View Full Version : Simple Past Tense

20-09-2009, 09:01 PM
C̉N ĐÂy là simple past

FORM of Simple Past

The simple past expresses a completed action in the past without any association to present. Duration of action is not important.

http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/daucong.gif (http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/daucong.gif)S + V-ed
I learned English.
He swam well.
They watched TV.
http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/dautru.gif (http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/dautru.gif)S + did not+ V
I didn't learn English.
He did not swim well.
They didn't watch TV.
http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/dauhoi.gif (http://learnenglish.vn/images/stories/grammar/dauhoi.gif)Did + S + V ?
Did you learn English?
Did he swim well?
Did they watch TV?
We always use the simple past to say when something happened, so it is associated with certain past time expressions.

I graduated in 1999.
My father worked for the bank last year.
We went shopping yesterday.
He bought an expensive shirt for her.

USEs of Past Simple

1. action in the past taking place usually, once, never or several times.

He drove to the beach every Sunday.
I used to swim in this river when I was small.
Did he come to your party last week?

2. to describe an action taking place one after another in the past.

He came in, said hello to everyone in the house and left for his room immediatly.

3. to describe an action or event happened at a specific time in the past.

I ate lunch at noon today.
He drove to work yesterday.

Forms of Negatives and Questions

For the Negative and Question in simple past, we use the auxiliary "did" with ordinary verbs. For "to be", we use "was" or "were" in negative and question forms. In some cases, we can use both negative and question in one sentence.

They weren't in Rio last summer.
We hadn't any money.
We didn't have time to visit the Eiffel Tower.
We didn't do our exercises this morning.
Were they in Iceland last January?
Did you have a bicycle when you were a boy?
Didn't you do much climbing in Switzerland?

Signal Words


often, sometimes, always;

A definite point in time:

last week, when I was a child, yesterday, six weeks ago.

An indefinite point in time:

the other day, ages ago, a long time ago etc.

Note: the word ago is a useful way of expressing the distance into the past. It is placed after the period of time e.g. a week ago, three years ago, a minute ago.

a. Yesterday, I arrived in Geneva.
b. She finished her work at seven o'clock.
c. We saw a good film last week.
d. I went to the theatre last night.
e. She played the piano when she was a child.
f. He sent me a letter six months ago.
g. Peter left five minutes ago.