular verbs :

       - It rained hard last winter.

       -He tried his best to pass the exam.

2- We use the past form of irregular verbs:

   - I wrote a long blog last night .

   - He bought a new black car two weeks ago.

    Time Adverbials :

 We can use the following time adverbials with the simple past tense:

Yesterdayago  , last " month /week/ Friday ../winter ..." ......etc.

   - I finally passed my driving test last week.

   - Two days ago, I visited the National Museum in my city .

  Common mistakes

 Throughout my teaching period I  found that most students made mistakes in writing the simple past tense in questions and answers and in negative sentences too ,so I will focus on these mistakes by examples :

 In questions : We use did and the infinitive form of the main verb,but when we want to answer no need to put did too ,for example:

   - When did they arrive ( arrived)   ? -They arrived three hours ago.

    - How long did he work (  worked ) there? - He worked there for almost five years .

    - Did you watch  ( watched)   the match last night? -Yes ,I did "Yes, I watched it"

 In negatives : we use did not ( didn't) and the infinitive form of the main verb:

     - We didn't see ( saw ) the begining of the film because we were late .

      - She didn't do ( did ) her homework yesterday.

   Important note :

 When we have in the sentence an auxiliary verb like ( was -were - had - could - .......) so ,we can make questions and negatives from these verbs and no need to add did . For examples:

    -I couldn't attend the party last night ,I was busy.

   - The students weren't satisfied by their results.

   - Was She online yesterday?

    Exercise- A-

 Change the infinitives in brackets to the simple past tense:

 1- the players ( be ) tired after the match.

 2-the meeting ( last ) for two hours.

  3-I ( study ) French for three years.

  4- The policemen ( catch) the thief last night.

     Exercise -B-

   1-Give two sentences using the simple past tense in negatives

   2- Give two sentences using the simple past tense in questions.

  Thank you for reading .

  - Hala -








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  • This reply was deleted.
    • Hi Myth ! let me correct some gramatical mistakes in your sentences :




      4>cought  :  caught 


      (-)For last four months, I did not wake up late in the morning. For the last ...

      I was not present at EC on yesterday.(don't put a preposition before the words :yesterday,tomorrow ,today....)


      Who was charlie chaplin ?

      When did they come at your office?  "to"

       Thank you so much Myth !

  • Dear teacher,

    This is my exercises, i make by myself, please correct my mistakes

    Exercise- A-

     Change the infinitives in brackets to the simple past tense:

     1- The players were tired after the match.

     2- The meeting lasted for two hours.

      3-I have studied French for three years.

      4- The policemen catched the thief last night.

         Exercise -B-

       1-Give two sentences using the simple past tense in negatives

    - I wasn't here yesterday.

    - He didn't do it.

       2- Give two sentences using the simple past tense in questions.

    - Did you have nice dream last night? 

    - Was there super market here in 1980?

    Thank you my teacher for read.



    • @ Scarlett:

      3-I studied French for ..." simple past: we can use for in the simple past and the present perfect tense"

      Pay attention to the use of the indifinite aricles "a" with the singulars:

      Did you have a nice dream last night?

      Was there a super market here in 1980?

       Thank you !

    • Dear my teacher Hala and teacher Anele,

      Can I have a question for you about this tense?

      I  got mistake with "for", so can you tell me how can I distinguish which situation I use the simple past and which for present perfect tense? I'm very confused about them. Please help me with my gratitude.

      I'm really expect your answer.

      I wish best wishes for you.


    • @ Scarlett:

      Thank you for the important question,I asked in my exercie to change the infinitive to the simple past tense .This is why your answer is wrong ..let me explain it to you, dear :

      For can be used in both :simple past and present perfect tenses it's up to the sense you want to give to your sentence .

      In the simple past:The period of time we were talking about began and ended in the past and it has no relation to the present :

       She learned English for 3 years  " she didn't learn at present "

      In the present perfect :The period began in the past but has continued to the present :

      She has learned English for 3 years " she is still leaning "

      So ,For can be used in both tenses but be careful ! we use since only in the present perfect and not in the simple past .

       Thank you for asking !


    • Dear my teacher Hala,
      Send to you my greatly thanks. It is very helpful for me, I will notes all to my book.

      I hope you will be happy everyday with my heart. :)

    • Thank you dear Scarlett for the kind wishes !

       I wish you happiness and success too!


  • Hi dear teacher Hala

    Exercise- A-

    Change the infinitives in brackets to the simple past tense:

    1- the players ( were) tired after the match.

    2-the meeting ( lasted ) for two hours.

    3-I ( studyed ) French for three years.

    4- The policemen ( caught) the thief last night.

    Exercise -B-

    1-Give two sentences using the simple past tense in negatives

    1- I did not have a car .

    2- He was not here yesterday .

    2- Give two sentences using the simple past tense in questions

    1- Did you have car ?
    2- did he come yesterday ?


    • Dear Bluerose.............ohh......I have already made and posted the record of performance.  Your entry will no longer be included there.  Nevertheless, I will check your work.

      You got only one mistake for not capitalizing the beginning letter of your question no.2 .

      2- did he come yesterday ?  (Did he come yesterday?)

      The rest of the answers are correct.  Please be very careful next time.


This reply was deleted.