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Simple Past / Past Indefinite Tense

Use of Was and Were


Is, am, are, be

was, were

been

The
Theverbs
verbswas
wasand
andwere
wereare
arealso
alsoforms
forms
ofofthe
verb
be.Was
is
the
simple
past
tense
the verb be.Was is the simple past tenseofof
am
amand
andis.
is.Use
Usewas
waswith
withthe
thepronouns
pronounsI,I,he,
he,
she
and
it,
and
with
singular
nouns.
In
these
she and it, and with singular nouns. In these
sentences,
sentences, was
was and
and were
were are
are not
not the
the helping
helping
verbs.
verbs.

Examples:
1. I was a conductor.
2. He was a doctor.
3. They were honest.
4. We were players.
5. The Romans were brave soldiers.
6. They were third in the wheelbarrow race.
7. There werent any clouds in the sky.
8. We were on the same school team.
9. Those were my best jeans.

Usage of this tense


Use the simple past tense to talk about things that
happened in the past. The simple past tense is also
used to talk about things that happened in stories.In
this tense, we talk about something which started and

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Examples:

The wicked Queen gave

longer every
her an apple.

Dinosaurs lived

The liars nose grew


time he told a lie.

It snowed last

night.
millions of years ago.

She decorated the house.

a big tree.

Other Examples:

Mom opened the door for us.


That event happened long ago.
We visited our uncle last week.
They walked to school together yesterday.
They worked until twelve last night.
Dad tried to fix the light.
I lost my pen on the bus.
We sold our car last week.
The baby slept right thought the night.
Peter got a watch for his birthday.
I heard a noise in the night.

Ali cut down

He brought his pet mouse to school.


Columbus reached America in 1492.
I graduated from school last year.
I visited America in 1942.
We never went abroad for our holidays until the 1970s.
Millions of years ago, dinosaurs inhabited the earth.

Weuse
usethe
theSimple
SimplePast
Pastto
todescribe
describeaaseries
seriesof
ofactions
actionsin
in
We
the
past.
the past.

The bird flew into the class and started chirping.

He departed and bade her good-bye.

Ali shot and scored a goal.


More Examples:
i.
ii.

First I got up, then I had breakfast.


He came in, took off his coat and sat down.

iii.
iv.

He jumped out of bed, ran into the bathroom and slammed


the door.
He got up early in the morning, brushed his teeth, washed
his face, combed his hair, took his bag, kissed his mother
and went to school on bus.

We use the Simple Past together with the past


progressive.
The action
in the Simple
We
use the Simple
Past together
with Past
the past
interrupted the
Progressive.
progressive.
Theaction
actionin
inthe
thePast
Simple
Past
interrupted the action in the Past Progressive.

The baby was sleeping peacefully when the phone bell rang.

The children were laughing when their mother called them.

They were watching TV when the clock struck two.


Other Examples:

They were playing cards when the telephone rang.


When I was having breakfast, the phone rang.
I was treating a patient when Pakistan attacked India.
They were taking their mathematics paper when the bell
suddenly rang.

Questions and negative statements


Remember: For making questions and negative statements, we use
Do(1st form of verb) in simple present tense and Did (2nd form of
do)in simple past tense.
Did not is placed after the subject, and the 2 nd form of the verb is changed to the bare
infinitive(1st form).

Affirmative Statement
Negative Statement
I spoke.
I did not speak.
You lied.
You did not lie.
He went to school.
He did not go to school.
She hated me.
She did not hate me.
It flew.
It did not fly.
We cried.
We did not cry.
They smiled.
They did not smile.
In spoken English, the following contraction is often used:
Without Contraction

With Contraction

did not
didn't
In order to change an affirmative statement into a question, did is
placed before the subject, and the form(2 nd form) of the verb is
changed from the Simple Past to the bare infinitive(1 st form). Sign of
interrogation is necessary at the end of the interrogative sentence.

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_
Affirmative Statement
Question
_
I worked.
Did I work?
_
You laughed..
Did you laugh?
He watched TV.
Did he watch TV?
_
She listened to the radio.
Did she listen to the radio?
_
It happened.
Did it happen?
We ran.
Did we run?
_
They wrote.
Did they write?
_
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For negative interrogatives, did is placed before the subject, not is


placed after the subject, and the form of the verb is changed to the
bare infinitive(1st form).
Examples:
1. Did he not follow me?
2. Did they not tell us the story?
3. Did she not have a headache?
Question statements with what, why, where, when , how are
made by placing these words at the very beginning of the sentences
(after these words did is placed).
Examples:
Why did I hit him?
Where did I not hit my brother?
When did he work?
How did she not follow?
Why was I present?
( the use of was )
Where were they liars?
( the use of were )
When was she handsome?
( the use of was )
How were you not friends? ( the use of were )
When did they not hit me?
Where did they depart?
Why was I awake?
( the use of was )
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ADVERB PLACEMENT
The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such
as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc in the past simple tense.
You just called Debbie.
adverb + verb)

Place it after subject in positive sentence. (subj. +

Did you just call Debbie?


subj. +adverb +verb)

Place it after subject in (?) sentence also (Auxiliary +

ACTIVE / PASSIVE in past simple:

(In passive voice, subject of active voice becomes


object of passive
voice and object of active voice becomes subject of
passive voice.)

Active voice structure:


object

Subject

+ 2nd form

Tom
the car.
Passive voice structure:
by + object

Subject
The car

by

repaired
+

was/were + 3rd form


was

repaired

Tom.
IF Clause Type 2

Past simple(2nd form) is used in conditional sentences type 2

Form : if + Simple Past(2nd form), would + Infinitive(1st


form)
Conditional Sentences Type II refer to situations in the present. An
action could happen if the present situation were different. I don't
really expect the situation to change, however.
Example 1 :If I found her address, I would send her an invitation.
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Example 2 : If I were you, I would do this.
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Remember : In this conditional type 2, were is
used even if the pronoun(in If clause) is singular

The main clause(without If) can also be at the beginning of the


sentence. In this case, don't use a comma.

Example : I would do this if I were you.


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Main clause and / or if clause might be negative.(place not
after would in the sentence).
Example 4 : If I had a lot of money, I wouldnt stay here. ( wouldt =
would not )
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_Example

5 : They would not hurt you if you supported them.

Or
If you supported them, they would not hurt you.

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Example 6 : If you did not hit him, he would not leave you.
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In the example 6, both the if clause and the main clause are the
negative.
Prepared & Selected by:
Zeeshan Nawaz Bhalli
MA (English)
smartbhalli@gmail.com