Simple Past Tense - Orchids The International School
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Tenses

Concept: Simple Past Tense

What is Tense?

  • Tense is a verb that shows when an action happens.
  • Depending on when an action happens, we can divide tenses into three types – a) Present tense, b) Past tense, c) Future tense.

Examples:

Boy

Present tense: I run every day.

Past tense: I ran yesterday.

Future tense: I will run tomorrow.

Look at the three examples. The verbs ‘run’, ‘ran’, and ‘will run’ in the sentences shows actions in the present, past, and future.

We have already learned about the present tense. In this lesson, we’ll talk about the past tense.

What is the Simple Past Tense?

  1. The simple past tense is used to show an action that has already happened or has existed before now.
  2. The action that was finished or completed at a particular time in the past and is over now, is written in the simple past tense.
  3. It is also used to describe past habits.

Examples:

Boy

The verb ‘called’ in the sentence shows that the action already took place at a particular time in the past which is ‘yesterday’.

Making of the Simple Past Tense:

1. The “be verb” in a simple past tense changes its form depending on whether the subject is singular or plural.

a) Singular nouns and singular pronouns like ‘he’, ‘she’, ‘it’, and the personal pronoun ‘I’ are followed by ‘was’.

Examples:

  1. I was not awake when you called me.
  2. He was busy last night.
  3. She was a good student.
  4. It was cold yesterday.
  5. Rahim was an artist.

2) In order to make simple past tense negative, we use ‘did not’ before the base verb and the verb form stays the same. The verb is written in the present form.

Examples:

  1. We did not play cricket yesterday.
  2. He did not talk to me.

3) Most of the past tense sentences are written in the manner given below. Add ‘-ed’ to the base verb to make it a simple past tense.

Boy

Examples:

  1. Raghav played (play - ed) football yesterday.
  2. He lived (live – d) in Canada.
  3. I missed (miss – ed) my school days.
  4. I learned (learn – ed) French last year.
  5. I finished (finish – ed) my homework last night.

e) Add ‘-d’ to the base verb to write it in the simple past tense, if a verb ends with ‘-e’.

Examples:

  1. Like – liked
  2. I liked the blue dress in the shop.

  3. Believe – believed
  4. The policeman believed everything the robber said.

Common Mistake:

1. We can’t change all verbs into simple past by adding ‘d’ or ‘ed’. If a verb ends with ‘-y’ and the ‘-y’ is preceded by a consonant, the ‘-y’ usually changes to ‘-i’, and then we can add ‘ed’ to the word to make it simple past.

Examples:

cry – cried

  • I cried last night because my brother broke my computer.
  • I cryed last night because my brother broke my computer.

2. Some irregular verbs don’t show any change in their verb form when changed from the simple present tense to tense simple past tense.

Present Past
cost cost
fit fit
put put
shut shut
cut cut
hit hit
hurt hurt
Boy

Examples:

  • I put my wallet on the table last night. Now I can’t find it.
  • I putted my wallet on the table last night. Now I can’t find it

3. Some other verbs see a complete change in spelling when the verb form changes. Look at the examples given below:-

woke
Present Past
go
rise rose
see saw
wake
come came
drive drove
stick stuck
fight fought
Boy

Examples:

  • I woke up too early in the morning.
  • I waked up too early in the morning.

Look at the mind map to have a better understanding of the concept.

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