Simple Past Tense Examples

The simple past tense is one of the three major tenses in English, which generally refers to actions that occur in the past.  This article will provide you with various past tense examples to help you understand how the tense is used.

Table of Contents

Simple Past Tense Examples to Show Complete Actions

The main use of the simple past tense is to denote events that happened in the past. So, if any sentence depicts an action that has already happened at a specific time, then the verb is in the past tense.

  • Lisa went to the supermarket yesterday.
  • Sam cooked a tasty dinner yesterday.
  • My brother saw a movie yesterday.
  • Last year, I travelled to France.
  • I washed the dishes.
  • My mother bought a dress for me.

Simple Past Tense Examples to Show a Time in the Past

‘Past’ simply means actions that have already happened. Simple past tense refers to the duration of the action in which it started and got completed.

  • Sam stayed in Los Angeles for two years.
  • I learned how to play the guitar five months ago.
  • My brother waited hours at the railway station.
  • Ritz talked to his mom for two hours on the phone.
  • My uncle came to your house last year.

Simple Past Tense Examples to Denote Habits of the Past

When sentences denote a habit that once started in the past but also ended in the past, the verb used is in the simple past tense.

  • I played tennis when I was young.
  • Shina worked as a waitress while she was in college.
  • Did you go to playschool when you were a kid?
  • Shaun learnt Japanese when he was four years old.
  • My mom used to dance when she was in school.

Simple Past Tense Examples to Show Past Events/Facts

When sentences talk about events or facts that have happened in the past and are no longer valid, then the verb used is the simple past tense form of the verb.

  • My sister hated broccoli when she was a child.
  • Sheldon didn’t have friends as a child.
  • People wrote letters to communicate in the past.
  • knew he had some problems from the very first time I saw him.
  • Maximus wasn’t a big fan of horror movies when he was in school.

FAQs on Simple Past Tense Examples


Define simple past tense.

The simple past tense describes a verb/action in the past, i.e. already done. For example, “The thief stole the diamond crown.” Here, the given sentence is in the past tense as the action ‘stole’ has already been done.


Give the simple past tense form of the verb ‘put’.

Unlike the other verbs that change their form from present to past, the verb ‘put’ remains ‘put’ in simple past tense too.


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