Thursday, May 3, 2012

Past Tense

The simple past expresses an action in the past taking place once, never, several times. It can also be used for actions taking place one after another or in the middle of another action.

Form of Simple Past

no differencesI spoke.I did not speak.Did I speak?
For irregular verbs, use the past form (see list of irregular verbs, 2nd column). For regular verbs, just add ed.

Exceptions in Spelling when Adding ed

Exceptions in spelling when adding edExample
after a final e only add dlove – loved
final consonant after a short, stressed vowel
or l as final consonant after a vowel is doubled
admit – admitted
travel – travelled
final y after a consonant becomes ihurry – hurried

Use of Simple Past

  • action in the past taking place once, never or several times
    Example: He visited his parents every weekend.
  • actions in the past taking place one after the other
    Example: He came in, took off his coat and sat down.
  • action in the past taking place in the middle of another action
    Example: When I was having breakfast, the phone suddenly rang.
  • if sentences type II (If I talked, …)
    Example: If I had a lot of money, I would share it with you.

Signal Words of Simple Past

  • yesterday, 2 minutes ago, in 1990, the other day, last Friday
  • If-Satz Typ II (If I talked, …)

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