Past Simple Tense Examples

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The past simple tense, sometimes called the preterit, expresses a completed action in the past. In English, it is the basic kind of past tense. The action could have taken place in the recent or distant past, and it does not matter how long it lasted or took place.

Here are some examples.

We have also prepared a complete list of irregular verbs in English. It contains more than 600 verbs, sorted by difficulty.

The Past Simple tense examples

Examples of Affirmative sentences

construction of an affirmative sentence for the past simple tense:

Subject + past simple (verb + ed or irregular verb) + object.

Past Simple affirmative construction

Examples of past simple tense:

  • They got home very late last night.
  • I watched TV last week.
  • I walked.
  • I lived abroad for ten years.
  • They always enjoyed visiting their friends.
  • The rain stopped an hour ago.
  • She was beautiful.
  • I saw a movie last week.
  • I played football yesterday.
  • They were hungry.


You can also see 10 examples of simple past tense sentences in a separate article.

Examples of negative sentences

negative sentence construction for the past simple tense:

Subject + did not + base form of verb + object.Past Simple negative construction

Examples of past simple tense:

  • I didn’t see you yesterday.
  • You did not call David.
  • We didn’t have any money.
  • I didn’t play football yesterday.
  • It didn’t rain.
  • They did not stay at the party the entire time.
  • We didn’t have time to visit the Eiffel Tower.
  • She didn’t arrive on time this morning.
  • He didn’t wash his car.

It is good to learn the top 100 irregular verbs. English has more than 600 of them, but start with the most common ones.

Examples of questions

question construction for the past simple tense:

Did + subject + base form of verb + object ?Past Simple question construction

Examples of past simple tense:

  • Did you call David?
  • Did you live in the UK when you were a child?
  • Did they lose the match?
  • Did you play football yesterday?
  • Did you have dinner last night?
  • Did you live abroad?
  • Did she clean her home?
  • How long did you wait for them?
  • Why did she listen?

Read the detailed article on the past simple tense.

See examples of 5 sentences of simple past tense.

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