32 Past Simple Negative


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

When expressed in its negative form, the verb denies something about the subject.


The past simple of both regular and irregular* verbs in their negative form has this structure:
Subject + did + not + verb + …

  • Did is the past form of the verb do.
  • Short form of the negative form is didn’t.
Subject did + not Verb Short Form
I did not work didn’t
You did not work didn’t
He did not work didn’t
She did not work didn’t
It did not work didn’t
We did not work didn’t
You did not work didn’t
They did not work didn’t

*Questions and negatives of irregular verbs have the same structure as regular verbs.


  1. I didn’t bake delicious biscuits yesterday.
  2. He didn’t study a lot for the exams.
  3. She didn’t do exercise last Monday.
  4. They didn’t travel around the world last year.


We use the past simple, in the negative form, to deny:

  1. Short finished actions and events that didn’t occur;
  2. Long finished situations that didn’t occur;
  3. Repeated events and habits that did not take place in the past;
  4. Past events that didn’t occur and we use time expressions such as: two weeks ago, last year, in 2010, yesterday


We use the past simple, in its negative form, to deny situations that occurred in the past and have now concluded.

The structure is:
Subject + did + not + verb + …

For example:
— “You didn’t ask.” = We use the past simple to express a past event that didn’t occur.

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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