Past Simple Tense
We use past simple tense to;
- talk about people and situations in the past,
- often emphasize dates and times in the past,
- talk about a single finished action in the past,
- talk about repeated action in the past,
- describe when one thing happens after another in the past,
- talk about a situation finished in the past.
Grammar rule for past simpe tense is as followings;
Positive Sentences: Subject + was/were + complement or Subject + Verb(2) + complement
Negative Sentences: Subject + was/were + not + complement or Subject + didn’t + Verb(1) + complement
Question Sentences: Was/were + subject + complement or Question Words (what, etc.) + did + subject +Verb(1) + complement
- She was Russian. / They were there. / I went to school.
- He wasn’t Italian. / We weren’t there / They didn’t arrive.
- Was it a dog? / Were they there? / How much was it? / What did you do?
Note 1: We use “was” for he/she/it, and “were” for we/you/they.
Example: He was born in Ankara. / They were students.
Note 2: Time expressions such as yesterday, in 2009, last week, one month ago, etc are often used to emphasize when something happened.
Example: The school started one month ago.
Note 3: It is also possible to use “when + past simple tense”
Example: My mother played piano when she was young.
Note 4: In addition, “then” is used to say that one action happened after another one.
Example: He finished high school in 2012. Then he went to university.
Note 5: Also, “from…..to” is used to describe the beginning and end of a past situation.
Example: Atatürk lived from 1881 to 1938.
Note 6: In order to say how long a past situation lasted, “for ten minutes, a month, etc.” is used.
Example: She stayed in Los Angeles for three weeks last winter.