Past simple

From Teflpedia

The past simple is an aspectual tense that combines the past tense with the simple aspect. For example, "I did something". This has various uses in English.


Meaning[edit | edit source]

The past tense is used when speakers wish to distance the situation - in vividness, reality or directness. Typical uses include:

  1. Single past action in the past: Emma woke up at 6.30.
  2. Past repeated actions: I played football twice a week when I was at school.
  3. Past state: Peter was ill for the last ten years of his life.
  4. Polite conversation marker (present or future): Excuse me. I wondered if you had a few minutes after the meeting…
  5. Present regret: I wish I had a job that paid more.
  6. Counterfactual present: The children would understand if they were older.
  7. Hypothetical future (viewed as not very probable: If I didn’t get my degree next year, my father would be very disappointed.

Form[edit | edit source]

Pedagogy[edit | edit source]