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Past Indefinite Tense Exercises

The past is a time that used to talk about such things which have happened or occurred before now.

Or, The simple past tense expresses an action that was completed in the past at a definite point in time.

Just imagine a situation, last weekend your friends had gone on a picnic. Now, you are meeting with them and asking about their weekend. In this conversation, every word your friends say will show the past tense.

  • We enjoyed ourselves a lot on a picnic.
  • Our school was punctured while returning home.

Both of the above sentences are showing the past and indicate an event or action which happened in the past time.

Uses of Past Indefinite Tense

We use the past indefinite tense for pointing out the past time. Let's see a few examples to understand better:

  • Actions did at some time in the past. For example,
    • I wrote to her a letter last week.
    • They called the plumber to repair the taps.
    • She stayed in a small hotel near the beach.
  • Some actions were done in the past as a matter of habit. For example,
    • We often went away for the weekend.
    • They always invited us over to festivals.
    • He usually travelled by train.

Structure for Past Indefinite Tense

The structure for simple past tense is quite simple.

  • Rules for Declarative/ Affirmative Sentences
    In declarative sentences, there is no to be (helping verb) used. We make sentences with the subject and second form (simple past form) of the verb.
    Subject + Second Form of Verb + Object.
    • They visited their grandparents in July.
    • I sent postcards to all my friends and relatives.
    • Yesterday, the artist drew a beautiful landscape.
  • Rules for Negative Sentences
    In the negative simple past tense, we use the helping verb 'Did' + Not or Didn't and the first form of the verb. With every subject, doesn't matter it is singular or plural, we use did with all subjects.
    Subject + Did + Not + First Form of Verb + Object.
    • The author did not complete his novel.
    • We did not sweep the wet floor.
    • I did not meet his family members.
  • Rules for Interrogative Sentences
    • The Yes/ No type Interrogative Sentences
      For these sentences, we start the sentence with the helping verb. In simple past tense, we use did in the starting of sentence and before the subject.
      Did + Subject + First Form of Verb + Object + ?.
      • Did she arrive at the station at right time?
      • Did you participate in the project work?
      • Did I eat breakfast?
    • Question Word type Interrogative Sentences
      This type of sentence starts with the question word or WH word.
      Why, who, what, when, where, and how are the WH words.
      Question Word + Did + Subject + First Form of Verb + Object + ?.
      • How many students did absent in yesterday's class?
      • Where did he keep my wristwatch?
      • What did you do with her expensive jewellery?
    • Interrogative Negative Sentences
      In interrogative negative sentences, we use not after the helping verb did.
      Question Word + Did + Not + Subject + First Form of Verb + Object + ?.
      • Why didn't you attend the party yesterday?
      • Didn't you eat lunch?
      • When I didn't help you in trouble?


Fill in the blanks with an appropriate form of the verb given in the brackets and make the past indefinite tense:

  • He _______ (come) late after the meeting.
  • I _____ (see) him in a black dress yesterday.
  • He ________ (wait) for me in the backyard.
  • This boy ________ (come) here a month ago.
  • He _______ (use) to go for a walk.
  • Kelly ________ (go) to Chicago yesterday.
  • He ______ (see) the railway museum yesterday.
  • Where _______ you ______ (buy) this television from?
  • He ______ not _____ (go) for a walk after seven o'clock.
  • _______ you all _______ (make) noise?
  • _______ the chicken _______ (lay) six eggs?
  • _______ the confectioner not ______ (open) the shop yesterday?
  • Whom _______ the teacher ________ (punish) yesterday?
  • Why ______ you ______ (abuse) him?
  • Why _______ the police not ________ (arrest) the bandits?


Complete with appropriate forms of the verb and make simple past tense:

Henry: What did you (you, do) last weekend? ______________ (you, stay) at home?

David: No, we ______________ (visit) my cousins in New York.

Henry: Really? ______________ (you, have) a nice time?

David: Yes! It __________ (be) lovely! What about you? Where ______________ (you, go)?

Henry: Well I ____________ (go) to the shopping centre with my siblings Daisy and Kevin on Saturday. And guess what? We _______ (see) the shooting of Planet Wars on the way there.

David: Planet Wars? The famous series? Wow! ________ (you, go) meet the stars?

Henry: Yes, we ________ (do)! And I _______ (take) some autographs and photos as well from them.


Change each of these sentences as instructed in the brackets:

  • All the children did their homework. (change to interrogative)
  • They splashed about in the puddles. (change to negative)
  • I didn't listen to the music. (change to interrogative)
  • Did the traffic move very slowly? (change to affirmative)
  • Why did she walk home from school? (change to affirmative)
  • You drove the car on the wrong side. (change to interrogative)
  • I gave the invitation card to all my friends. (change to affirmative)

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