Past Simple Tense

Past Simple Tense

Английские глаголы в простом прошедшем времени (Past Simple Tense) используются для того, чтобы описать уже прошедшие и завершенные в прошлом действия. Для большинства глаголов простое прошедшее время образуется путем добавления к инфинитиву окончания «-ed». Однако, в английском языке имеются глаголы «неправильные», для них форма Past Simple не подчиняется общим правилам.

A. Study this example:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian musician and composer. He lived from 1756 to 1791. He started composing at the age of five and wrote more than 600 pieces of music. He was only 35 years old when he died

Lived / started / wrote / was / died are all past simple

B. Very often the past simple ends in -ed (regular verbs)

  • I work in a travel agency now. Before that I worked in a shop.
  • We invited them to our party but they decided not to come.
  • The police stopped me on my way home last night.
  • She passed her examination because she studied very hard.
But many verbs are irregular. The past simple does not end in —ed. For example:
write wrote
Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music.
see saw
We saw Rose in town a few days ago<
go went
went to the cinema three times last week.
shut shut It was cold, so I shut the window

C. In questions and negatives we use did/didn’t + infinitive (enjoy/see/go etc.

I enjoyed **
you enjoy?
** I enjoy
she saw
** did she see?
** she didn’t see
they went
** they gp? ** they go
  • Did you go out last night?
    — Yes, I went to the cinema but I didn’t enjoy the film much.
  • — When did Mr Thomas die?
    — About ten years ago.
  • They didn’t invite her to the party, so she didn’t go.
  • — Did you have time to write the letter?
    — No, I didn’t.’

 Be careful when do is the main verb in the sentence:

  • What did you do at the weekend? (not ‘what did you at the weekend’)
  • I didn’t do anything, (not ‘I didn’t anything’)

The past of be (am/is/are) is was/were:

I/he/she/it was/wasn’t                                           was I/he/she/it?

we/you/they were/weren’t                                       were we/you/they?

Note that we do not use  did in negatives and questions with was/were:

  • I was angry because they were late.
  • Was the weather good when you were on holiday?
  • They weren’t able to come because they were so busy.
  • Did you go out last night or were you too tired?


Read what Sharon says about a typical working day

I usually get up at 7 o’clock and have a big breakfast. I walk to work, which takes me about half an hour. I start work at 8.45. I never have lunch. I finish work at 5 o’clock. I’m always tired when I get home. I usually cook a meal in the evening. I don’t usually go out. I go to bed at about 11 o’clock. I always sleep well.

Yesterday was a typical working day for Sharon. Write what she did or didn’t do yesterday.

1 She_ ______________________ at 7 o’clock.

2 She ______________________ a big breakfast.

3 She ___________________________________

4 It________________________ to get to work.

5 _________________________________ at 8.45

6 __________________________________ lunch.

7 ___________________________ at 5 o’clock.

8 ___________tired when ___________ home.

9 _________________a meal yesterday evening.

10 _________________ out yesterday evening.

11 __________________________ at 11 o’clock.

12 _________________________ well last night.

 Put one of these verbs in each sentence:

buy;  catch;  cost;  drink;  fall;  hurt;  sell;  spend;  teach;  throw;  win;  write

1 Mozart _ _______________ more than 600 pieces of music.

2 ‘How did you learn to drive?’‘My father ________________ me.’

3 We couldn’t afford to keep our car, so we ________________ it.

4 I was very thirsty. I________________ the water very quickly.

5 Paul and I played tennis yesterday. He’s much better than me, so he ______________ easily.

6 Don ________________ down the stairs this morning and ________________ his leg.

7 Jim ________________ the ball to Sue, who ________________ it.

8 Ann ____________ a lot of money yesterday. She ____________ a dress which_____________ £100.

A friend has just come back from holiday. You ask him about it. Write your questions.

1 (where/go?) ______________________________________________________________________

2 (go alone?) _______________________________________________________________________

3  (food/good?) _____________________________________________________________________

4 (how long / stay there?) ____________________________________________________________

5 (stay / at a hotel?) ________________________________________________________________

6 (how/travel?) ____________________________________________________________________

7 (the weather/fine?) ________________________________________________________________

8 (what / do in the evenings?) __________________________________________________________

9 (meet anybody interesting?) _________________________________________________________

Complete the sentences. Put the verb into the correct form, positive or negative.

1 It was warm, so I _____________________my coat. (take)

2 The film wasn’t very good. I ___________________________it very much. (enjoy)

3 I knew Sarah was very busy, so I_____________________ her. (disturb)

4 I was very tired, so I______________________ to bed early, (go)

5 The bed was very uncomfortable. I_____________________ very well. (sleep)

6 Sue wasn’t hungry, so she ______________________ anything, (eat)

7 We went to Kate’s house but she ______________________ at home. (be,).

8 It was a funny situation but nobody _______________________ (laugh)

9 The window was open and a bird ______________________ into the room. (fly)

10 The hotel wasn’t very expensive. It______________________ very much. (cost)

11 I was in a hurry, so I______________________ time to phone you. (have)

12 It was hard work carrying the bags. They ______________________ very heavy, (be)

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