Past Simple

Learning and practicing the simple past can be easy if you do it in context.

Remember – to form the past for regular verbs all you need to do is add “d” to verbs ending in “e” or “ed” to verbs ending with any other letter.

Of course, in the case of irregular verbs, there is no good way to learn them other than by memory!

Here is a list of irregular verbs – I highly recommend that you do NOT try to memorize all of the verbs at the same time, but rather choose 2 or 3 per day. 

Then, to practice what you are learning, you can write simple anecdotes about things in the past.

A trip

A scary moment

A happy moment

You last birthday party

A dream you had

Here is a great example!

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What did you do?

The verb “do” presents tons of problems for the majority of new English speakers, but, in fact, it is easy to learn, if done properly.

In Spanish we have 1 verb (hacer) to say what in English is divided between 2 words: Make and Do. The difference between the two are the following:

Make is something that needs constructing of involves a process: 

Make a cake, make your bed, make a cup of coffee, etc.

Do is used for activities or daily chores:

Do your hair, do the dishes, do exercise, etc.

There are also a large amount of phrases that are set using do and make. You can see those here.

aprender-ingles-rosario

But that is not the confusing part. That we understand. The part that confuses us is when the verb do is used as an auxiliary verb.

A WHAT!

An auxiliary verb is a verb used to give support to another verb. We could call it a helper verb. The helper verb used to ask questions and make negative responses is do.

Do you want to go dancing tonight?

or we can use it in the past form:

Did you go dancing last night?

Do you like coffee?

No, I do not like coffee (No I don’t like coffee)

Take a look at the structure below.

Did

you

eat

pizza

yesterday?

Auxiliary verb

Subject pronoun

Verb

noun

adverb

 

So, you can never ever ever ever never say:

Know you him?

Firstly because there is no auxiliary word that makes it a questions.

Secondly because the pronoun is out of order

The correct way to ask the question is:

Do you know him?

Take note

When you ask a questions using do in the past, you will use did, in which case, the verb will be in present simple tense.

Did you do the dishes?

If the answer is a negative response you will use the same structure

No, I did not do the dishes.

If the answer is a positive response, the verb will conjugate into the simple past tense.

Yes, I did the dishes (no auxiliary verb)

A fun way to practice this is by asking your friends what they did last night and taking turns answering the questions.

  • Did you drink wine last night?
  • Did you eat in a restaurant last night?
  • Did you sleep in your bed last night?
  • Did you call your mother last night?
  • Did you make a cake last night?

Song of the Day

Skyfall, Adele

Circle the right words.

This is the end
Hold your breath/ breather and count to ten
Feel the earth move and then
Hear my heart burst again

For this is the end
I’ve drowned/ drowning and dreamt this moment
So overdue I owe them
Swept away, I’m stolen

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall
At skyfall

Skyfall is where we start/ end
A thousand miles/ kilometres and poles apart
Where worlds collide and days are dark
You may have my number, you can take my name
But you’ll never have my heart

Let the sky fall/ fell
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand/ stands tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

[2x]
(Let the sky fall
When it crumbles/ trembles
We will stand tall)

Where you go I go
What you see I see/ saw
I know I’d never be me
Without the security
Of your loving arms
Keeping me from harm
Put your hand in my hand
And we’ll stand

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together

Let the sky fall
When it crumbles
We will stand tall
Face it all together
At skyfall

Let the sky fall
We will stand tall
At skyfall

Written work: Answer the following questions in an email to me. (info@spanishinrosario.com)
1. Do you think back about your past?
2. Do you have any sweet or bitter memories of your past? Say some?
3. Has one or more memories ever come back to haunt your present? How? How not?
4. Is the past of any importance to the present? Why?