Unit 6.1

Past Simple Negative

Tenses

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.
Subjectdid + notVerbShort Form
Idid notworkdidn’t
Youdid notworkdidn’t
Hedid notworkdidn’t
Shedid notworkdidn’t
Itdid notworkdidn’t
Wedid notworkdidn’t
Youdid notworkdidn’t
Theydid notworkdidn’t

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

  1. didn’t plant some trees yesterday.
  2. didn’t study about plants for the exams.
  3. The school didn’t decide that all students should do exercise. 
  4. They didn’t travel all over the place.

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

  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

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

When we use the past simple in its negative form, we start with the subject followed by did not and the base form of the verb.

For example:
— “You didn’t ask.” = The sentence is in the past simple negative, so we use did not followed by the base form of the verb to ask (didn’t ask).

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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