Simple Past

As the name implies, the simple past tense is used to express actions that happened in the past.

Simple Past timeline

Simple Past timeline

Past actions

  1. I was at the mall at 5:00PM. – [It’s 6:00PM now, and you’re somewhere else.]
  2. The children were so excited that they jumped when they saw the new bus.
  3. They were at the park when you called.

Words in red are verbs. However, unlike the simple present tense, the verb forms vary.

  • was, were: auxiliary or helping verbs; also known as verb “to be”
  • jumped, saw, called: action verbs

Most action verbs in the past tense form contain the “-ed” suffix. Verbs with “-ed” are called Regular Verbs. (e.g: jumped, called)

There are also many other verbs in the past tense form that do not have the “-ed” suffix. Instead their spellings change. These verbs are called Irregular Verbs. (e.g.: saw)


Posted on July 7, 2009, in Verb Tenses and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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