What is simple past tense, rules and its uses with examples: Simple past tense is very easy to use in English grammar. If you know about simple present tense then simple past tense becomes easier to understand. Simple Past tense is also called “Preterite tense”. Let’s us discuss about simple past tense and its rules with examples.

What is simple past tense, rules and its uses with examples?

Simple Past Tense: Simple past tense is used to express any action that started or completed in the past. Or in other words, simple past tense describes any action that happened in the past. For example,” Joolie visited market yesterday”. In this example, Joolie visited the market in the past time. The action happened in the past.

According to the rules of English grammar, we can also define simple past tense as: any sentence that uses second for as its main verb called simple past tense. Simple past tense is made up of three of its main parts that are: Subject, Main verb (Second Form of Verb) and Object.

Simple Past Tense= Subject + 2nd form of verb + Object

What is simple past tense, rules and its uses with examplesStructure of Simple past tense

Positive Sentence

In positive sentences, we simply make the sentences according to Simple past tense rules.

For Example

  • He reviewed my website yesterday.
  • I repaired this computer last month.
  • She met the Prime minister two week ago.
  • Mark saved me from those hurdles of life.
  • You taught me this lesson yesterday.
  • She always lied to me.

Negative Sentences in the Simple past tense

When we make negative sentences, we normally add auxiliary verb did + not before main verb.

Negative Simple Past tense = Subject+ did+ not + 1st form of Verb +Object

For example

  • Steve did not finish his work.
  • I did not attend his class yesterday.
  • Mark did not pass GMAT exam last year.
  • They did not go to America this year.
  • I did not comment on him yesterday.

Yes/No Questions in the Simple past tense

When you make any question that can be answered as yes or no, then you should start it with auxiliary verb did followed by the subject and the 1st form of base verb.

Yes/No Sentences = Did + Subject + 1st form of Verb +Object?

For example

  • Did she work in that company?
  • Did she go to the market?
  • Did you complete the task?
  • Did we win the match yesterday?
  • Did she come last week?

Wh- Questions in the Simple past tense

When you make any question that starts with wh word, then you should start it from wh word  and then add auxiliary verb did, after that subject followed by the 1st form of base verb.

Wh words are when, why, who, where, whom, how, what, how much, how many.

WH Sentences = Wh word + did+ Subject + 1st form of Verb+ Object?

For example

  • Where did she live in England?
  • What did you say about her?
  • When did you meet the CEO?
  • Why did he work for that hotel?
  • Why did she wash the clothes?

Tag Questions in the Simple past tense

Tag questions are those questions which are answered at the end of the sentence. They can be simply made by adding auxiliary verbs.

For examples

  • I visited the market, did not you?
  • You can also use tag questions in positive sentences
  • She read news paper yesterday, did she?

More Examples to unfold some other aspects

  • Why did you not say anything to her?
  • Did he not visit at your home yesterday?
  • He did not want me to be there?
  • Did you just waste his time?

These were the structures of simple past tense. Now let us discuss about the rules and use of simple past tense.

Rules and Uses of Simple past tense

  • Yesterday/ Last/Ago
  • Past habit
  • Anything happened once in the past
  • Past fact or truths
  • Past duration
  • Since/When clause

Yesterday/ Last/Ago

Simple past tense is used when these words like “Yesterday/ Last/Ago” are used in the sentence or any sentences that gives a sense of past time.

For example

  • I visited cinema yesterday.
  • She came here last month.
  • I left my country two years ago.
  • We went to the college yesterday.
  • You played very well.

Past habit

Simple past tense is used to describe any action that contains past habit.

For example

  • I played too much cricket in my childhood.
  • We always enjoyed working with him.
  • They never went to the college
  • They worked for each other daily.

Anything happened once in the past

Any action happened in the past but only once. In this situation, we use simple past tense.

For example

  • I met my friend in 2000.
  • We went to England for our picnic.
  • She ate all the food last night.
  • He broke this table yesterday.

Past fact or truths

Sentences expressing past truth or facts can be used in simple past tense.

For Example

  • Man walked on the moon in 1969.
  • Swami Vivekananda always spoke the truth.
  • Mark Zuckerberg invented Facebook.
  • I was born in 1994.

Past duration

When you describe any action that contains a past duration then we use simple past tense.

For example

  • I lived in England for three years.
  • They stood in the market all day.
  • We studied in the library for thirty minutes.
  • She stared me entire time in the party.

Since/When clause

In any sentences when “since” is used as an adverb then it is of past tense form. Also with “when clause” we use past tense.

For example

  • It is two hours since the bus left the station.
  • He is living with me since he came from London.
  • We are getting in problems since he joined our group.
  • When I paid him money, he gave me the ice-cream.
  • When I was a child, I went to the school every day.

So these were the rules and the uses of simple past tense with examples.

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Also Read

Simple Present Tense

Present Continuous Tense

Present Perfect Tense

Present Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Past Tense

Past Continuous Tense

Past Perfect Tense

Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Simple Future Tense

Future Continuous Tense

Future Perfect Tense

Future Perfect Continuous Tense