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The Past Simple Tense

The Past Simple Tense is used to refer to actions that were completed at a definite time in the past. The action may have been in the recent past or a long time ago.

The past simple is usually formed by adding d, ed, or ied to the base form of the verb. However, in English, there are many irregular verbs that take on a completely different form in the past tense. For example, meet becomes met and not meeted. The best thing to do is to try and memorize them.

The Past Simple Tense is used in the following cases:

For a past action when the time is given

For example: I met him three days ago.

They went to the mall yesterday.

He watched a movie last night.

When the time is asked about

For example: When did you go to the movies?

What time did you say we must be there?

How long did it take you to complete?

When the action clearly took place at a definite time even though the time is not mentioned

For example: The train arrived ten minutes late.

He washed his car.

They missed the bus.

Let's practice!

Complete the following sentences using the correct form of the verb in brackets.

  1. I ________ (miss) the bus.

  2. I _________ (wake) up late this morning.

  3. She ________ (eat) her breakfast at 9am.

  4. He _______ (teach) History last year.

  5. We ________ (was) late for class.

  6. They _______ (play) tennis yesterday.

  7. He _______ (walk) his dog after work.

  8. They _______ (bring) their own lunch to work.

  9. They ______ (watch) series through the night.

  10. _____ (do) they go to school?

  11. What time _____ (do) you wake up?

  12. He ______ (tell) me where to find a taxi.

  13. Why ______ (not do) you do your homework?

  14. I ______ (solve) the puzzle.

  15. We ________ (meet) on the train.

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