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Examples:I saw a film yesterday.I didn’t see a film yesterday.Last month, I traveled to Goa.Last month, I didn’t travel to Goa.Did you have dinner last night?She cleaned her house.She didn’t clean her house.B.USE 2: A series of completed actionsWe use the simple past to list a series of completed actions in the past. These actions happen 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and so on.Examples:
I finished class, walked to the street, and founda nice place to relax.He arrivedat the airport at 6 AM, checkedinto the hotel at 7:00, and methis parents at 8:00.Did you packthe bag, chargethe phone, and then collectthe package?C.USE 3: Duration in the pastThe simple past can be used with a duration which starts and stops in the past. A ‘duration’ is a longer action often indicated by expressions such as: for two years, for five minutes, all day, all year, etc.Examples:I waited for two hours.I have studied in Canada for four years.I worked in Dubai for a whole year.They did not eat at the function the entire day.We talked for the whole nightHow long did you talkto them?D.USE 4: Habits in the past
The simple past can also be used to describe a habit which stopped in the past. It can have the same meaning as “used to”. To make it clear that we are talking about a habit, we often add expressions such as: always, often, usually, never, whenIwasalittlechild, whenIwasyounger, etc.Examples:I playedhockey when I was a kid.He often stayedoutside.We didn’teatthe lunch.Didyou playcricket when you were a child?He never wentto college, he always skippedclass.She workedin a mall after school.E.USE 5: Past facts or GeneralizationsThe simple past can also be used to describe past facts or generalizations which are no longer true. As in USE 4 above, thisuse of the simple past is quite similar to the expression “used to”.Examples:She didn’tlikevegetables before, but now she does.Didyou eatchocolates when you werea child?I didn’tlikegoing out before.They atemuch more meat when they wereyounger.
Worksheet:Q. Underline the word(s) that represent past tense in the following paragraph.Mahabali, a demon king, was a strong and learned king who respected knowledge. Once, Mahabali was performing a yagna, when a short, young, radiant boy entered the yagnashala. Mahabali, as was the custom, welcomed this radiant youngster and asked him what he wanted. The young boy requested for that much space, as could be measured by three footsteps of his.Mahabali agreed at once to the chagrin of his Guru Shukracharya who cautioned him that the guest was none otherthan Lord Vishnu Himself.As the legend goes, no sooner were the three footsteps granted, the young Vamana assumed a gigantic form known as Trivikrama and with the first step of his foot, measured the whole earth. Then with the second step of his foot, he measured the whole sky. These two steps covered the whole of Mahabali’s kingdom, the earth and the sky. Vamana then asked the king as to where he should place his third step.