Past Tense

Past 1

“I was a popular student.” I was a popular student in the past.

The use of “was” in the sentence indicates that the speaker was a popular student in the past. In English, we use “was” as the past tense form of the verb “to be.”

Was / Were

1 He was a popular student.

2 William Wallace was a Scottish hero. He was the leader of his society.

3 William Shakespeare was an English poet and playwright. Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford. He was a respected poet and playwright in his own day.

4 His early plays were mainly comedies and histories.

5 They were famous for being champions in the Super League for 4 times in a row.

6 Were they there?

7 Who were the people over there?


Negative form for “was” is “wasn’t” (was not), and for “were” it is “weren’t” (were not).

1 He wasn’t right.

2 The city was beautiful, but it wasn’t very big.

3 They weren’t right.

4 She wasn’t in school yesterday.

5 They weren’t in school yesterday.

6 We weren’t at home.

7 Clara and her sister weren’t here a moment ago.

Questions (?)

In English, when forming questions, it’s important to bring the auxiliary verb to the beginning of the sentence:

1 Is he a robber?

2 Was he a robber?

3 Were they famous?

4 Where were you born?

5 Why were you so sad yesterday?

Past 2

Regular verbs are used to express actions, states, and general truths in the past. Regular verbs are usually formed by adding “-ed” to the base form of the verb.

Examples of regular verbs: called, brushed, finished, talked, washed, watched, etc.

1 I called Jane yesterday.

2 I brushed my teeth twice yesterday.

3 He brushed his teeth.

4 The police stopped our car because of exceeding the speed limit.

5 She worked in a shop.

6 We cried when we finished our ceremony.

Negative / Didn’t

In negative sentences, we use “didn’t” followed by the base form of the verb. “Didn’t” is used for all subjects (I, you, he, she, it, we, they).

1 I didn’t stay at home yesterday.

2 She didn’t help her friend.

3 I didn’t walk to school because I was so tired.

4 We didn’t finish our job, so the boss got very angry.

5 He didn’t enjoy the film.

Questions (?)

When forming questions, use “Did” at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the base form of the verb.

1 Did you finish your homework?

2 Did she stay at home?

Past 3

Irregular verbs have unique past tense forms that are often not formed by adding “-ed” to the base form of the verb.

Examples of irregular verbs: be – was/were, become – became, begin – began, break – broke, bring – brought, buy – bought, come – came, etc.

1 He came 5 minutes ago.

2 He got up late yesterday.

3 He ate his lunch at 1:00.

4 He lived in Izmir in 1990.

5 He came to Izmir in June.

6 He came here on Monday.

7 He went to Spain last summer / year / week.

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