In this High English quiz we look at another tense form – the simple past tense. The use of the simple past tense denotes an event, action or situation that is completed in the past. The way to denote is to use verbs, either regular or irregular, in their past tense. There are three ways to form the simple past tense, depending on the verb. The verb BE has for its simple past WAS and WERE. Here are some examples:
'I WAS there yesterday.'
'You WERE there yesterday.'
‘She WAS there yesterday.’
‘They WERE there yesterday.’
The second way to form the simple past tense is to look at the simple past forms of regular verbs. We know that simple past form of regular verbs can be formed by simply adding ‘d’ or ‘ed’ to the verb or removing a letter and adding ‘ied.’ For instance:
Of course, there are other verbs that use other forms to form their simple past. They are irregular verbs. Here are some examples:
Irregular verbs have their own simple past forms that are unique and only practice would help us to remember them.
The purpose of simple past form is to describe an action in the past and in order to show when an action took place we make use of words and phrases that include adverbs of time and reference to time in the past. For instance, the sentence ‘I met him yesterday’ comprises the simple past form of meet (met) and by adding ‘yesterday’ we are indicating the time was in the past.
Simple past forms can also be in the negative. The negative form can be made by adding ‘not’ after ‘was’ or ‘were.’ For instance, ‘Mary WAS NOT at the party yesterday’ is a sentence with a negative form. With other verbs negative forms can be formed by adding DID NOT before the base verb. For instance, Mary DID NOT ATTEND the party yesterday’ is a sentence with a negative form using normal verbs.
Remember that by adding ‘had’ before the past participle of the verb we use the past perfect tense. So, when we describe two actions in a sentence, the action taking place earlier than the other would be in past perfect tense and the other action would be in simple past. By taking the quiz that follows we will be able to learn more about past tenses in sentences.