Simple Past Examples

Today we are going to learn more about the simple past and how to make sentences with them.

The simple past is a verb tense that is used to talk about actions or events that happened in the past.

These are some examples of simple past sentences:

  • I went to the store.
  • She ate a sandwich for lunch.
  • He played soccer with his friends.
  • We watched a movie together.
  • They visited the museum on Saturday.

Continue reading so you can learn how to make affirmative, negative, and interrogative sentences correctly


Simple Past: Uses

The Simple Past is used to talk about actions completed in the past.

  1. She came back last Thursday.
  2. I saw her in the building.
  3. I made a cake for my mom, it was delicious
  4. I ran to the train station every day
  5. I sent some flowers to my girlfriend, today is her birthday
  6. They didn’t agree with me.
  7. They did their homework, but it was kind of difficult
  8. They played video games the whole night
  9. Yesterday I did exercise.
  10. I didn’t go to the gym last Sunday.

It can also be used to talk about a period of time

  1. She lived in California for seven years.
  2. They were in London from Monday to Friday
  3. Last week, I stayed with my sister for a few days
  4. Joe lived in Boston for ten years.
  5. From 1981 to 1984, he worked for a large multinational company.

Simple Past and Expressions of Time

You will often find the past simple used with time expressions such as these:

  • I met him yesterday
  • I traveled to Europe last summer.
  • I saw him two weeks ago
  • I played soccer from May to June
  • I worked there for 4 weeks
  • In the 1990s, I stole many cars
  • She came to visit me last year
  • She started her new job last month.
  • She graduated from college last year.
  • She was the best singer of the last century
  • The last time I went to a concert was in 2009
  • They have known him for a long time
  • They went on a vacation to Hawaii last December.
  • In the past, I made so many  mistakes
  • We moved into our new house last week.

Simple Past: Affirmative Sentences

The structure to make affirmative sentences with the simple past is the following:

StructureExample
SubjectI
Verbwent
Complementto the supermarket

These are some examples of affirmative sentences in the simple past:

  • I walked to the park.
  • She cooked dinner for us.
  • He finished his homework.
  • We went to the movies.
  • They had a party at their house.
  • I played tennis with my friends.
  • She read a book before bed.
  • He drove to work.
  • We watched a TV show.
  • They visited their grandparents.

Simple Past Examples: Negative Sentences

To make the negative form, we add the negative form (didn’t) between the pronoun or subject and the verb.

StructureExample
SubjectI
Didn’tDidn’t
Verbwent
Complementto the supermarket

The verb in negative statements is in its infinitive form

Simple Past AffirmativeSimple Past Negative
I went to the storeI didn’t go to the store
She wanted moneyShe didn’t want money
He played soccerHe didn’t play soccer
It worked wellIt didn’t work well
We watched a movieWe didn’t watch a movie
you cooked dinnerYou didn’t cook dinner
they ran yesterdayThey didn’t run yesterday

Simple Past Examples: Questions

To make a question in the simple past, you have to add the word “did” at the beginning of every question and keep the verb in its infinitive form.

Simple Past AffirmativeSimple Past Questions
I went to the storeDid I go to the store?
She wanted moneyDid you want money?
He played soccerDid he play soccer?
It worked wellDid it work well?
We watched a movieDid we watch a movie?
you cooked dinnerDid you cook dinner?
they ran yesterdayDid they run yesterday

Wh-Questions in the Simple Past

These are some examples of questions and answers with the simple past

  • Where did you go on vacation last year?
  • I went to the beach
  • What did you eat for dinner?
  • I ate a salad
  • How did you get to work today?
  • I took the bus
  • Which movie did you see last night?
  • I didn’t watch any movies
  • Who did you call yesterday?
  • I called a woman I met at the bar
  • What did you do on your birthday?
  • I spent time with my kids
  • Who did you go to the concert with?
  • I went with my girlfriend

Simple Past Conversation questions

These are some common questions you can make when talking about the past

  1. Where did you go on your last vacation?
  2. What did you do for your last birthday?
  3. What did you do last week?
  4. How did you spend your weekend?
  5. What did you do yesterday morning?
  6. Did you watch any movies last night? What movies did you watch?
  7. Who was your first crush?
  8. What did you do for the last 24 hours?
  9. What was the last movie that you watched?
  10. When was the last time you went shopping?
  11. When was the last time you went on a date?
  12. When was the last time you had a party?
  13. Did you do any exercises last week? What exercises did you do?
  14. How did you spend your days when you were a kid?
  15. How did you have fun when you were in high school?

More about English Grammar

I hope that you have found all the simple past examples you were looking for

These are some posts with more examples of different grammar topics

  1. Future Continuous Tense Examples
  2. Passive Voice Examples
  3. Sentences with Conjunctions
  4. Sentences with Irregular Verbs
  5. Verb to Be Examples
  6. Sentences with Get
  7. Sentences with Like
Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

Hi, I am Manuel Campos, The Professor behind GatherLessons.com. I am from Costa Rica and I currently teach English at UTN