The negative of the simple past

Simple past : Negative form

To form the negative of a sentence in the Simple Past you need to use the past form of the auxiliary verb ‘do’ – that is ‘Forming the Negative of the simple past

To form the negative of a sentence in the Simple Past you need to use the past form of the auxiliary verb ‘do’ – that is ‘did‘ + ‘not‘ + the infinitive of the verb you want to use. For example – I did not play.

The negative of the simple past 1

We often contract did and not into one word – didn’t – for example:

  • I didn’t play
  • They didn’t play
  • She didn’t play

Notice that did and didn’t are invariable – they do not change no matter which pronoun you use.

The Same rule applies for irregular verbs:

Let’s look at leave,come and teach:

  • I didn’t leave
  • We didn’t come
  • He didn’t teach

Here’s an example with the very common irregular verb ‘to go’

  • She went to school yesterday.

Becomes in the negative:

  • She did not go to school yesterday.

Remember that ‘went’ is the past form of ‘go‘. I went I didn’t go

Regular verbs:

Very simple!

  • She talked to Martin last week.
  • She did not talk to Martin last week.

You try…
Make the sentences with the negative Simple Past

  • They studied English in 2006.
  • Tim played golf when he was at university.

(answers below)

See also

Answers:

  1. They did not study ..
  2. Tim did not play…
Anthony Hughes
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