As the name implies, the simple past tense is used to express actions that happened in the past.
- I was at the mall at 5:00PM. – [It’s 6:00PM now, and you’re somewhere else.]
- The children were so excited that they jumped when they saw the new bus.
- 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)