Past Simple

Simple Past Tense: How to Use It, With Examples

Past Simple – simple (indefinite) past tense in English. Usually used in a narrative to describe events in the past, although it also has some other uses. Regular English verbs form the simple past tense by adding -ed, but there are several hundred irregular verbs that use the second form from the irregular verb table.

Past Simple
Signal wordsUseForm
Last week (month, year, etc.)


Five minutes ago, two days ago

In 2020

In my childhood

When I was (at school, at university, a child, etc.)

Action took place in the past, mostly connected with an expression of time (no connection to the present)

Long or short finished actions and states in the past

Consecutive actions in the past


infinitive + ed


(2nd column of table of irregular verbs)

The general scheme of using the Past Simple on the example of the regular verb – work

I/He/She/It/ You/We/They workedI/He/She/It/ You/We/They

did not work

Did I/He/She/It/ You/We/They work?

The general scheme of using the Past Simple using the example of an irregular verb – to go

Since this is an irregular verb, turning to the table we get:

to gowentgone

Then, according to the scheme, we will get:

I/He/She/It/ You/We/They wentI/He/She/It/ You/We/They

did not go

Did I/He/She/It/ You/We/They  go?

As you noticed, when using “did“, the verb is used in the first form.

For convenience, you can use the abbreviated form:

did not –  dіdn’t

It is important to know:

  • verbs ending in a consonant + -y, change the y to -ie (I study – I studied)
  • verbs ending in -e or -ee only add -d (You like – You liked).
  • monosyllabic verbs ending in 1 vowel + 1 consonant (but not x, w, y) double the final consonant (We stop – We stopped).

The verb to be has a special conjugation form in the Past Simple.

error: Content is protected !!