To form the simple past, add –ed to the verb for regular verbs in affirmative sentences.
We use the simple past to: Talk about an action that was completed once in the past.
He talked to the CEO yesterday.
Talk about an action that was completed multiple times in the past.
She walked to school every day for a month. (She doesn’t walk to school anymore.)
Talk about something that was true for some time in the past but isn’t true now.
We worked together in the same office. (They don’t work in the same office anymore.)
Use did to form questions and did + not (didn’t) to form negatives. When did is used in a sentence it shows the past tense so the verb stays in its base form.
Where did he work?
Did he work?
He didn’t work.
There are irregular verbs. Unlike regular verbs, irregular verbs change form unpredictably and need to be memorized.
What did they eat?
They ate steak.
Did they drink wine?
No, they drank water.
When using the past tense form of the be-verb there are some exceptions. The verb changes form depending on the subject (was/were). Did isn’t necessary with the be-verb to make questions or the negative.
I was tired. / Amy was tired. / We were tired. / You were tired.
Where was the suitcase? / Where were the suitcases?
Was the shirt blue? / Were the shirts blue?
He wasn’t there. / You weren’t there.
Simple past questions
- What did you do yesterday?
- Where did you go on your last vacation?
- What was the last restaurant you went to? How was it?
- What did you do last weekend?
- What did you eat for lunch yesterday?
- What was the last movie you saw? How was it?
- Who did you hang out with last? What did you do together?
- Talk about the last time you were surprised by something.
- What was the last game you played?
- When was the last time you rode a bicycle?
- Were you a well behaved child? Explain.
- What was a funny movie you watched recently?
- Talk about a time you were lost.
- Where did you grow up? What was it like?
- What was the last book you read?
- What did you do this morning?
- Tell me about the last time you were really excited.