The past simple at CEFR Level A1
The past simple at CEFR Level A1

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The past simple at CEFR Level A1. In English grammar, the past simple is used to talk about things that finished in the past. Here are some example sentences including the past simple:

  • I worked last Monday.
  • They studied for an English test last week.
  • She smiled when she saw him.

Structure of the past simple. To change the present simple (I work) to the past simple, all you have to do is add +ed (I worked). For verbs that already end in ‘e’, we only add the ‘d’ (I smile > I smiled)

Negative form of the past simple. The past simple can also be used to talk about something you did not do. For example, I worked last Monday changes to I did not work last Monday. It is common in English to abbreviate (make shorter) the words DO NOT by saying ‘don’t’.

  • I didn’t work last weekend.
  • He didn’t do his homework.
  • You didn’t tell me!

The rules for the past simple are a little easier than the present simple because they don’t change when you talk about I, we, you etc. For example

  • PRESENT SIMPLE: I live in London He lives in London. (add +s)
  • PAST SIMPLE: I lived in London. He lived in London. (no change in the verb)

The table below shows all of the forms of the past simple for the verb ‘work’.

Positive + Negative –
I worked didn’t work.
You worked didn’t work.
We worked didn’t work.
He worked didn’t work.
She worked didn’t work.
It worked didn’t work.
They worked didn’t work.

Question form of the past simple. To make a question using the past simple, we use ‘Did’ at the beginning of the question. For example:

  • + He lived in London.
  • – He didn’t live in London.
  • ? Did he live in London?

Here’ a stable showing all the different pronouns (I, you, we etc):

Did I work?
Did you work?
Did we work?
Did he work?
Did she work?
Did it work?
Did they work?