past simple

Past Simple, three

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


Forms of Main Verbs

Base Form Past Simple Past Participle
(Verb 1) (Verb 2) (Verb 3)
fake faked faked
remember remembered remembered
fan fanned fanned
try tried tried
teach taught taught
buy bought bought
sell sold sold


For more details see MAIN VERBS


Form of the Past Simple, Positive

Fortunately for English learners, the structure of positive, past simple sentences is relatively *gasp* simple.

Subject + verb-2.

• Their children studied at an international school in Switzerland.
• Thomas Edison invented the light bulb (and many other things).
• Yesterday I, made some jack-o’-lanterns.


Negative Sentences in the Past Simple

Subject + did not + verb-1.

• The visitors didn’t eat any fish.
• Bjarni, Leif and Thor didn’t stay in hotels during their backpacking trip; instead they roomed in private accommodations.
• We didn’t see many wild animals in the reserve that day.



Respond to the Following Statements

Respond with that’s true, that’s false/not true, I agree, I disagree, yes, no, yes and no, maybe, sometimes, not always, in the middle, it depends, perhaps, in a way.

Make any necessary changes or “corrections”. Say why and give examples.

1. My great-grandparents played baseball, basketball, cricket, football, rugby, and soccer when they were young.

2. In the 1950s, people ate pizza, hamburgers, french fries (chips), hotdogs, and doners/gyros/shawarma.

3. After World War Two, people mostly worked in factories, heavy industry and mines.

4. People read lots of books, newspapers and magazines fifty years ago.

5. Nobles and aristocrats once resided (lived) in my city and country.



6. During the Middle Ages and Renaissance, people lived fairy tale lives.

7. In the old days, only brilliant and rich students attended university.

8. In the past, everyone went to a church or temple several times a week.

9. In the 1950’s nobody locked their front doors!

10. Most people lived in rural areas and worked on farms many decades ago.

11. Before the 1960s, most women stayed at home, cooked, cleaned and looked after the children.

12. In the past, people prepared and ate mostly home-cooked meals.

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