- The simple past expresses an action in the past taking place once, never or several times.
- It also can be used for actions taking place one after another or in the middle of another action.
- [VERB + ed] or Irregular Verbs
- You called Adam.
- Did you call Adam?
- You did not call Adam.
- It's similar to the present simple because it has different rules for the verb be which become was or were.
Use 1 : Completed action in the past
- It is used to express an action started and finished at a specific time in the past.
- I saw a football match yesterday.
- Last year, I travelled to Greece.
- Last year, I didn't travel to Amsterdam.
- Did you have dinner last night?
- She cleaned the dishes.
- He didn't washed his car.
Use 2 : A series of completed actions
- It is also used to list a series of completed actions in the past.
- These actions happen on first, second, third and so on.
- I finished work, walked to the beach and found a nice place to swim.
- He arrived from the airport at 10.00, checked into the hotel at 12.00 and met the others at 1.00.
- Did you add flour, pour the milk and then add the eggs?
Use 3 : Duration in past
- It can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past.
- A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions.
- I lived in Korea for two years.
- Zack studied Korean for three years.
- They sat at the beach all day.
- They did not stay at the party the entire time.
- We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.
Use 4 : Habits in the past
- It can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past.
- It can have the same meaning as used to.
- When talking about a habit, often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never,etc.
- I studied Korean when I was a child.
- He played the guitar.
- He didn't play the piano.
- Did you play musical instrument when you were a kid?
- She worked at the movie theater after school.
- They never went to school, they always skipped class.
Use 5 : Past facts or generalizations
- It is used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true.
- This use of the simple past is quite similar to the expression used to.
- She studied shy as a child but now she is very outgoing.
- He didn't like tomatoes before.
- Did you live in Texas when you were a kid?
- People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past.