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Friday, October 26, 2012

Simple Past Tense


We use Simple Past Tense:
1). to describe actions and situations that happened in the past. These actions and situations were started and finished in the past at a definite time.
 The sentence often contains an adverb or adverb phrase of time, such as yesterday, the other day, last night, last week, three days ago, a few minutes ago, in (year), from (year) to (year), etc.

Examples:
We arrived at 9:00 o'clock.
This morning I went to the supermarket.
 We came here in 1980.
I worked at Johnson & Co.from 1990 to 1995.
My brother lived in London for six years. (Implication: he doesn't live there anymore)

2).  to talk about habitual or repeated actions that took place in the past
Examples
When she was young, she danced beautifully.
He played the violin when he was a child.

3). to tell a story and to express actions which follow each other in a story
It happened one night in the winter.
She opened her bag, took out the key and unlockedthe door.

4).  to refer to the historical past or to events that have happened in the distant past relative to the speaker
Examples
World War II ended in 1945.
Romans built strong bridges.

5). for reporting what someone said (converting from direct to reported speech)
Examples
David said that he was tired.
The doctor told me that I would have to stay in the hospital for a week.

6). to talk about action in the past that take place in the middle of another action
 When Peter arrived, I was reading a book.
I was having a bath when the phone rang.

References: Awdiah murabbeen resources /University of Victoria/ University of Technology Sydney


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