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Thursday, March 21, 2013

SIMPLE PAST TENSE

FORMULA:

Verbal Sentence:

(+) Subject + Verb 2 + Object/Complement
(-) Subject + Did not + Verb 1 + Object/Complement
(?) Did + Subject + Verb 1 + Object/Complement + ?

Example:

(+) John went to the market
(-) John did not go to the market
(?) Did John go to the market?


Nominal Sentence:

(+) Subject {I/he/she/it/person's name} + Was + Non Verb/Compliment
      Subject {You/we/they} + Were + Non Verb/Compliment
(-) Subject {I/he/she/it/person's name} + Was not + Non Verb/Compliment
      Subject {You/we/they} + Were not + Non Verb/Compliment
(?) Was + Subject {I/he/she/it/person's name} + Non Verb/Compliment + ?
      Was + Subject {You/we/they} + Non Verb/Compliment + ?

Example:

(+) She was happy yesterday
     They were here last night
(-) She was not happy yesterday
     They were not here last night
(?) Was she happy yesterday?
     Were they happy yesterday?

The Use of Simple Past Tense 

A. Completed Action in the Past 

 

 




Use the Simple Past to express the idea that an action started and finished at a specific time in the past. Sometimes, the speaker may not actually mention the specific time, but they do have one specific time in mind. 

Example:
  • They saw the accident yesterday.
  • He didn't see you last Monday.
  • Last year, he arrived at Banjarmasin

B. A Series of Completed Actions

 





We use the Simple Past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.

Example:
  • I went to Bali, found a best place to rest, and relaxed on the beach
  • He arrived from the airport at 8:00, checked into the hotel at 9:00, and met the others at 10:00.

C. Duration in Past

 

 

 


The Simple Past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A duration is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.

Example:
  • I lived in Brazil for two years.
  • Shauna studied Japanese for five years.
  • They sat at the beach all day.
  • They did not stay at the party the entire time.
  • We talked on the phone for thirty minutes.
  • A: How long did you wait for them?
    B: We waited for one hour.

D. Habits in the Past

 

 



The Simple Past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as "used to." To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, when I was a child, when I was younger, etc.

Examples:
  • I studied French when I was a child.
  • He played the violin.
  • He didn't play the piano.
  • Did you play a musical instrument when you were a kid?
  • She worked at the movie theater after school.
  • They never went to school, they always skipped class.

E. Past Facts or Generalizations

 

 




The Simple Past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. As in USE 4 above, this use of the Simple Past is quite similar to the expression "used to."

Examples:
  • She was shy as a child, but now she is very outgoing.
  • He didn't like tomatoes before.
  • Did you live in Texas when you were a kid?
  • People paid much more to make cell phone calls in the past. 

IMPORTANT! When-Clauses Happen First

Clauses are groups of words which have meaning but are often not complete sentences. Some clauses begin with the word "when" such as "when I dropped my pen..." or "when class began..." These clauses are called when-clauses, and they are very important. The examples below contain when-clauses.
Examples:
  • When I gave her a thousand rupiahs, she delivered my question.
  • She delivered my question when I gave her a thousand rupiahs.
When-clauses are important because they always happen first when both clauses are in the Simple Past. Both of the examples above mean the same thing: first, I gave her a thousand rupiahs, and then, she delivered my question. It is not important whether "when I gave her a thousand rupiahs" is at the beginning of the sentence or at the end of the sentence. However, the example below has a different meaning. First, she delivered my question, and then, I gave her a thousand rupiahs.
Example:
  • I gave her a thousand rupiahs when she delivered my question.

ADVERB PLACEMENT

The examples below show the placement for grammar adverbs such as: always, only, never, ever, still, just, etc.
Examples:
  • You never played football.
  • Did you never play football?

ACTIVE / PASSIVE

Examples:
  • Tom repaired the car. Active
  • The car was repaired by Tom. Passive


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