Verb tenses: past simple

Questions
Overview

I walked to work yesterday. - Eu andei para o trabalho ontem.


Construction:

  • Regular verbs add -ed (e.g. want - wanted, love - loved, shout - shouted)
  • Irregular verbs are numerous and varied (e.g. buy-bought, fall-fell).
  • Questions require did:
    • When did you return to Brazil?
    • Did she go on holiday last year?
  • Negative phrases use didn’t or did not:
    • They didn’t go to Rio de Janeiro last month.
    • I didn’t see you last night.

Use:

  • to describe actions and states that occurred during a time period that finished in the past (e.g. yesterday, last year, in 1999).
    • He returned to Brazil last year.
  • to describe actions that happened regularly in the past.
    • We walked to school every day last week, but this week we are driving.

Note: the past simple is also used in conditional structures and phrases to sound more polite/formal (e.g. Did you want to have a meeting with me now?).

Further learning
Description Author Language
List of the 50 most common irregular verbs perfect-english-grammar.com
How to construct and when to use the past simple. EF English

Sources

This grammar section includes materials sourced from the following: Linguapress,