Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent - A Professional Education Company
Professional English Training Center Located In UK.
Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com
www.eloquentlearning.com

Talking about the past – Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

by | Jun 6, 2019 | English Grammar Tips, English Time Ask Elo

Talking about the past – Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 

Elo Kasia

 

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Talking about the past – Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 

Asked by Berlin Best (Community Leaner)

 

Talking about the past – Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 

Answered by Elo Kasia

 

Elo Kasia is the English Mentor for  English Time | What I Learned Today” .

 

Talking about the Past Simple Tense English Time Ask Elo

Talking about the Past Simple Tense | English Time Ask Elo

 
 

 

🤔 Question Time. Talking about the past – Past Simple Tense

 

🙏 @ Berlin Best, Thank you for your question.  

 

😀 As usual, I will try to explain the difference using simple language and plenty of examples.  

 
 
In English, there are several ways to talk about the past. The most common way is to use simple past form verbs (tense called Past Simple). Past Simple is the second most popular tense in English, after Present Simple.  
 
 
 

It is generally very simple to use, for many verbs, we just add +ed at the end and we have a past form.  

 

  • I call my best friend every day. Present
  • I called my best friend yesterday. Past
 
 

For questions, we use the “helping verb” – “did”.  

 

  • Did you call your best friend yesterday?
  • For negative sentences we use “didn’t”.
  • I didn’t call my best friend yesterday. I forgot.
 
 
 

However, there are many irregular forms which have to be memorised. A good idea is to learn the past form together with the basic form and memorise a few sentences with it, rather than learn tables of all verbs, which you are likely to forget.  

 

  • I usually drive to work. (present) I drove to work last week. (past)
  • I had a cup of coffee this morning with my breakfast. (have -had)
  • We were on the beach when you called. (be – was/were)
  • He made us dinner last Sunday. (make – made)
 
 
 

 Past Simple is really easy to use once you know the correct past form. The most common examples of usage:  

 

1. To talk about actions which started and finished at a specific time in the past. We usually say when it happened using yesterday, last night, last month, in 1999, when I was a child, etc. Sometimes, we may not actually mention the specific time, but we have the specific time in mind.  

 

  • I went to see a film last night. (go-went)
  • We saw our old friend for coffee this morning. (see – saw)
  • Last year, I travelled to Japan. (travel – travelled)
  • What did you have for lunch yesterday? I had sushi.

 

 

2. To talk about a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on. It is often used when we tell a story about something that happened. 

 

  • He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.
  • After work, I went shopping, then my friends came over for a couple of drinks. We stayed up until 1am! I am wrecked today!

 

 

3. To talk about events which lasted for some time in the past, but are now finished ie. for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.  

 

  • I lived in the United States for two years.
  • Samira studied Japanese for five years.
  • They sat at the beach all day.
  • They did not stay at the party for long.
  • How long did you wait for them? We waited for an hour and then went home.
 
 
 

4. To talk about habits in the past, which are no longer true (similar to “used to”). To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.  

 

  • I studied French when I was at university.
  • He played the violin as a child.
  • He often skipped school.
  • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a child?
 
 
These are the most common usages of the past tense. Make sure you follow our exercises and practise whenever you can!  
 
 
 

To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.  

 

  • I studied French when I was at university.
  • He played the violin as a child.
  • He often skipped school.
  • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a child?

 

These are the most common usages of the past tense. Make sure you follow our exercises and practise whenever you can!

 
 
 
 
 
Talking about the Past Simple Tense Elo Kasia is the Community Mentor for Talking about the Past Simple TenseEnglish Time | What I Learned Today”  and Director at Eloquent Learning Online School www.eloquentlearning.com.

 

Elo Kasia

Director at Eloquent Learning - A Professional Education Company Located In UK. , Strategy Partner of Chatsifieds.com

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