The Past Simple Tense

The Past Simple Tense.

The Past Simple Tense 
The past simple tense is most often used for the following:
- For actions that happened in the past
- In reported speech
- In conditional sentences 
How to form the past simple
For actions that happened in the past 
The past simple is the most usual tense for talking about things that happened or have finished before now. Very often we use a word or expression of finished time with this tense. In the following example sentences the expressions of finished time are shown in bold:

She came to Germany two years ago.
It rained every day for a week on my vacation.
Columbus discovered America in 1492.
I played tennis at the weekend.
I didn't see you yesterday. Were you in school?
My mother went shopping on Saturday but she didn't buy anything.
I felt embarrassed when the teacher asked an easy question but I didn't know the answer.
The weather was bad this afternoon* so we didn't have a picnic as planned.
How did you do that?
Did you see the film on TV last night?
Why didn't you do your homework?

* In this sentence the speaker is talking in the evening, so for her this afternoon is finished time.
In reported speech 
In reported speech it is common to shift the tense back. So for example, if someone said something to you in the present tense, you would report it in the past tense. Look at these examples. In each case the first sentence is direct speech and the second sentence is in reported speech. The verbs in the past simple form are shown in bold.

She said: "I live in Frankfurt."
She told me she lived in Frankfurt. *
He said: "I can speak 5 languages."
He said he could speak 5 languages.
The new girl said: "My father is a millionaire!"
The new girl told me her father was a millionaire but I don't believe her!
She said: "My mother doesn't like German food."
She said her mother didn't like German food.
He said: "I don't feel well."
He said he didn't feel well.
She asked: "Do you like ESL lessons?"
She asked me if I liked ESL lessons.
The teacher said: "Do you know the answer?"
The teacher asked me if I knew the answer.

* It is common in modern spoken English to NOT change the tense if you believe that what someone told you is still true. So, for example, we could say:

She said she lives in Frankfurt.
She told me her mother doesn't like German food.
In conditional sentences 
The past simple tense is used in conditional 2 sentences. Have a look at some examples before reading the explanation about what the conditional 2 is. The verbs in past simple form are shown in bold.

I would help you if I had time!
If I were the teacher I would give lots of homework every day!
What would you buy if you won a lot of money?
If you bought a calculator, you wouldn't have to borrow mine all the time!
If you didn't eat so much junk food, you would be a lot fitter!
I would be much happier if you didn't do that!

The past simple (conditional 2) is used in these sentences to express the idea of something that is not true or that the speaker thinks is unlikely to happen. So, in the first 3 sentences above, the interpretations would be:
I don't have time ..
I am not the teacher ..
I don't think it is likely you will win a lot of money ..

А это для тех кому на русском прощеPast Simple - простое прошедшее время 
Время Past Simple используется для обозначения действия, которое произошло в определенное время в прошлом и время совершения которого уже истекло. Для уточнения момента совершения действия в прошлом при использовании времени Past Simple обычно используются такие слова, как five days ago (пять дней назад), last year (в прошлом году), yesterday (вчера), in 1980 (в 1980 году) и т.п.
Образование Past Simple 
Утвердительные предложения:
I played
We played

You played
You played

He / she / it played
They played

Вопросительные предложения:
Did I play?
Did we play?

Did you play?
Did you play?

Did he / she / it play?
Did they play?

Отрицательные предложения:
I did not play
We did not play

You did not play
You did not play

He / she / it did not play
They did not play

Для того, чтобы поставить английский глагол во время Past Simple, нужно использовать его «вторую форму». Для большинства глаголов она образуется прибавлением окончания -ed:
examine – examined, enjoy – enjoyed, close – closed
Однако есть также достаточно большая группа неправильных английских глаголов, которые образуют форму прошедшего времени не по общим правилам, для них форму прошедшего времени нужно просто запомнить.
We saw your dog two blocks from here.
Мы видели вашу собаку в двух кварталах отсюда.
В вопросительном предложении перед подлежащим нужно использовать вспомогательный глагол do в прошедшем времени – did, а после подлежащего поставить основной, значимый глагол в начальной форме:
Did you wash your hands?
Ты помыл руки?

Did they sign the contract?
Они подписали контракт?
В отрицательных предложениях перед глаголом нужно поставить вспомогательный глагол did и отрицательную частицу not:
We did not find our car.
Мы не нашли свою машину.

I did not understand this question.
Я не понял этот вопрос.
Случаи употребления Past Simple: Указание на простое действие в прошлом:

I saw Jeremy in the bank.
Я видел Джереми в банке.
Регулярные, повторяющиеся действия в прошлом:

The old man often visited me.
Старик часто меня навещал.

I noticed this charming shop girl each time I went to buy something.
Я замечал эту очаровательную продавщицу каждый раз, когда шел за покупками.
Перечисление последовательности действий в прошлом:

I heard a strange sound, looked back, and saw a huge cat sitting on the table.
Я услышал странный звук, обернулся и увидел здоровенного кота, сидящего на столе.