Simple Past Tense Material – Definition, Formulas, Example Problems

In learning English, tenses are basic grammar that are related to time. Tenses consist of 16, which are divided into 3 based on the time span, namely, simple present tense to tell the present event, simple past tense to tell the past events before this moment, and simple future tense to tell what happened in the future from the present time This.

Tense is the form of the verb used in each sentence and will change according to the time of use. Therefore, it is very important to understand the proper use of the tense to describe the situation. The book Proposition 16 Tense Edition I by Polce Aryanto Bessies Ifoni Ludji Teresia Yanti summarizes the 16 tenses to make it easier for You to learn them.

You still remember the subject matter of simple past tense?

Hmm, how do you learn simple past tense sentences so that they are easy to understand? So, for that, let’s look at the discussion

Definition of Simple Past Tense

In understanding tense, you can try to apply it to everyday conversation, where the simple past tense itself can be used to tell about days that have passed. This book entitled The 1st Students Choice Changing Times Changing Tenses will help you in constructing the right sentence for a particular time.

The Simple Past Tense Formula

The simple past tense sentence pattern is divided into 2 formulas, namely verbal simple past tense and nominal simple past tense.

Verbal Simple Past

Simple Past nominal

Regular Verbs and Irregular Verbs

Understanding this verb itself is not easy and requires constant memory and practice. For You who want to learn and memorize verbs in tenses, you can read the Complete New Phrasal Verb Dictionary (English-Indonesia) which provides verbs for each word and also its translation.

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In the simple past tense, the verb used is the second form of the verb (V2). For regular verbs, the verb always ends in -ed, -d or -ied from the base form. Meanwhile, irregular verbs are irregular verbs so that the form changes from the basic form.

Now, You consider the following table:

Regular verbs

Example sentences using regular verbs

Irregular Verbs

The past tense (V2) form of the irregular verb changes from the base verb form. Often we are confused by determining the word on this V2. So, to make it easier for You, let’s understand the changes in the forms of irregular verbs in the following table:

Example sentences using irregular verbs:

Adverb of Frequency

Because tenses are sentences related to time, then of course there is a description of the time. Keep in mind, that the adverb of time used is adverb of past time. Among others are :

Yesterday : yesterday

The day before yesterday : the day before yesterday

Last night : last night

Last week : last week

Last month : last month

A few days ago : a few days ago

Two weeks ago : two weeks ago

Just now : just now/just now

In 2010 : in 2010

A long time ago : a long time ago

Use of the Simple Past Tense

1. Describe events in the past in a definite time.

2. Describe events in the past and have been completed at that time.

3. Describe events that have occurred repeatedly or become a habit in the past.

4. Describe feelings or emotions that occurred in the past.

5. Describe events that were customary in the past but are no longer carried out. The verb used is used to .

You has studied sentence patterns down to their usage. Now to get better at mastering the simple past tense, try to do the questions below!

Simple Past Tense English Practice Questions

1. … any interesting people at the conference yesterday?

a. Do you meet

b. Do you meet

c. Did you meet

d. Did you meet


In interrogative sentences in the simple past tense, the pattern used is did+s+v1. So the beginning of the right interrogative sentence is “Did you meet”

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2. Ratna … to my house last week, but I … at home

a. Comes; isn’t

b. come; was

c. Came; wasn’t

d. Came; isn’t


Ratna… came to my house last week, but I was… at home.

Subject : Ratna

Description of time that shows the past: last week, so use verb 2, namely came. The conjunction of opposites (but) makes a contrast between the action of the ratna (came) and the state/condition of the character “I”, so the to be used is was+not to become i wasn’t at home.

3. The woman … in the room last night

a. Was

b. Were

c. Is

Discussion :

To be past tense for You/We/They is Were, to be past tense for I/He/She/It is Was. In the problem, The Woman is the subject She, so the to be is Was. So, the correct answer is A.

4. Some pens … by him last Tuesday.

a. Was bought

b. Is bought

c. Buys

d. Were bought


Adverb of time: last tuesday=simple past, the subject is some pens; They.

To be past tense for You/We/They is Were, to be past tense for I/He/She/It is Was. So the correct answer is D.

5. My father went to London last week. He had something to do there. He … the night in the Hilton hotel.

a. spending

b. Spends

c. Spent

d. Has spent


Went = went, which is the past form (v2) of go.

Last week = last week, is a description of time for the simple past tense. So the verb in question is also in the past tense. V1 : spent -> V2 spent.

Those are some examples of practice questions and discussion of English material Simple Past Tense. Actually, in tenses sentences, to distinguish them is only based on the time span of the events that occurred. If You wants to do similar practice questions, such as high school un questions, just go to Come on, register now!