The Simple Past Tense

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The Simple Past Tense
The Simple Past Tense

CHAPTER 5.  THE SIMPLE PAST

1. Uses of the simple past

The uses of the Simple Past are somewhat similar to the uses of the Simple Present, except that past states or actions are expressed. In the examples given below, the verbs in the Simple Past are underlined.

For instance, the Simple Past can be used to express actions which occurred at regular intervals in the past.
e.g. Last year I drove to Yarmouth once a week.

In addition, the Simple Past is used to describe situations which existed for a period of time in the past.
e.g. Millions of years ago, dinosaurs inhabited the earth.
George Washington was the first president of the United States.

The Simple Past is also used to express non-continuous actions which occurred at a definite time in the past.
e.g. Columbus reached America in 1492.
graduated from school last year.

 

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