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Date: Oct 02 2007

Topic: Grammar

Author: marksimz



BE CAREFUL! The simple past in English may look like a tense in your own
language, but the meaning may be different.

1. Simple past, form
Regular verbs: base+ed
e.g. walked, showed, watched, played, smiled, stopped

Simple past, be, have, do:

Subject                                            Verb
                                          Be         Have          Do

I                                       was        had         did
You                                   were       had         did
He, she, it                          was        had         did
We                                    were       had         did
You                                   were       had         did
They                                  were       had         did

a. I was in Japan last year
b. She had a headache yesterday.
c. We did our homework last night.

Negative and interrogative
Note: For the negative and interrogative simple past form of "do" as an
ordinary verb, use the auxiliary "do", e.g. We didn't do our homework last
night. The negative of "have" in the simple past is usually formed using the
auxiliary "do", but sometimes by simply adding not or the contraction "n't".
The interrogative form of "have" in the simple past normally uses the
auxiliary "do".

*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?
* Did you do much climbing in Switzerland?

Simple past, regular verbs

Subject verb + ed
I washed

Subject did not infinitive without to
They didn't visit ...

Did subject infinitive without to
Did she arrive...?

Interrogative negative
Did not subject infinitive without to
Didn't you like..?

Example: to walk, simple past.

Affirmative                 Negative            Interrogative
I walked                          I didn't walk                    Did I walk?
You walked                      You didn't walk                Did you walk?
He,she,it walked               He didn't walk                 Did he walk?
We walked                       We didn't walk                 Did we walk?
You walked                       You didn't walk               Did you walk?
They walked                     They didn't walk              Did they walk?

Note: For the negative and interrogative form of all verbs in the simple past,
always use the auxiliary 'did''.

Examples: Simple past, irregular verbs
to go
a. He went to a club last night.
b. Did he go to the cinema last night?
c. He didn't go to bed early last night.
to give
d. We gave her a doll for her birthday.
e. They didn't give John their new address.
f. Did Barry give you my passport?
to come
g. My parents came to visit me last July.
h. We didn't come because it was raining.
i. Did he come to your party last week?

2. Simple past, function

The simple past is used to talk about a completed action in a time before
now. Duration is not important. The time of the action can be in the recent
past or the distant past.

*John Cabot sailed to America in 1498.
*My father died last year.
*He lived in Fiji in 1976.
*We crossed the Channel yesterday.

You always use the simple past when you say when something happened, so
it is associated with certain past time expressions

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.


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Tongue out thanks


10:53 AM Feb 22 2008 |





07:39 AM Oct 12 2007 |

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