Britlish

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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Present Perfect Continuous - GA9

The perfect aspect of the present tense is marked by the auxiliary verb have plus the past participle. Remember that the tenses are shown by the auxiliary verbs, be, do, and have. If we have the present tense of have followed by a past participle, we have present perfect. So, if have plus a past participle gives us the perfect aspect, and be +ing gives us the continuous aspect, then together we should get the perfect continuous aspect. Well, it’s easy enough to name the aspects and the tenses, but you may be wondering how, when, and where we should use the perfect continuous aspect. In this Grammar Activation Pack we will look at the present tense, perfect continuous aspect. The very name of the structure tells us a lot about it. The present tense tells us there is a connection with the present, that is, now. The perfect aspect uses the past participle which shows a connection to the past. The continuous aspect talks about something happening over a period of time; in this case from a time in the past to the present. 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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Present Perfect Past - Present - GA7

We can talk about finished actions using both the present perfect and the past simple. It’s logical that anything which is finished must be in the past. What the present perfect does that the past simple cannot do is to form a connection between the past finished action and the present. We can only use a finished time expression like last week with the past simple. In this Grammar Activation Pack, I want to focus on how the present perfect connects events in the past with the present. As I said, logically anything that is finished must have happened in the past. The present perfect uses the present tense of the finite verb have, which as you know is have or has, and the past participle of a non-finite verb. It is this combination of the present and the past that gives us our biggest clue as to how the perfect aspect and the present tense work together. 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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Present Perfect Time Markers - GA8

English uses time markers to accurately say when something happened or happens. Yesterday, last week, last month, last year, and many more expressions tell us the when of an action. We cannot use the above finished time markers with the present perfect because they show finished periods of time. We use these time markers with the past simple. We cannot use finished time markers like yesterday, and last year with the present perfect, but there are 4 time markers that we can use. Allow me to explain how we can use these time markers with the present perfect. 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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