Use Simple Past Tense for Completed Actions

Yesterday’s Actions

I did several things yesterday. I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I did some teaching. And my niece and nephew helped me train my dog. But I was a little bit of a bad girl because I didn’t write in my blog. What did you do yesterday?

The Easiest Use of Past Tense

I know you are not reading this blog post to learn about my day. But it is a good demonstration of the easiest and most common way of using simple past tense in English: talking about completed actions. Do you remember the post about past structures? Did you recognize some of them from my story? If not, feel free to pause here and read the post again. Then continue reading this one.

Completed Actions

The biggest reason we need past tense in English is to talk/write about an action that happened in the past. Maybe it is an action you did.

I ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I did some teaching.

Maybe it is an action another person/other people did.

And my niece and nephew helped me to train my dog.

Of course, simple past can be used to talk about things that didn’t happen.

But I was a little bit of a bad girl because I didn’t write in my blog.

Finally, we can ask questions about past actions.

What did you do yesterday?

The Rules

If the action is finished, or if you use a past time word/phrase, use simple past tense. It is so easy, right. Something about English has to be easy.

Your Turn

but now it is time for the hard part. You must practice. Leave a comment to tell me what you did yesterday or another time in the past. Did you study English, spend time with your family, go to work?