Simple Past Tense with Examples, Formula and Exercise

In simple past tense, we use the second form of the verb. The word “ago” is associated with this tense in the same way that “since” and “for” are with the present perfect. The word “ago” is a signal word for the simple past and points out to a date or period of time measured back from the present. It is also called past indefinite tense.

Read also: 12 Verb Tenses with examples and formula

Definition

Simple past tense is used to express the act that has been completed in the past. We also put verbs into simple past tense if we want to describe actions happening one after the other, as in a story.

Signal Words

  • Ago
  • Last night
  • Yesterday
  • Last week/month / year

Formula

We use, second form of verb (verb+ed or irregular verb) in simple past tense.

Subject + Past Simple(V2) + object

We can use regular verbs and irregular verbs in simple past.

First,

We look at example of regular verbs (verb+ed)

He/She/It/We/They/You + watched + the movie.

Now,

We’ll see the example of irregular verb (for example, forget – forgot – forgotten)

He/She/It/We/They/You + forgot + the date.

The formula for affirmative, negative and interrogative sentences is given here.

Affirmative Sentences

Formula for affirmative sentences.

Subject + Past Simple (V2) + object

Examples

  • I watered the plants.
  • The chef cooked the meal.

Negative Sentences

Subject + did not + base form(V1) + object

Examples

  • I did not water the plants.
  • The chef did not cook the meal.

Interrogative Sentences

Did + subject + base form(V1) + object + ?

Examples

  • Did I water the plants?
  • Did the chef cook the meal?

Simple Past + Verb ‘to be’

Subject + to be + rest of sentence

He/She/It/I + was + hungry.

You/They/We + were + hungry

Rules / Usage

Rules/UsageExample
The action that happened at some specific time in past.He went to market last night.
Two or more consecutive actions that happened in the past.He entered the room, switched on the light and fell flat on the bed.
The finished action of the past.My grandmother used to hand wash her clothes.
To talk about the people who are no more in this world.Albert Einstein presented the theory of relativity.
Time/date expressionsThe manager joined this office two days ago.

Examples

Affirmative Sentences

  • It rained heavily last week.
  • I assented with your proposal.
  • The doctor examined the patient thoroughly.
  • They planted the saplings two months ago.
  • My father died three years ago.
  • .He swam across the river.
  • The academic staff of the college arranged a dinner.
  • The gardener mowed the grass yesterday.
  • The company launched a new hair growing product last night.
  • The kids bought the toys from the toy shop.

Negative Sentences

  • It did not rain heavily last week.
  • I did not assent with your proposal.
  • The doctor did not examine the patient thoroughly.
  • They did not plant the saplings two months ago.
  • My father did not die three years ago.
  • .He did not swim across the river.
  • The academic staff of the college did not arrange a dinner.
  • The gardener did not mow the grass yesterday.
  • The company did not launch a new hair growing product last night.
  • The kids did not buy the toys from the toy shop.

Interrogative Sentences

  • Did it rain heavily last week?
  • Did I assent with your proposal?
  • Did the doctor examine the patient thoroughly?
  • Did they plant the saplings two months ago?
  • Did my father die three years ago?
  • Did he swim across the river?
  • Did the academic staff of the college arrange a dinner?
  • Did The gardener mow the grass yesterday?
  • Did the company launch a new hair growing product last night?
  • Did the kids buy the toys from the toy shop?

Exercises

  1. Tom __________ to work as a web designer. (use)
  2. It __________ yesterday morning. (drizzle)
  3. Five girls __________ in the park. (to be)
  4. She __________ the rooms 10 minutes ago. (sweep)
  5. The mechanic __________ my bike. (repair)
  6. He __________ the job last month. (get)
  7. I __________ soundly last night. (sleep)
  8. Jimmy __________ verbs last month. (practice)
  9. I __________ for Venice last night. (leave)
  10. He __________ the kite when the storm broke. (fly)

Answers

  1. used
  2. drizzled
  3. were
  4. swept
  5. repaired
  6. got
  7. slept
  8. practiced
  9. left
  10. flew
Simple past tense with examples
Simple past tense with examples

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