Simple Past Tense With Examples

Simple Past Tense With Examples

I sang

The simple past tense We can use several tenses to talk about the past, but this we use most often.

In this post we look at the structure and use of this tense i mean simple past tense, followed by a quiz to check your understanding:

How to make the Simple Past Tense?

To make the simple past tense, we often use:

  • past form (2nd Form of Verb) only or
  • auxiliary (Helping Verb)  did  +
  •  base form  (1st Form of Verb)


Here we have many/some examples of the past form and base form for irregular verbs and regular verbs which we use in this tense:


V1 base


V2 past



past participle

regular verb liked









 all regular verbs in past form end with -ed.
irregular verb see









Past form for irregular verbs is variable. Need to learn it strongly by heart.


Here we have a structure of sentences that going to show that how to make sentences in simple past tense structure are given below

Structure of sentences

 Sentences  auxiliary verb main verb
+ Positive no auxiliary Past Form
– Negative did first Form
?Introgative you first Form

The auxiliary/helping verb did is not conjugated. It will be  same for all persons (I did, you did, she did, he did etc). But the first form of verb and past form of verb do not change. These are the examples with the main verbs go and work:

sentenc subject auxiliary verb main verb
+ I went to school.
You worked very hard.
She did not work with me.
We did not work yesterday.
? Did you work in Pakistan?
Did they work at market?


Exception! The verb to be is different. We conjugate the verb to be (We were, You were, I was,  he/she/it was,  they were); and we do not use an auxiliary/helping verb with negative and question.

subject main verb
+ I, he/she/it was there.
You, we, they were in Pakistan.
I, he/she/it was not there.
You, we, they were not fresh.
? Was I, he/she/it wrong?
Were you, we, they late?


How To use the Simple Past Tense?

The simple past tense to talk about situation or an action —an event—in the past. The event may be short or long.  for it we have many examples of the long and short events let’s check it.


These are the some short events with having simple past tense:

The Bus exploded at 5.40am

ye Saba went to the door.

He did not hear the teleph Did you see that car or not?



past present future
The action is in the past.


these are the some long events  examples of simple past tense:

I lived in London for 15 years.

Jurassic period lasted about 66 billion years.

We did not sing this song.

Did you watch Movie past night/last month?

past present future
The action have done in the past.


Notice that it doesn’t matter how short or long ago the event: it may be a few minutes or couple seconds in the past, or millions or billions of years in the past. And also it does not matter how short or long the event is. It can be a few milliseconds (car explosion) or billion of the years (Jurassic period). We use the simple past tense when:

  • Event in the past
  • Event is completely finished
  • we talk about the time and/or place of the event

In general, if we talk about the time or place of the event, we must should use the simple past tense; we

 can not use the present perfect tense.

These are the some examples:

  • I lived in that house when I was kid.
  • Saba did not go to work yesterday.
  • He did not like the drama/movie.
  • We were not late (for the car/train).
  • What did you eat for breakfast?
  • John drove to London on Monday.
  • Did you play hockey last week?
  • I was at home yesterday.
  • Were you hungry?

Note that: When we tell a story, we use the simple past tense. We may use the past continuous tense to “set the scene”, but 80% we always use Simple past tense for the action.

This page shows that how we use  the simple past tense to talk about past events.

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