The simple past tense is used to describe a completed activity that happened in the past. In other words, it started in the past and ended in the past.
Uses of the Simple Past TenseHere are some examples of the simple past tense (shaded):
Forming the Simple Past TenseHere is an infographic explaining the simple past tense:
The Simple Past Tense with Time ExpressionsThe simple past tense is often seen with a time expression explaining when the activity took place or how long it lasted.
Examples of "when an activity took place":
The Other Past TensesThe simple past tense is one of four past tenses. They are:
Simple past tense
Past progressive tense
Past perfect tense
Past perfect progressive tense
Simple present tense
Present progressive tense
Present perfect tense
Present perfect progressive tense
Simple future tense
Future progressive tense
Future perfect tense
Future perfect progressive tense
Glossary of grammatical terms
Regular VerbsIf it's a regular verb, the simple past tense is formed like this:
Add "ed" to most verbs:
Irregular VerbsIf it's an irregular verb, the simple past tense is formed in all sorts of different ways. Here are some examples:
Click here for a list of the most common irregular verbs.
Click on the one with an example of the simple past tense: