The simple past expresses an action in the past taking place
once, never, several times. It can also be used for actions taking
place one after another or in the middle of another action.
The simple past, past simple or past indefinite, sometimes
called the preterite , is the basic form of the past tense in
Modern English. It is used principally to describe events in the
past, although it also has some other uses.
The simple past is often close in meaning to the present
perfect.The simple past is used when the event happened at a
particular time in the past, or during a period which ended in
The simple past is used for a single event (or sequence of such
events) in the past, and also for past habitual action:
He took the money and ran.
I visited them every day for a year
If one action interrupts another, then it is usual for the interrupted action to be
expressed with the past progressive, and the action that interrupted it to be in
the simple past:
Your mother called while you were cooking.
Your sister came when you were sleeping
The simple past is formed using the verb + ed
Last week, I traveled to Japan.
Tom repaired the car. Active
The car was repaired byTom. Passive
Active sentences in the simple past tense have the following structure:
Subject + past tense form of the verb + object
Passive sentences in the simple past tense have the following structure:
Object of the active sentence + was/were + past participle form of the
verb + by + subject of the active sentence
Active: He wrote a letter.
Passive: A letter was written by him
Active: Did he break the window?
Passive: Was the window broken by him?