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UNIT 2 — TRAVEL — Lesson 2A
Simple Past

 
 

In Lesson 2 you will learn about past time.

In order to do the exercises and activities in this lesson, you need to know the concepts explained in the reference tools listed here. Please review these sections. If you do not understand something, please ask your teacher.

Grammar & Structure:

We use the past tense when we describe a trip we took and to describe other actions or situations in the past. In Unit 1, the simple present and present continuous describe actions that happen in the present. In this unit the simple past and past continuous describe completed actions. The simple past and the past continuous are used in different ways.

Examples

Mary visited her mother last week. (simple past)
Mary was visiting her mother yesterday at 4:00. (past continuous)

The form of the simple past is VERB + ed. The simple past:

  • describes activities and situations that happened at a specific time in the past.
  • has regular and irregular forms (see the Grammar & Structure Reference Tool: Irregular Verbs).
  • uses special words to show past time (see the Grammar & Structure Reference Tool: Past Time Expressions).

Examples

Mary visited her mother last week. (VISIT+ed)
Jane booked a ticket to Vancouver in 1999. (book+ed)

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We can use the negative with the simple past.

Negative Simple Past (did not + VERB)

Examples

Mary did not visit her mother last week.
Jane did not book a ticket to Vancouver in 1999.

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We can ask questions with the simple past.

Question Simple Past (yes / no): Did + subject + VERB

Examples

Did Mary visit her mother last week?
Did Jane book a ticket to Vancouver in 1999?

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The Grammar & Structure Reference Tool has more information about Past Simple.