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

SUBJECT VERB (in past form) REST OF THE SENTENCE
I played cricket yesterday.
You played cricket yesterday.
He played cricket yesterday.
Tom played cricket yesterday.
The boy played cricket yesterday.
She played cricket yesterday.
Anna played cricket yesterday.
The girl played cricket yesterday.
We played cricket yesterday.
You played cricket yesterday.
They played cricket yesterday.
The children played cricket 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

SUBJECT DIDN’T (DID NOT) VERB (in base form) REST OF THE SENTENCE
I didn’t talk to John last week.
You didn’t talk to John last week.
He didn’t talk to John last week.
Tom didn’t talk to John last week.
The boy didn’t talk to John last week.
She didn’t talk to John last week.
Anna didn’t talk to John last week.
The girl didn’t talk to John last week.
We didn’t talk to John last week.
You didn’t talk to John last week.
They didn’t talk to John last week.
The men didn’t talk to 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:

DID SUBJECT VERB (in base form) REST OF THE SENTENCE
Did I complete the work?
Did you complete the work?
Did he complete the work?
Did Tom complete the work?
Did the boy complete the work?
Did she complete the work?
Did Anna complete the work?
Did the girl complete the work?
Did we complete the work?
Did you complete the work?
Did they complete the work?
Did the men complete the 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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