Simple Past / Past Simple



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In this free Grammar lesson you will access:

  1. Grammar Video Tutorial on the simple past tense
  2. Objectives of the Lesson
  3. Transcript of the Video in English
  4. Today’s vocabulary
    List of Key Words
  5. Grammar Quizzes: (3 to complete)
    I) Mark the Words Grammar Quiz on “present simple”
    II) Drag the Words Grammar Quiz on “present simple”
    III) Fill in the blanks Grammar Quiz on “present simple”

I – Grammar Video Tutorial

Grammar Lesson

II – Objectives of the Lesson

Today’s learning goals

In this lesson, Learn English with Julia presents to you “Simple Past or Past Simple”, in order for you to:

  • go through examples
  • get practice through exercises
  • understand the past simple formula
  • see more past simple tense verbs

III – Video Transcript

English text

Hello and welcome to this video on the past simple tense! Now this video is more of an introductory video because I’ll be focusing on a regular verb: “to learn”. I recommend you watch the other videos on irregular verbs, on question forms, on how to spell this simple past.

Let’s focus on “learn”

The form in the past simple if it’s an affirmative sentence, a positive sentence: I’d simply add “-ED”

  • I learned
  • you learned
  • he/she/it learned
  • we learned
  • you learned
  • they learned

If it’s a negative form: I’m going to add an auxiliary. I’m not just going to say “I not learned”* or “I learned not”. I’m going to remove that ending (-ED) and give it to the auxiliary, so the auxiliary is in the simple past, followed by not, and the bare infinitive:

I did not learn – I didn’t learn

I’m insisting on this because students are sometimes tempted to say I “didn’t learned”.  So be careful there, students and teachers. So: I did not learn or I didn’t learn. Same form for all of the subjects.

What if I have a question? Here there are exceptions. I’ll just very briefly mention them. But just generally speaking, if it’s a regular verb I’ll formulate my question as follows:

  • Did I know?
  • Did you learn?
  • Did I not learn?
  • Didn’t I learn?

But in a question I can ask the following two:

1. If I’m looking for the object: “what did he say?”

  • What did he say? (question)

2. However if I’m looking for the subject, I’m not going to need this. I’m going to say: “Who said that?” So I’m going to use this form followed by the object.

  • Who said that? (the object)
  • Who said that? I’m looking for the subject.

That is an exception if you wish or a different context. So please practise once you’ve watched this video.

When do I use this tense?

– I generally you use it when the action is over, it’s been completed.
– When I want to focus on the duration of that action
– Or when an action has happened once, never or several times in the past.
– I also use it for a series of actions. I opened the book, I read, I learned something new.
– Or for facts or generalisations in the past.

These signal words are very useful with the simple past:
last… (last week, last Friday), in… (in September, in 1995), yesterday, the other day,
when… (when I was a child) and so on…

I also use this tense in one of the conditional clauses. So once again don’t forget to watch the other videos to fully understand this tense.

I’ve already mentioned many of the hints.

So watch out for the spelling. When it’s just a simple verb like this (learn) I just add “-ED” but it’s not always true so be careful.

Watch the video on irregular verbs (There are many irregular verbs), the conditional clauses, the auxiliaries also.

Find out more about the importance of these auxiliaries.

And question forms using the simple past.

'The verb to be or not to be, that is the question.' (Hamlet)Click To Tweet


IV – List of Key Words


Key Words listed in English:

  • past simple or simple past
  • past tense
  • irregular verbs
  • regular verbs
  • -ED endings

V – Grammar Quizzes

Today’s Grammar practice


Mark the Words Grammar Quiz:

Drag the Words Grammar Quiz:

Fill in the blanks Grammar Quiz:



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