Tip of the Week 21 – 2017 – the past simple

bits and bobs – small language tips to help 🙂

Tip of the Week 21 for 2017 is on the past simple

The past simple is used to describe fully completed events in the past. We often use a time indicator (e.g. yesterday, last year, in 2016 etc.) but we don’t always have to mention it – important is that the context must be about this past time.

To build the past form of regular verbs, –ed is simply added to the infinitive:

e.g.   work – worked

Irregular verbs are different and have to be learned:

e.g. drive-drove-driven

For questions and negatives we use the past simple form of the verb ‘to do.

Signal Words

last year/month (letztes Jahr/letzten Monat)
ago (vor)
for (für)
yesterday (gestern)
this morning (heute Morgen)
did (Hilfsverb) – used in questions
did not (Hilfsverb) – used in negative sentences