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12 Aug
ENG45  0

Past simple (I did)


Past simple (I did)

 /Files/Articles/1096_en_Past simple.gif



Study this example:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian musician and composer.

He Lived from 1756 to 1791./Files/Articles/1096_en_Mozart.jpg

He started composing at the age of five and wrote more than 600 pieces of music.

He was only 35 years old when he died.

(lived/ started/ wrote/ was/ died are all past simple)



Very often the past simple ends in - ed (regular verbs):

 I work in a travel agency now. Before that, I worked in a department store.

We invited them to our party, but they decided not to come.

 The police stopped me on my way home last night.

 Laura passed her exam because she studied very hard.


But many verbs are irregular. The past simple does not end in - ed. For example:

Write →wrote       Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music.

See → saw           We saw Tanya in town a few days ago.

 go →went           I went to the cinema three times last week.

shut → shut         lt was cold, so I shut the window.


In questions and negatives, we use did/didn't+ infinitive (enjoy/see/go, etc.):

'When did Mr. Thomas die?' 'About ten years ago.'

 They didn't invite us to the party, so we didn't go.

'Did you have time to do shopping?' 'No, I didn't.'


In the following examples, do is the main verb in the sentence (did ... do I didn't do):

What did you do at the weekend? ( not  What did you at the weekend?)

I didn't do anything. ( not I didn't anything)


The past of be (am/is/are) is was/were:

I / he/ she/ it  was/wasn't                was I/ he/ she/ it?

We /you/ they were/weren't             were we/ you/ they?


Note that we do not use did in negatives and questions with was/were:

 I was angry because they were late.

Was the weather good when you were on holiday?

They weren't able to come because they were so busy.

Did you go out last night or were you too tired?


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