Simple Past Tense: Definition & Useful Examples in English 1

Simple Past Tense: Definition & Useful Examples in English

Simple past in English with simple past examples. Learn the definition, how to form the simple past tense with useful examples and ESL infographics.

Simple Past Tense

Simple Past Definition

In the Simple Past tense, the action is simply mentioned and understood to have taken place in the past. The action started and ended sometime in the past but the time may or may not be mentioned.

Forming Simple Past Tense

Positive Statements | Simple Past

SUBJECTVERB (in past form)REST OF THE SENTENCE
Iplayedcricket yesterday.
Youplayedcricket yesterday.
Heplayedcricket yesterday.
Tomplayedcricket yesterday.
The boyplayedcricket yesterday.
Sheplayedcricket yesterday.
Annaplayedcricket yesterday.
The girlplayedcricket yesterday.
Weplayedcricket yesterday.
Youplayedcricket yesterday.
Theyplayedcricket yesterday.
The childrenplayedcricket yesterday.

For making positive statements in the simple past tense, notice how we use the verb in the past form for all subjects.

Negative Statements | Simple Past

SUBJECTDIDN’T (DID NOT)VERB (in base form)REST OF THE SENTENCE
Ididn’ttalkto John last week.
Youdidn’ttalkto John last week.
Hedidn’ttalkto John last week.
Tomdidn’ttalkto John last week.
The boydidn’ttalkto John last week.
Shedidn’ttalkto John last week.
Annadidn’ttalkto John last week.
The girldidn’ttalkto John last week.
Wedidn’ttalkto John last week.
Youdidn’ttalkto John last week.
Theydidn’ttalkto John last week.
The mendidn’ttalkto John last week.

For making negative statements in the simple past tense, notice how we use ‘didn’t’ or ‘did not’ and the verb in the base form for all subjects.

Interrogative Statements / Questions | Simple Past

How to form the interrogative statements in the simple past:

DIDSUBJECTVERB (in base form)REST OF THE SENTENCE
DidIcompletethe work?
Didyoucompletethe work?
Didhecompletethe work?
DidTomcompletethe work?
Didthe boycompletethe work?
Didshecompletethe work?
DidAnnacompletethe work?
Didthe girlcompletethe work?
Didwecompletethe work?
Didyoucompletethe work?
Didtheycompletethe work?
Didthe mencompletethe work?

For making questions in the simple past tense, notice how we use ‘did’ and the verb in the base form for all subjects.

Simple Past Chart

Simple Past

Simple Past

Simple Past

Simple Past Tense: Definition & Useful Examples in English 2

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