how to make simple past tense


It’s similar to the present simple because it has different rules for the verb ‘be’, which becomes ‘was’ or ‘were’:

The Past Simple with ‘be’

Here’s how to make the positive:

Positive with ‘be’
was cold
you were tired
he was in the garden
she was late
it was sunny
we were on holiday
they were hungry

To make the negative with ‘be’, just add ‘not’:

Negative with ‘be’ Negative Short Form
I was not sleepy I wasn’t sleepy
you were not on the bus you weren’t on the bus
he was not at school he wasn’t at school
she was not beautiful she wasn’t beautiful
it was not cold it wasn’t cold
we were not at work we weren’t at work
they were not tired they weren’t tired

To make a question, just like the present simple, we change the position of ‘was / were’ and the subject.

Here are the past simple ‘yes / no’ questions with ‘be’:

‘Yes / No’ Questions with ‘Be’
was I sleepy?
were you late?
was he at the cinema?
was she kind?
was it hot?
were we hungry?
were they at work?

And the ‘wh’ questions with ‘be’ (the question word just goes at the beginning, everything else is the same):

‘Wh’ Questions with ‘Be’
why was I sleepy?
where were you?
when was he at the cinema?
how was she?
how was it?
why were we hungry?
when were they at work?

The Past Simple (Simple Past) with Other Verbs

We make the past simple just like the present simple except we use ‘did’ instead of ‘do / does’. It’s really easy because ‘did’ doesn’t change, even with ‘he / she / it’.

The positive:

We usually make the positive by adding ‘-ed’ to the infinitive. For example, ‘play’ becomes ‘played’. However, there are some irregular verbs, for example ‘go’ becomes ‘went’ and ‘ran’ becomes ‘run’.

Positive with Other Verbs
walked (regular)
you played (regular)
he cooked (regular)
she listened (regular)
it rained (regular)
we ate (irregular)
they drank (irregular)

In the negative there aren’t any irregular verbs. All verbs use ‘did not (didn’t) + infinitive’:

Negative Negative Short Form
did not walk didn’t walk
you did not play you didn’t play
he did not cook he didn’t cook
she did not listen she didn’t listen
it did not rain it didn’t rain
we did not eat we didn’t eat
they did not drink they didn’t drink

Questions are also very easy. Just put ‘did’ before the subject, and the infinitive after it.

Here are the ‘yes / no’ questions:

‘Yes / No’ Questions
did I walk?
did you play?
did he cook?
did she listen?
did it rain?
did we eat?
did they drink?

To make a ‘wh’ question, of course, put the question word at the beginning of the sentence:

‘Wh’ Questions
where did I go?
what did you play?
what did he cook?
why did she listen?
when did it rain?
where did we eat?
how did they travel?

Source: Perfect English Grammar

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