THE PAST SIMPLEFORM:I/ you /he/ she / we / they/ worked* (regular verbs) went (irregular verbs)I/you/he/she/we/they didn’t work didn’t goDid I/you/he/she/we/they work/go?
Adding the -edThe general rule: work – workedSome changes:a) liked – used – baked (we dropped the final –e)b) stopped – planned – grabbedc) preferred – admitted However: entered – visited- listenedPay attention: travelled – programmedd) carry- carried bury- buried but play - played
USES:1- We use the Past Simple to express an action which happened at a specific time in the past and is now finished.I saw him last month/ last year/ two years ago/ yesterday morning / in 1999 / when I was young.2- We use the Past Simple to tell a story:There was once a man who lived in a small house in the country. One day he left his house and went into town. On the way he met….
THE PAST CONTINUOUSFORM: Subject + was/were + ---ingI / he / she / it was going homeWe / you / they were going homeI / he / she / it wasn’t workingWe / you / they weren’t workingWhere was I/ he / she / it going?Where were you / we / they going?
USES OF THE PAST CONTINUOUS:As with all continuous tenses, there is an idea of duration and activity in progress over a period of time:Compare these TWO sentences:a) At 10.00 I had a bath.b) At 10.00 I was having a bath.
1) We use the Past Continuous to express an activity happening at a particular time in the past:What were you doing at 8.00 last night?I was watching television.2)It is used for descriptions,(while the simple past is used for actions): I got up early and opened the window. The sun was shining, the birds were singing..3) It is used to express an activity that is interrupted.While I was having a bath, the phone rang.I met Tim as I was walking to schoolThe students were working when the teacher walked in.
PAST PERFECT SIMPLE / CONTINUOUSFORM:Subject + had + past participleI had lost my jobI hadn’t seen herHad you heard…?Subject + had + been + _ingI had been waiting..I hadn’t been queuing for too longHad you been drinking..?
USES:1) The Past Perfect is used to express an action that happened before a definite time in the past:Ann couldn’t hold back her tears any longer. She had had a terrible day. She had been late for work. She had lost her purse…2) The Past Perfect Continuous expresses longer activities that had been going on up to a definite time in the pastHe looked filthy. He had been sleeping under bridges for a month, and had been drinking far too much.
Compare the use of tenses:He couldn’t stand up. He had been drinking all day. (repeated activity)He couldn’t stand up. He had drunk half a bottle of whisky. (completed action)She was pale. She had cut her finger and lost a lot of blood. (single action)She was tired. She had been cutting wood all day. (repeated activity)
TIME CLAUSES WITH: when, till, until, as soon as, before, after.Two past simple tenses can be used if there is an idea that the second action is the result of the first, and that it happened immediately afterwards.When his flight was announced, he went to the check-in desk.I sat outside until the sun went down.If it is important to show that the first action was completed before the second one began, the Past Perfect must be used for the action that happened first:When I had finished my homework, I went to bed.He didn’t leave the house until he had checked that all the windows were closed.
Compare these sentences:a) As soon as she saw the mouse, she jumped on a chair.a) We left as soon as we had finished dinner.