Unit 6.1

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:

Regular

Subject + Verb (Past tense) + …

  • We add -ed at the end of the verb:
Subject Verb (past tense)
I worked
You worked
He worked
She worked
It worked
We worked
You worked
They worked

Exceptions

The exceptions of the past simple in their affirmative form are:

  • verbs with suffix -e: add only -d:
Infinitive Verb (past tense)
hope hoped
decide decided
arrive arrived
  • 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 a consonant (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 planted some trees yesterday.
  • He visited the capital in 2012.
  • We worked in Italy for 8 years.

Exceptions:

  • I hoped to go skiing.
  • You arrived at the city centre.
  • She studied very hard for the exams.
  • The children cried all the time.
  • We stopped doing exercise long ago.
  • They travelled all over the world.

Use

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

  1. actions, situations and events that occurred and finished in the past;
  2. repeated events and habits that took place in the past;
  3. past events and with time expressions such as: two weeks agolast yearin 2010yesterday

Summary

We use the past simple, in the affirmative form, to confirm situations and events that occurred and finished or were repeated in the past. We also use it with some time expressions. The past simple form is made by adding -ed at the end of the verb.

When we use the past simple in its affirmative form, we start with the subject followed by the verb in the past tense.

For example:
— “They worked on an important project yesterday.” = The sentence is in the past simple affirmative, so we add -ed at the end of the verb work (worked).

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

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

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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