Past Simple Question

Past Simple, Questions


The past simple talks about actions, states and habits that began and ended in the past.

Main Verb Forms

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
(Verb-1) (Verb-1) (Verb-1)
date dated dated
fix fixed fixed
ban banned banned
lose lost lost
grow grew grown
sing sang sung


Review: Past Simple in Positive Sentences

  Subject + Past Simple (verb-2).  


• Itzel and Acalan attended Jimena’s graduation ceremony last week.
• I harvested all the figs last week.
• Our professor gave a lecture on Parkinson’s Law today.


Negative Sentences in the Past Simple

The auxiliary (helping) verb did along with the base form of the main verb (verb-1) are used in negative sentences and questions in the past simple.

For the past simple negative,

  Subject + did not (didn’t) + verb-1.  

• Don’t look at me. I didn’t eat the last blueberry muffin.
• The soldiers didn’t know that the war was over.
• Tessa didn’t steal the jewels; it was the butler who did it.

Yes-No Questions in the Past Simple

  Did + subject + verb-1

Did you get the promotion? —> I’ll find out on Monday.
Did everyone at your old company graduate from college? —> Most of those in administration, management, HR, finance, sales and IT did.
Did Khadija find the access code? —> Yes; Donald gave it to her.

Open-Ended (WH) Questions with Did

WH Question Words:

  What, When, Where, Which, Who, Whose, Why, How
  What time, How many, How much, How often, How old

  Q-Word + did + subject + verb-1.  

• Why did our team lose? —> Because the pressure got to them. And they had slacked off.
• What did the boss say? —> She doesn’t think it’s a good idea.
• When did these fire ants appear here? —> About a decade ago.

How Would you Respond?

1. It’s the first of September. What do you ask your classmates or coworkers?
2. You are in court, on the witness stand. What do the attorneys ask you?
3. Some journalists are interviewing the prime minister/president. What do they ask him/her?

Answer the Following Questions. Say how or why and give examples.

1. What school subjects did you study? What were your favorite subjects?
2. How many medals did your country win at the last Olympics Games?
3. When did your nation become independent?

4. Did you or your classmates participate in any student exchange programs?
5. How did people do their shopping before the advent of supermarkets, shopping centers, and shopping malls?
6. What did your great-grandparents or grandparents do for entertainment? How did they spend their free time? Did they have any free time?

7. At some point, did your country experience periods of deflation and full employment? What was it like?
8. In its history, did your nation change its language, religion, genetic composition and, or name?
9. When did your country adopt a constitution and a democratic form of government? What forces drove it?

10. How did TV change society and life?
11. During major political, economic or social changes, did many people oppose or resist changes? Why? What happened to them?
12. What lessons or advice did your (great) grandparents tell you?


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