Past Simple and Used To – Verb Form

past_simpleThis post will show you how to form the Past Simple. To see how to use the Past Simple, click here.

PAST SIMPLE

Affirmative Statements

Subject Base Verb + ED or Irregular Form
I worked hard.
You went to school in the morning.
She/he/it rained yesterday.
We left early.
They/you (plural) sang beautifully.

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Negative Statements

Subject Did Not (didn’t) Base Verb
I didn’t go yesterday.
You didn’t see me after class.
She/He/It didn’t rain last week.
We didn’t run into trouble.
They/You (plural) didn’t finish your homework.

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Yes/No Questions

Did Subject Base Verb
Did I lose my keys?
Did you make that?
Did she/he/it go to work?
Did we drive too far?
Did they/you (plural) have a good time?

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Short Answers

Yes Subject Did No Subject Did Not (didn’t)
Yes, I did. No, I didn’t.
Yes, you did. No, you didn’t.
Yes, she/he/it did. No, she/he/it didn’t.
Yes, we did. No, we didn’t.
Yes, they/you did. No, they/you didn’t.

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USED TO

Affirmative Statements

Subject Used To Base Verb
I used to get up early.
You used to drink coffee.
She/He/It used to be hers.
We used to dance every weekend.
They/You (plural) used to play in the park.

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Negative Statements

Subject Did Not (didn’t) Use To Base Verb
I didn’t use to like him.
You didn’t use to smoke cigarettes.
She/he/it didn’t use to walk to school.
We didn’t use to travel so often.
They/you (plural) didn’t use to go to school.

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Yes/No Questions

Did Subject Use To Base Verb
Did I use to be so selfish?
Did you use to live in Argentina?
Did she/he/it used to get start later?
Did we use to play on Saturdays or Sundays?
Did they/you use to eat lots of junk food?

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Short Answers

Yes Subject Did No Subject Did Not (didn’t)
Yes, I did. No, I didn’t.
Yes, you did. No, you didn’t
Yes, she/he/it did. No, she/he/it didn’t
Yes, we did. No, we didn’t
Yes, they/you did No, they/you didn’t

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Information Questions

Wh- Word Did Subject Use To Base Verb
Why did I use to love him?
When did you use to live in Miami?
Where did they use to eat out?
Wh- Word Used To Base Verb
Who used to run marathons?
What used to be over there?
     
  • Do not use did in information questions when who or what is the subject. Use used to with these questions.
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Past Simple and Used To – Verb Meaning and Use

This post will show you how to use the Past Simple and Used To.  To see how to form the Past Simple and Used To, click here.

PAST SIMPLE

We use the Past Simple to talk about a state or action that started and finished in the past. We use time expressions to describe the time period.

  • She lived in Tokyo in 2010.
  • We went to school yesterday.
  • They played hockey on Saturday.
  • Winter was cold last year.

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The actions or states can happen in the recent past (a short time ago), or the distant past (a long time ago).

Recent Past                                                                        Distant Past

He arrived ten minutes ago.                                     They moved to Dubai in 2001.

She felt tired yesterday.                                              He was very sick last year.

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The actions or states can last for a short or long period of time.

Short Period of Time                                                       Long Period of Time

The rain lasted for five minutes.                                The rain lasted for days.

I worked there for two weeks.                                    I worked there for 12 years.

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The actions or states can happen once, or repeatedly.

Happened Once                                                            Happened Repeatedly

He moved to Seoul in 2008.                                  He always walked to work.

She arrived late yesterday.                                    She always arrived late.

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USED TO

used-toUsed to suggests that a habit or situation was true in the past, but is not true now. We use used to for repeated or habitual actions or states that started and finished in the past. Do not use it for actions or states that happened only once. Adverbs of frequency and other time expressions with used to emphasize the repeated actions or states.

  • He used to smoke, but he quit last year.
  • We often used to visit my grandparents before they passed away.
  • She used to live in Sidney before she moved to Prague.

You can use the Simple Present with time expressions to show how a present situation is different from the past.

  • I used to watch TV after school.  Now I don’t have time for that.
  • People used to get their new from newspapers or the radio. These days most people get their news from the internet.