Simple Past Tense

1. We use the simple past tense for a single completed action at a definite past time:


2. We use the simple past tense for a specific past event even though we do not mention the time*:

The event happened at a specific time in the past.

3. We also use the simple past tense for a period of time in the past that is now finished:

The period begins and ends in the past.

4. When we use the simple past tense, we are speaking of finished time. Sometimes the time is explicitly mentioned, but not always.*

In both examples the period of time is finished, and the action was completed at a specific time in the past.

5. Always use the simple past tense with ago.


*When we do not mention the time in simple past sentences, we understand from the context what time or period we are referring to.




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This page was last modified on 07/23/11