Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 3

Simple Past

1. The Simple Past Tense is used: (a) for actions happened in the past at a definite time. It is usually used with words or phrases indicating a certain time in the past like yesterday, last Monday, two minutes ago, a while ago, etc. e.g. I bought this bag yesterday. Mr. Chan gave us a test last week. Maria and her friends went for a picnic last Sunday. Mrs. Brown left home a while ago. She arrived at Kennedy Airport at 2 oclock this morning. Jim decided to continue the course, even though it was proving very difficultly. (b) for habitual actions in the past (i.e. actions which happened many times in the past). When it is used in this way, expressions like every day, always, often, over and over again, etc. are often used. e.g. He always came late for school when he was in primary six. Last year I went to the City Hall almost every day. My classmates sometimes visited me when I lived in the New Territories. Last summer I swam at that beach almost every afternoon. When I was younger I played badminton for my local team. The Pharaohs ruled Egypt for thousands of years. (c) If we are interested in when a present situation began rather than how long it has been going on for, we use the past simple. Compare: e.g. I started to get the pains three weeks ago. When did you arrive in Britain? However, we also use the past simple to talk about how long something went on for if the action or event is no longer going on: I stayed with my grandparents for six months. (=I am longer staying there) He spent some time in Paris when he was younger. How long did he live there? (d) We can use the past simple to talk about states. We use the past simple if the state no longer exists. Compare: e.g. I knew him when we were both working in Rome. We belonged to the tennis club in the village we used to live in. (e) In news reports, you will often read or hear events introduced with the past simple is used to give the detail: e.g. The film star Jim Cooper has died of cancer. He was 68 and lived in Texas The US space shuttle Atlantis has returned safely to earth. It landed in Florida this morning (f) We use the past simple rather than the past perfect when simply talk about a single activity or event in the past: e.g. I handed the letter to him. Sorry were late, we took the wrong turning.

(g) When we give an account of a sequence of past events, we usually put these events in chronological order with the past simple. e.g. The boy opened his eyes for a moment, looked at the captain and then died. John opened the door, rushed into the room, switched on the lights and then ran out of the room. 2. We use the negative form of the Simple Past Tense when we wish to talk about actions that did not happen in the past or things that were not true in the past. It is formed by using did followed by not and the basic form of the verb we are making negative. Positive Negative I went there. I did not go there. Joe held a party last week. Joe did not hold a party last week They arrived punctually last night. They did not arrive punctually last night. We took a number 41 bus to Ocean Park We did not take a number 41 bus to last Sunday. Ocean Park last Sunday. In spoken English, we often use the contracted form I didnt go for I did not go, you didnt go for you did not go, etc. Study the following table carefully. Regular Form Contracted Form I did not go. I didnt go. You did not go. You didnt go. He / She/ It did not go. He / She/ It didnt go. We did not go. We didnt go. You did not go. You didnt go. They did not go. They didnt go. 3. The question (interrogative) form of the Simple Past Tense is formed by using did followed by the subject and the basic form of the verb being used. Statement Question It rained heavily last night. Did it rain heavily last night? He arrived at school on time. Did he arrive at school on time? They tried their best in the last Did they try their best in the last examination. examination? She sent the parcel by air mail. Did she send the parcel by air mail? 4. The Past Tense of be. (a) The Past Tense of the verb be is formed differently from the Past Tense of other verbs. Study the following table carefully. Present Past I am busy now. I was busy yesterday. You are busy now. You were busy yesterday. He is busy now. He was busy yesterday. She is busy now. She was busy yesterday. It is a dog. It was a puppy two years ago. We are busy now. We were busy yesterday. They are busy now. They were busy yesterday. The boys are busy now. The boys were busy yesterday.

(b) The negative form of was and were is formed by putting not after the verb. e.g. Peter was not here yesterday. In spoken English, we usually say I wasnt for I was not, You werent for You were not, etc. These are called the contracted forms. Study the following table carefully. Sentence Structure And Patterns Regular Form Contracted Form I was not in Macau yesterday. I wasnt in Macau yesterday. You were not in Macau yesterday. You werent in Macau yesterday. He / She/ It was not in Macau yesterday. He / She/ It wasnt in Macau yesterday. We were not in Macau yesterday. We werent in Macau yesterday. You were not in Macau yesterday. You werent in Macau yesterday. They were not in Macau yesterday. They werent in Macau yesterday. (c) The interrogative form of was, were is formed by placing the verb was or were in front of its subject. Statement Question I was angry yesterday. Was I angry yesterday? You were angry yesterday. Were you angry yesterday? He was angry yesterday. Was he angry yesterday? She was angry yesterday. Was she angry yesterday? We were angry yesterday. Were we angry yesterday? You were angry yesterday. Were you angry yesterday? They were angry yesterday. Were they angry yesterday? 5. Comparison of the Simple Present Tense with the Simple Past Tense. Simple Present Tense is used to describe actions which often, usually, sometimes, never, or seldom happen Simple Past Tense is used either (a) for an action which was completed at a certain time in the past (e.g. Peter went to Macau yesterday.), or (b) for an action that happened frequently, usually, seldom, etc. in the past (e.g. Peter often went to Macau last year.). Now, compare the following sentences, paying special attention to the verb forms in the sentences. Simple Present Simple Past Peter often comes here. Peter came here yesterday. Peter often came here last year. Mary seldom eats fish. Mary ate fish yesterday. Mary seldom ate fish when she was a baby. Harry sometimes goes swimming. Harry went swimming last week-end Marry sometimes went swimming last year.