A: Study this example :

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was an Austrian musician and composer. He lived from 1756 to 1791. He started composing at the age of five and wrote more than 600 pieces of music.
He was only 35 years old when he died.

Lived/started/worte/was/died are all past simple.

B. Very often the past simple ends in -ed (regular verbs) :

  • i work as a software engineer now. Before that I worked as a designer.
  • We invited them to our party. but they decided not to come.
  • The police stopped me on my way home last night.
  • Laura passed her examination because she studied very hard.

Many verbs are irregular. The past simple does not end in -ed. For example :

  • write -> wrote : Mozart wrote more than 600 pieces of music.
  • see -> saw : We saw Rose in town a few days ago.
  • go -> went : I went to the cinema three times last week.
  • shut -> shut : It was cold, so I shut the window.

For a list of irregular verbs

C: In questions and negatives we use did/didn't + infinitive (enjoy/see/go etc.) :

  I enjoyed / did you enjoy? / I didn't enjoy
  she saw / did you see? / she didn't see
  they went / did they go? / they didn't go
  • Did you go out last night? Yes, I went to the cinema, but I didn't enjoy the film much.
  • When did Mr Thomas die? 'About then years ago.'
  • They didn't invite her to the party, so she didn't go.
  • Did you have time to write the letter? No. I didn't

In the following examples, do is the main verb in the sentence ( did ... do / didn't do) :

  • What did you do at the weekend? ( not What did you at the weekend?)
  • I didn't do anything. ( not I didn't anything)

D: The past of be (am/is/are) is was/were:

  • I/he/she/it -> was /wasn't
  • we/you/they -> were
  • was -> I/he/she/it?
  • were -> we/you/they?

Note that we do not use did in negatives and questions with was/were:

  • I was angry because they were late.
  • Was the weather good when you were on holiday?
  • They weren't able to come because they were so busy.
  • Did you go out last night or were you too tired?


Read what Charles says about a typical working day :

I usually get up at 6 o'clock and have a big breakfast. 
I walk to work, which takes me about half an hour. 
I start work at 8am. I never have lunch. 
I finish work at 5 o'clock. 
I'm always tired when I get home.
I usually cook a meal in the evening. 
I don't usually go out. 
I go to bed at about 11 o'clock, and I always sleep well.

Yesterday was a typical working day for Charles. Write what she did or didn't do yesterday.

  1. She got up at 6 o'clock
  2. She ____________________ a big breakfast.
  3. She __________________________________.
  4. It _________________________ to get to work.
  5. ___________________________________ at 7 am.
  6. ___________________________________ lunch.
  7. ___________________________________ at 5 o'clock.
  8. __________ tired when __________ home.
  9. ____________________ a meal yesterday evening.
  10. ______________________________ at 11 o'clock.
  11. ______________________________ well last night.

Complete the sentences using the following verbs in the correct form :

buy  catch  cost  fall  hurt  
sell  spend  teach  throw  write 
  1. Mozart __________ more then 600 pieces of music.
  2. How did you learn to drive? My father __________ me.
  3. We couldn't afford to keep our car, so we __________ it.
  4. Dave __________ down the stairs this morning and __________ his leg.
  5. Jim __________ the ball to Sue __________ it.
  6. Ann __________ a lot of money yesterday. She __________ a dress witch __________ $100.

You ask David about his holiday. Write your questions.

Hi. How are things?
Fine, thanks. I've just had a great holiday.  
  1. Where did you go?
  2. How ________________________________________? By car?
    Yes, we hired a car in San Francisco.
  3. It's a long way to drive. How long ______________________________? Tow weeks.
  4. Where ___________________________________? In hotels?
    Yes, small hotels or motels.
  5. ___________________________________?
    Yes, but it was very hot - sometimes too hot.
  6. ______________________________ the Grand Canyon?
    Of course. It was wonderful.

Complete the sentences. Put the verb into the correct form, positive or negative.

  1. It was warm, so I __________ off my coat. (take)
  2. The film wasn't very good. I _______________ it very much.(enjoy)
  3. I knew Charles was very busy, so I ____________________ her. (disturb)
  4. I was very tired, so I ____________________ the patty early. (leave)
  5. The bed was very uncomfortable. I __________________ very well. (sleep)
  6. The window was open and a bird ____________________ into the room. (fly)
  7. The hotel wasn't very expensive. It ____________________ very much. (cost)
  8. I was in a hurry, so I ____________________ time to phone you. (have)
  9. It was hard carrying the bags. They ____________________ very heavy. (be)