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Past Simple

You will learn to:

  • Use verbs to describe an event which started and finished in the past.

    • I ate dinner.​

    • She drank beer.

    • We went to the shops.

  • Use 'time adverbials' to add detail.

    • On Saturday​...

    • At 1:00pm...

    • ...last Friday.

​​

We will use 'the' for all place names.

"I went to the cinema."

The past simple is used for one event which starts and finishes in the past.

Past

Now

Future

I went to the cinema.

Let's look at these verbs before we start. 

Past Simple Examples

First, the structure.

Subject + past form verb + noun / noun phrase.

I went to the bank

She ate cake

They drank my water.

This structure will create simple sentences. 

This is Tom's diary for Saturday. In the evening he tells Jane what he did.

Tom's Diary.png

9am - football

1pm - lunch with friends

Past

11am - shopping

3pm - beer in the pub

Now - 7pm

Let's create some simple sentences.

Subject + past form verb + noun / noun phrase

Tom played football.

Tom went shopping.

Tom                   lunch with friends.

Tom                    beer in the pub.

The last two sentences can be made more natural.

Tom                   lunch with friends.

Tom                    beer in the pub.

Answer

ate

Answer

drank

Answer

had

Answer

had

+ LOCATION CHUNK

+ LOCATION CHUNK

To extend your sentences you can add:

Time (remember to keep it in the past)

Time + Subject + past tense form + noun / noun phrase

At 9am I played football.

At 11am I went shopping.

At 1pm I had lunch with friends.

Or you can put the time at the end.

 Subject + past tense verb + noun / noun phrase + time.

 

I played football at 9am.

I went shopping at 11am.

I had lunch with friends at 1pm.

+ TIME CHUNK

Time - vocabulary

Past Simple Exercises

Kate's diary.png

Time + Subject + past tense verb + noun / noun phrase.

On Monday Kate went swimming.

On Tuesday Kate had dinner at a friend's house.

Answer

On Wednesday Kate went to the cinema.

Answer

On Thursday Kate had a hot chocolate before bed.

Answer

On Friday Kate had a takeaway pizza.

Time - vocabulary

Past Simple Examples- negative

Used for one event which did not happen.

Past

Now

Future

I did not play football.

First, the structure.

Subject + did notpresent form verb + noun / noun phrase

I did not go to the bank

She did not eat cake

They did not drink their water

This is Jane's calendar, but Jane was ill so did not do any of it.

Jane's diary

Last Friday - a haircut

Two days ago - the bank

Past

Today - Friday

Last Monday - the supermarket

Yesterday - the gym

Let's create some simple sentences.

Subject + present form verb + noun / noun phrase

Jane did not have a haircut.

Jane did not go to the supermarket.

Jane did not                  to the bank.

Jane did not                  to the gym.

Answer

go

Answer

go

Past Simple Exercises - Negative

Let's add time to Jane's sentences. 

Subject + present form verb + noun / noun phrase + time

Time + Subject + present form verb + noun / noun phrase

Jane did not have a haircut last Friday.

+ TIME CHUNK

Answer - supermarket / last Monday

Jane did not go to the supermarket last Monday.

Answer - Two days ago / bank

Two days ago Jane did not go to the bank.

Answer - bank / yesterday

Jane did not go to the bank yesterday.

Make sentences in the positive and negative form. 

I went to the museum

I

I ate cereal
I didn't eat pizza
I didn't go to school
I did not drink milk
I drank coca-cola

I went to the museum.

Answer

I did not eat pizza.

Answer

I did not go to school.

Answer

I did not drink milk.

Answer

I drank coca-cola.

Answer

I ate cereal.

Past Simple Examples - Questions (?)

Past

Now

Future

Did you go to the bank?

First, the structure.

Did + subject + present form verb + noun / noun phrase?

Did you go to the bank

Did she eat that cake?

Did they drink water

This structure will create simple questions. 

You can answer the questions using a full sentence. We usually shorten it to make it more natural. 

Did you have pizza?

Full sentence: "Yes, I had pizza" or "No, I did not have pizza."

Short form: "Yes, I did." or "No, I didn't."

Kate went to a friend's house for the weekend. Tom asks her questions about it.

Did you go to the cinema?

Yes, I did.

Did you have fish and chips?

No, I had pizza.

Did you have milk?