31 Past Simple Affirmative

Introduction

The past simple is the tense used to express situations, events and actions that happened in the past.

When expressed in its affirmative form, the verb confirms something about the subject.

Form

The past simple of regular verbs, in their affirmative form, has this structure:
Subject + Verb (Past tense) + …

Regular

Past form of the verb: verb + -ed.

Subject Verb (past tense)
I worked
You worked
He worked
She worked
It worked
We worked
You worked
They worked

Exceptions

  • Verbs with suffix -y preceded by a consonant: change -y to -i and add -ed.
Infinitive Verb (past tense)
study studied
cry cried
worry worried
  • Verbs with suffix -e: add only -d.
Infinitive Verb (past tense)
hope hoped
decide decided
arrive arrived
  • Verbs with a consonant suffix (except: w, y) preceded by a stressed vowel: double the consonant and add -ed.
Infinitive Verb (past tense)
stop stopped
ban banned
travel travelled

Example

Regular

  • I baked delicious biscuits yesterday.
  • He played basketball for 8 years.
  • They visited Estonia in 2012.

Exceptions

Consonant + -y

  • I studied a lot for the exams.
  • Their children cried all the time.
  • He applied to Oxford University last year.

Base form with suffix -e

  • I hoped to meet you yesterday.
  • The school decided to call your parents.
  • They arrived in Valencia two days ago.

Stressed vowel + consonant suffix

  • He stopped doing exercise long ago.
  • My friend suggested going to the banned beach.
  • They travelled every summer when they were young.

Use

We use the past simple, in the affirmative form, to confirm:

  • Actions, situations and events that occurred and finished in the past;
  • Repeated events and habits that took place in the past;
  • Past events and with time expressions such as: two weeks ago, last year, in 2010, yesterday

Summary

We use the past simple, in the affirmative form, to confirm situations that occurred in the past and have now concluded.

The structure of regular verbs is:
Subject + Verb (Past tense) + …

For example:
— Regular verbs: “You ask.” ⇒ “You asked.” = We just add -ed.

The past simple tense of regular verbs is formed differently depending on the base form of the verb used.

For example:
— Suffix -y: “I try.” ⇒ “I tried.” = We change y to i and add -ed.
— Suffix -e: “I dance.” ⇒ “I danced.” = We just add -d.
— Suffix with stressed vowel + consonant (except -w and -y): “I plan.” ⇒ “I planned.” = We double the consonant and add -ed.

Let’s revise this content within the {Form} section. Take a look at the {Example} section that shows its use within a context.

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