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 a date or period measured back from the present. It is also called past indefinite tense.
Read also: 12 Verb Tenses with examples and formula
Simple past tense is used to express the act 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.
- Last night
- Last week/month / year
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.
We look at example of regular verbs (verb+ed)
He/She/It/We/They/You + watched + the movie.
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.
Formula for affirmative sentences.
Subject + Past Simple (V2) + object
- I watered the plants.
- The chef cooked the meal.
Subject + did not + base form(V1) + object
- I did not water the plants.
- The chef did not cook the meal.
Did + subject + base form(V1) + object + ?
- Did I water the plants?
- Did the chef cook the meal?
Read also: 50 Sentences of Simple Past Tense
Simple Past + Verb ‘to be’
Subject + to be + rest of sentence
He/She/It/I + was + hungry.
You/They/We + were + hungry
Rules / Usage
|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 expressions||The manager joined this office two days ago.|
- It rained heavily last week.
- I assented to 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.
- It did not rain heavily last week.
- I did not assent to 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.
- Did it rain heavily last week?
- Did I assent to 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?
- Tom __________ to work as a web designer. (use)
- It __________ yesterday morning. (drizzle)
- Five girls __________ in the park. (to be)
- She __________ the rooms 10 minutes ago. (sweep)
- The mechanic __________ my bike. (repair)
- He __________ the job last month. (get)
- I __________ soundly last night. (sleep)
- Jimmy __________ verbs last month. (practice)
- I __________ for Venice last night. (leave)
- He __________ the kite when the storm broke. (fly)