English Blogs

"Let's Learn, Explore, and Connect to the World"

Past Simple Tense 4

IV. Forming Questions and Negatives in the Past Simple Tense

Understanding how to form questions and negatives is an integral part of using the past simple tense effectively. This aspect allows for more dynamic and varied expressions when discussing past events.

Forming Questions

To form questions in the past simple tense, the auxiliary verb ‘did’ is used at the beginning of the sentence, followed by the subject and the base form of the main verb. This structure applies regardless of the subject.


Did you enjoy the movie?

Did she call her friend?

Did they go to the park?

Yes/No Questions and Short Answers

For yes/no questions, where the answer is either ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the past simple structure is particularly straightforward. Short answers typically use ‘did’ or ‘didn’t’.


Question: Did he finish his work?

Short Answer: Yes, he did. / No, he didn’t.

Forming Negative Sentences

Negative sentences in the past simple are formed by adding ‘did not’ (didn’t) before the base form of the verb. This construction negates the action described by the verb.


I didn’t see her at the party.

He didn’t know the answer.

They didn’t want to leave early.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Verb Form Error: Remember to use the base form of the verb after ‘did’ or ‘didn’t’. A common mistake is to use the past form of the verb instead.

Incorrect: Did she went to the store?

Correct: Did she go to the store?

Overuse of ‘Did’: Be aware that ‘did’ is not needed in affirmative past simple sentences. It’s only used in questions and negatives.


Forming questions and negatives correctly in the past simple tense is crucial for conveying accurate and clear information about past events. By understanding and practicing these structures, you can greatly enhance your ability to communicate effectively in English, particularly when discussing past experiences or events.

Latest Blogs

Reading comprehension quiz

Past Simple 4

1 / 1

Which sentence is a correct yes/no question in the past simple tense according to the article?

Your score is


Check out our books and more!

Travel English: A Compilation of Key English Conversations When Traveling

Explore the world confidently with ‘Travel English’ by Allison Kate, a comic-style guide full of essential conversations and tips for every traveler. Speak English with ease in airports, hotels, and more!

Check out our Blogs!

Read our everyday blogs and expand your knowledge about English and Video Editing here in SEKAEL.

Learn through Basic English Grammar Blogs by widening your English vocabulary and learning English Grammar.

Video Editing Blogs

Explore and learn different skills about Video Editing just by reading blogs.

Copyright © SEKAEL, 2024 All Rights Reserved​