Past simple



The past simple is used to describe fully completed events in the past. We often use a time indicator (e.g. yesterday, last year, in 2003 etc) but we don’t always have to mention it – important is that the context must be about this past time.



To build the past form of regular verbs, -ed is simply added to the infinitive.
work – worked
Regular verbs ending in a consonant + -y take an –ied ending.
study – studied

Irregular Verbs

Positive Sentences

I went to Frankfurt last week.
She drove to Bremen yesterday.
I moved to London in 2003.

Negative Sentences

Negatives are formed with did not (didn’t) and the infinitive.

I didn’t go to the meeting yesterday.
Simon didn’t work last week.
We didn’t do our English homework!


Questions are formed with did and the infinitive.

What did you do yesterday? – I worked on the sales presentation.
Did you work on the sales presentation yesterday? – No, I didn’t.

Short form

Did not can be shortened to didn’t in speech and informal use.

‘to be’ in the past

We do not use did/didn’t with the verb ‘to be’ in the past.
The respective past form of to be is used (was/were).