Read about using the past simple, then when you are ready, try the past simple practice exercises here.

Using the past simple

We make the past simple with verb + ed. It has three main uses:

She loved himPast states - situations (not actions) in the past.

She loved him.

Single past events - often when you are telling the main events of a story.

We walked home, then we watched TV.

Past habits - repeated actions (with often, sometimes, every week/day ...)

They walked home from work every day.

 

How to make the past simple

The past simple is the same for I, you, he, she, it, we, and they. For regular verbs, we add -ed to make the past simple. Questions and negatives are made with did and didn't.

Positive: You washed your dog.

Negative: You didn't wash your dog.

Question: Did you wash your dog?

However, there are a lot of irregular verbs and you need to learn them. The negatives and questions are always regular.

She losed lost her phone yesterday.

She didn't lose her phone yesterday.

Did she lose her phone?


Advanced uses of Past Simple

We use the past simple after 'I wish' or 'if only' and similar expressions.

I wish I lived with George Clooney.

This looks like the past, but in fact it means now! We use the past simple with 'I wish' or 'if' to show that we are imagining something about the present. Look at the conditionals grammar lessons for more information about this.


 When you are ready, try the past simple practice exercises here.