| Structure|| Examples|| We use the Past Simple Tense:
| The past simple tense of the most english verbs (regular verbs) is formed by adding
"-ed"/"-d" to their base form. (If the verb ends in "-e", we add "-d" to form the past simple.)
There are also some verbs called irregular verbs that have special past tense forms. (See list of irregular verbs)
base form + "-ed" or "-d":
work + "-ed" = worked
live + "-d" = lived
Irregular verbs: past form only
To form the negative and interrogative sentences we use the past form of auxiliary verb do --> did:
you DID + NOT
we + WORK
He didn't work yesterday.
She didn't see him last night.
DID he/she/it WORK?
Did he work yesterday?
Did she see him last night?
If it is the verb "to be" we use was/were before the subject:
Was he at the office the other day?
Questions and short answers:
Did you go to the cinema last night?
Yes, I did.
No, I didn't.
Did he speak with Kate yesterday?
Yes, he did.
No, he didn't.
|1. We arrived at 9:00 o'clock.
2. This morning I went to the supermarket.
3. The teacher went to the desk.
4. He didn't hear the telephone.
5. Susan bought her little sister a doll.
6. We came here in 1980.
7. I worked at Johnson & Co. from 1990 to 1995.
8. My brother lived in London for six years. (he doesn't live there anymore)
| to describe actions and situations that happened in the past. These actions and situations were started and finished in the past.
The sentence often contains an adverb or adverb phrase of time, such as yesterday, the other day, last night, last week, three days ago, a few minutes ago, in (year), from (year) to (year), etc.
|1. When she was young, she danced beautifully.
2. He played the violin when he was a child.
3. We often went there.
4. I saw her every day.
| to talk about habitual or repeated actions that took place in the past
Note: This use is also often expressed with used to:
Bob used to smoke 20 cigarettes a day.
|1. It happened one night in the winter.
2. She opened her bag, took out the key and unlocked the door.
| to tell a story and to express actions which follow each other in a story
|1. World War II ended in 1945.
2. Romans built strong bridges.
| to refer to the historical past or to events that have happened in the distant past relative to the speaker
|1. David said that he was tired.
2. The doctor told me that I would have to stay in the hospital for a week.
| for reporting what someone said (converting from direct to reported speech)
|1. When Peter arrived, I was reading a book.
2. I was having a bath when the phone rang.
| to talk about action in the past that take place in the middle of another action
|1. If I won the lottery, I would travel the world.
2. If I were you, I wouldn't marry him.
| for making second conditional sentences (also called conditional type 2) when we talk about an imaginary or unlikely situation and to describe its result. (If + past simple, would + infinitive)
| Spelling rules for the past simple of regular verbs:|
if a regular verb ends in consonant + y change y to i and add -ed:
carry - carried, study - studied, fry - fried, try - tried
if a one syllable regular verb ends in consonant + vowel + consonant double the final consonant and add -ed -- > stop - stopped, plan - planned, rob - robbed, beg - begged
if a regular verb has more than one syllable and ends in consonant + vowel + consonant, we double the final consonant only if the final syllable is stressed -- > preFER - preferred, regRET - regretted
Exception: In British English verbs ending in -l have -ll before -ed whether the final syllable is stressed or not -- > travel - travelled
| Pronunciation of final "-ed" (regular verbs):|
after an unvoiced consonant sound (sh/ s / ch / p / k / f ) we pronounce /t/: wash (/sh/) - washed (/t/); kiss (/s/) - kissed (/t/); work (/k/) - worked (/t/); hope (/p/) - hoped (/t/); laugh (/f/) - laughed (/t/)
after a vowel and voiced consonant sounds we pronounce /d/: phone (/n/) - phoned (/d/); judge (/dg/) - judged (/d/); turn (/n/) - turned (/d/); play (/ei/) - played (/d/); follow (/ou/) - followed (/d/)
after /t/ and /d/ sounds we pronounce /-id/: visite (/t/) - visited (/id/); start (/t/) - started (/id/); need (/d/) - needed (/id/)