Simple Past Tense

Simple past tense is one of the 4 sub-tenses of Past Tense. Simple Past tense refer to those actions which were done in the past and can be differentiated from other sub-tenses through understanding of their structure.

simple past tense timeline

The structures of the Simple Past Tense with examples are as follows:

1. Sub + V2 + obj. ( for affirmative i.e. positive sentences)

For Example:

  • She played basketball.
  • He ate rice.

2. Sub + did not + V1 + obj. (Negative)

For Example:

  • She did not play basketball.
  • He did not eat rice.

3 .Did +sub + V1 + obj? (Interrogative-positive)

For Example:

  • Did she play Basketball?
  • Did he eat rice?

4. Did + sub + not + V1 + obj. (Interrogative-negative)

For Example:

  • Did she not play basketball?
  • Did he not eat rice?

Where Simple Past Tense is used?

simple past tense usage

Simple Past Tense is used with past facts or actions. These facts have high chances of not existing at present time and are just memories.

For example:

  1. Why did you cry yesterday?
  2. Once upon a time, there lived a fairy in the golden palace.
  3. Did you go to Salsa class yesterday?
  4. My cat broke its leg yesterday.
  5. I went to prom with him last week.

Simple Past Tense is used with few specific words to talk about the past events.

For Example:

  1. I never did my homework on time.
  2. She used to sing.
  3. They frequently danced in the marriage ceremonies.
  4. I often missed him.

Simple Past Tense is used with the number of continuous actions which completed in the past.

For Example:

  1. I opened the window and cleaned it.
  2. He cooked the food, washed the dishes and went to the market.
  3. They had their lunch, paid the bill and went to their house.
  4. I cooked noodles and ate.
  5. He held me, then caressed and kissed me.

Simple Past Tense is used with Past time adverbs. (Yesterday, last + time, ago, in + past date)

  1. He waited for her for three hours.
  2. They met her last year.
  3. I passed my exams in 2011.
  4. They finished cooking in two hours.
  5. She returned to Paris last month.

Simple Past Tense is used with actions and happenings those are no longer true at the present time.

  1. I ate leaves when I was a child.
  2. My mother taught at school while I was young.
  3. They fought with each other when they lived in the village.
  4. She visited villages and cities when she was young.
  5. My sister never ate grapes during her childhood.