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University of VictoriaIntroduction to IT English
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Simple Past Tense


The simple past tense describes events that happened in the past.


I printed the file yesterday.


The simple past tense —

  • describes actions completed in the past.
  • uses time expressions to show when the action happened in the past — “yesterday”, “last week”, “last year”, “in 2004”, are examples of time expressions.
  • adds “ed” to the verb for regular verbs.
  • has irregular verb forms.
  • uses the auxiliary “did” + “not” to make negative simple past sentences.
  • uses the same structure as the simple present for questions.