Simple Past and Past Progressive, Definition and Example Sentences

Simple Past and Past Progressive, Definition and Example Sentences


Simple Past and Past Progressive

In this lesson, we will examine the issues of Simple Past and Past Progressive. You can learn English Simple Past and Past Progressive topics here in pictures, games, exercises, examples and dialogs in a private lesson format.

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However, firstly, it is necessary to learn carefully the time issues, which are explained in detail below and in plain language. Simple Past is used to tell past events. It is known as a past time. Used when referring to finished and completed events in the past. Past Progressive is generally used when describing actions that started in the past and show continuity in a certain period of time. Action to be considered has started in the past, and continuity has been in the past. So it is not going on right now.

“Did” is used as an auxiliary verb in Simple Past sentences. The “Did” auxiliary verb does not change according to the subjects. So there is no different use for “He, She, It”. “Did” auxiliary verb is used as “did not” or “didn’t” for short in negative sentences. In question sentences, “did” is taken per sentence.

Meanwhile, the auxiliary verb “did” is incorrectly known as the “English past tense”. However, it is not a suffix and actually functions as a “auxiliary verb” and it is not added to another word like attachments.


Past Progressive, on the other hand, is used to describe the actions that took place in the past parallel to each other. There are some rules to be considered when creating positive, negative and question sentences with Past Progressive. When constructing a positive sentence, the “was, were” auxiliary element is used according to the subjects. “Was, were” is the version of “am / is / are” auxiliary elements taken from past time.

In addition, the verb “ing” must be brought to verbs. When making the sentences negative, there is not much change in the sentence structure. After the “was – were” suffixes that are the auxiliary element, the “note” which is the negative suffix is ​​added. In the negative sentence, the verb also gets the ” – ing ” tag. “Was – were” used as an auxiliary verb when asking a question is at the beginning of the sentence. However, when asked to ask a question using a question word, this question word is included before “was – were”.

Information: Verbs in English are divided into regular and irregular. Before going to regular verbs, you need to know the verbs. Verbs exist in English. Indicates what time or situation the sentence will refer to, using each case in different places. Verbs have three forms. It will be sufficient to add the suffix “-ed” at the end of the verb to make the verbs second and third these verbs are called regular verbs.

Simple Past and Past Progressive Examples

  • Samara listened to her mother. (Simple Past Positive)
  • Samara didn’t listen to her mother. (Simple Past Negative)
  • Did Samara listen to her mother? (Simple Past Question)

Note: You noticed that “did” is not used in the first example. However, it is also the Simple Past sentence. However, although “did” is used in negative and question sentences, this does not apply to positive sentences. Therefore, the second form of the verb (the verb -ed is attached) is used for positive sentences. In this case, “did” is not used in the sentence. Because the second form of the verb (-ed attached) is another form that will show us the time of the sentence. In short, “did” is used only in negative and questions.

  • They were listening radio. (Past Progressive Positive)
  • They weren’t listening radio. (Past Progressive Negative)
  • Were they listening radio? (Past Progressive Question)

Note: Since Past Progressive is a time telling about the past, time expressions such as ‘yesterday, last, ago’ which are frequently used with Simple Past can also be used at this time. In addition, while and when time conjunctions are used to express two different actions simultaneously, in a single sentence.

Here are past Simple Tense and Past Progressive (continuous) Tense Example Sentences;


Past Simple Tense

I started I did not (didn’t) start Did I start
You started You did not (didn’t) start Did you start
He started He did not (didn’t) start Did he start
She started She did not (didn’t) start Did she start
It started It did not (didn’t) start Did it start
We started We did not (didn’t) start Did we start
You started You did not (didn’t) start Did you start
They started They did not (didn’t) start Did they start

Past Progressive Tense

I was starting I was not (wasn’t) starting Was I starting
You were starting You were not (weren’t) starting Were you starting
He was starting He was not (wasn’t) starting Was he starting
She was starting She was not (wasn’t) starting Was she starting
It was starting It was not (wasn’t) starting Was it starting
We were starting We were not (weren’t) starting Were we starting
You were starting You were not (weren’t) starting Were you starting
They were starting They were not starting Were they starting