When do we use the Past Simple?

We use the past simple for finished actions in the past.

We say when the action happened by using a past time word, e.g. ‘yesterday’ or we know from the context e.g. “What did you do yesterday? I went shopping”

With positive sentences we use the past simple form of the verb.

If the verb is regular we add -ed e.g. work – worked

If the regular verb ends with a y we change the ‘y’ to an ‘i’ and add -ed e.g. study – studied.

Many verbs are irregular so we have to learn them e.g. go – went, have – had

With negative sentences and questions we change the auxiliary verb (do/does-don’t/doesn’t) to did or didn’t. We do not change the main verb. It stays in the present form

Example – I don’t like chocolate. – I didn’t like chocolate.

He doesn’t work hard. – He didn’t work hard.

Do they come from Spain? – Did they come from Spain?

The form is the same for all voices.




I went

I didn’t go

Did I go?

You made

You didn’t make

Did you make?

He came

He didn’t come

Did he come?

She said

She didn’t say

Did she say?

It grew

It didn’t grow

Did it grow?

We gave

We didn’t give

Did we give?

They found

They didn’t find

Did they find?