Past Simple - GA3

Aspect and Tenses Course Grammar

Grammar

These Activities focus on the grammar of English. English grammar compared to other grammars is quite simple, but in its simplicity lies its complexity. The Activities here cover all aspects of English grammar from the aspects and tenses to sentence structures. English grammar covers the structure of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and entire texts. There are eight parts of speech in English: nouns, determiners, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and conjunctions. The largest of these parts of speech are the nouns which, unlike most European languages, do not have grammatical gender. English grammar has largely done away with the inflectional case system of other European languages and bases its grammar on analytic constructions. The Activities in this category will go some way to helping you get a better understanding of English grammar.    

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I told you about the past and present tenses in Grammar Activation Pack 1. I also introduced you to the aspects – simple, continuous, and perfect, and showed you why the three key verbs, do, be, and have, are so important. In Grammar Activation Pack 2, I looked at the Present tense, simple aspect. In this Grammar Activation Pack, I am going to tell you how the first of the key verbs, do, and is used for the simple aspect, past tense. The simple aspect of the past tense is marked by the auxiliary verb did, even when it appears to be missing. You might want to refresh your memory of the hidden do by taking another look at Grammar Activation Pack 1. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.

Aspect and Tenses Course

Past Simple

Grammar Activation Pack 3

Key Verbs and Aspects

I told you about the past and present tenses in Grammar Activation Pack 1.

I also introduced you to the aspects – simple, continuous, and perfect, and showed you why the three key verbs, do, be, and have, are so important.

In Grammar Activation Pack 2, I looked at the Present tense, simple aspect.

In this Grammar Activation Pack, I am going to tell you how the first of the key verbs, do, and is used for the simple aspect, past tense.

Simple Aspect

The simple aspect of the past tense is marked by the auxiliary verb did, even when it appears to be missing.

You might want to refresh your memory of the hidden do by taking another look at Grammar Activation Pack 1.

Did

The past tense of the verb do, did, is used for all subjects including the gender specific, third person, singular subject pronouns, he, and she, and the gender neutral, third person, singular subject pronoun, it.

I did.

You did.

He, She did.

It did.

We did.

They did.

Finite or Non-Finite Verbs

A finite verb has a subject and can function as the root of an independent clause.

An independent clause is basically a full sentence and expresses a single thought.

The finite past form of do is did.

Non-finite verbs are the infinitives, the participles, and the gerunds.

The non-finite forms of do are do, doing, and done.

I’ll look in detail at finite and non-finite verbs in later Grammar Activation Packs.

Use of Past Simple Affirmative

Let’s take a look at some examples of the affirmative past simple.

I worked as a policeman.

I moved to Spain.

I learnt Spanish.

I created Britlish.

I wanted Britlish to be the best place to learn English.

Each of these sentences has the hidden do. You can learn more about this in Grammar Activation Pack 1.

Notice the verbs work, learn, move, create, and want. Can you see how we form the past tense of these verbs?

Past Simple Closed Questions

Let’s take a look at the previous statements turned into past simple closed questions.

Did I work as a policeman?

Did I move to Spain?

Did I learn Spanish?

Did I create Britlish?

Did I want Britlish to be the best place to learn English?

Notice that the non-finite verbs are no longer in the past tense.

The non-finite verbs stay in their base form because did is doing all the work and they can relax.

5WH Object Questions

Let’s take a look at some examples of past simple object questions using the 5WH question words.

What did I work as?

Where did I learn Spanish?

Why did I move to Spain?

When did I create Britlish?

Who did I want Britlish to teach?

How did I hope to teach so many students?

Open or 5WH questions get you more than a yes or no response.

You can learn more in the 5WH English Activation Pack.

5WH Subject Questions

Past tense subject questions don’t use did and simply replace the subject of the sentence with the question word who.

Who worked as a policeman?

Richard worked as a policeman.

Who moved to Spain?

Richard moved to Spain.

Who learnt Spanish?

Richard learnt Spanish.

Subject questions using who will show you the subject.

Past Simple Negative

Let’s take a look at some examples of past simple negative sentences.

I did not work as a fireman.

I did not learn Welsh.

I did not move to Germany.

I did not create YouTube.

I did not want Britlish to be forgotten.

Negative sentences are very easy to form as you just have to put a not after the auxiliary did. This is why it is important to understand the hidden do.

Remember that in negatives, we do not find the hidden do because we need the help of the auxiliary did to form the negative.

Aspect and Tenses

A comprehensive English course covering the tenses and aspects of English in an easy-to-understand format with lots of self-test exercises to check your understanding. You will learn all you need to know about the 3 Key Verbs of English: Be, Do, Have. This course will let you see just how simple English grammar is. We will explore the present simple, the past simple, the present continuous, the post continuous, the present perfect and the present perfect past and present, along with present perfect time markers, the present perfect continuous, the past perfect and the past perfect continuous.

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Aspects and Tenses - GA1

Welcome to the first in my series of Grammar Activation Packs at Britlish.com. Together, the Grammar Activation Packs combine to provide you with a clear overview of English grammar in use. When I teach grammar to my students, I first teach them what I call the three keys to English grammar. The three keys are the three verbs, do, be, and have. Understand these three verbs and you will see just how easy English grammar really is. I have created some fun exercises to help you activate what you have learnt. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.

Categories: Grammar | English in Use


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Future 1 - GA12

In the previous Grammar Activation Packs I have introduced you to the present and the past tenses, along with the simple, continuous, and perfect aspects. I also mentioned that English has only the two tenses, present and past. So where does this leave us when we want to talk about the future? Don’t worry, there are several ways that we can talk about the future, including using the present tense, which is what I am going to explain in this lesson. There are two aspects of the present tense that we can use to talk about the future. We can use the simple aspect which uses the auxiliary verb do. We can also use the continuous aspect, which uses the auxiliary verb be, and the ing form of a non-finite verb.    

Categories: Grammar | Phrasal Verbs


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Future 2 - GA13

In the previous Grammar Activation Packs I have introduced you to the present and the past tenses, along with the simple, continuous, and perfect aspects. I also mentioned that English has only the two tenses, present and past. This lesson looks at Will or Shall for Future, Asking for Decisions, Promises and Threats, Decisions Made at the Moment, Predicting, Conditionals, Giving Orders or Instructions, Negative Will for Refusals, Negative Shall for Refusals, things Not Rooted in Present, and Future Time Indicators. This British English grammar is essential for all students of English and the many exercises in the pack will help you master it quickly and enjoyably.    

Categories: Grammar


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