Lesson 6 – Dinner – Past Simple or Simple Past

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IN YOUR LANGUAGE (Top right > Select language > Click on the flags).


  • I asked…
  • To come for dinner
  • To be in the shower
  • Does he know Sarah?
  • To ring someone
  • Sam rang.
  • To have a problem
  • To fill a form
  • Her father filled the form incorrectly
  • I told…
  • At the restaurant
  • To miss
  • A band
  • He can’t make it
  • Last time
  • To play
  • They played
  • Didn’t they play?
  • People complained
  • While they were eating
  • You can’t please…
  • In my opinion
  • To go elsewhere
  • Probably
  • To need
  • The restaurant needed
  • A flatmate
  • You’re right!
  • A visa


– Dinner –

Learn English – Lesson 6 – Dinner

Chris: I asked Sarah, my flatmate, to come for dinner.

Jess: Sam rang while you were in the shower, I asked him too. Does Sam know Sarah?

Chris: No but I’m sure he will like her. Her father had problems with his visa. That’s why she is still in Valencia.

Jess: Oh no! Will they not go to America now?

Chris: They will go. Her father filled the form incorrectly.

Jess: I told Sam to meet us at the restaurant at 9pm but he can’t make it until 9:30.

Chris: Oh! He’ll miss the band that are playing. They had a Mariachi band last time. They played some great music but they finished at 9:20.

Jess: Didn’t they play all night?

Chris: People complained. They didn’t like live music being played while they were eating.

Jess: You can’t please everyone.

Chris: In my opinion, if people don’t like live music in a restaurant, it is better for them to go elsewhere.

Jess: You’re right. But the restaurant probably needed the customers more than they needed the band.


Interactive Video Comprehension Quiz 1: 

Summary Statements Comprehension Quiz 2: 

Drag and Drop Quiz 3: 



The Past simple or Simple past tense is often used to talk about actions that have happened in the past, in reported speech and in conditional sentences.

The most common form is when we talking about things that have happened or that have finished before now. Very often we use a word or expression of finished time with this tense. The most obvious ones being: yesterday, a week ago, last year and other such interchangeable forms. These are called time expressions and can appear at the beginning or the end of a sentence.

As it is the past we add an –ed ending to the base verb. Though there are a number of irregular verbs that alter their spelling and do not use the –ed ending. These forms are also known as the V2 forms.

Positive form

Subject Verb + -ed ending or V2 form Rest of sentence
I/You/We/He/She/It/They remembered about the doctors appointment yesterday
I/You/We/He/She/It/They drew that picture ten years ago

Negative form

When we use the negative form we use the auxiliary verb, did not, Though it is often contracted to didn’t. We use the long form if we want emphasis. Also in the negative form we use the base form of the verb.

Subject Didn’t + Verb (base form) Rest of sentence
I/You/We/He/She/It/They didn´t succeed in winning the game.
I/You/We/He/She/It/They didn´t think to ask if he wanted help.


When we ask a question that is answered Yes or No we use the auxiliary verb, Did. In forming a sentence with this present simple form, we can use this formula:

Auxiliary Subject Verb (base form) Rest of sentence
Did I/You/We/They teach English yesterday?
Did He/She/It learn much in Spain last year?

Wh- Questions

What, where, when, why, who, how can be used as the start of a wh- question. Together with either of the auxiliary verbs, did or didn´t we can ask a question that requires further information in its answer.

Wh- Word Auxiliary Subject Verb (base form) Rest of sentence
When did I/You/We/They teach English?
Why didn´t He/She/It sleep very well?

Reported Speech

In reported speech we regularly shift the tense back. If someone said something to you in the present tense, you would report it in the past tense. We will look at the difference in direct speech and reported speech in this form:

She said “There is a good programme on”

She said there was a good programme on.

He said “I don’t like watching television”

He said he didn’t like watching television.

In spoken English it is common to not change the tense if you believe that what someone told you is still true:

I said “I don’t like anchovies”

I said that I don’t like anchovies

She said “I like anchovies”

She said she likes anchovies

The Simple Past can be used to express the idea of something that is not true or that the speaker thinks is unlikely to happen. This is called the Conditional 2:

I would help if I had time.

I don’t have time ….

What would you buy if you won the lottery?

I don´t think you will win the lottery.

Hints and Tips

The change in spelling of verbs in the past simple differ. It is important to take note of these spelling changes.

Most of the time, that is, with regular verbs we simply add an –ed to the end of the word:

Play →   Played

Watch →   Watched

If it be a short verb that ends with a consonant – vowel – consonant, then the last letter is doubled before adding the –ed.

Beg →   Begged

Stop →   Stopped

The only exception to this rule is if the verb ends in w,x or y. As we see with the verb play above:

Bow →   Bowed

Fax →   Faxed

With longer words that end in the Consonant – Vowel – Consonant, if there is a stress on the last syllable we follow the rule of doubling the last letter:

Permit →   Permitted

Regret →   Regretted

It is important to note that if the first syllable is stressed the last letter is not doubled:

Gather →   Gathered

Develop →   Developed

When a verb ends in e, we simply add a d to fulfill the –ed ending rule:

Exercise →   Exercised

Hope →   Hoped

Should the verb end in a consonant and a y then the y becomes an i and we finally add –ed.

Cry →   Cried

Deny →   Denied

Irregular verbs

All verbs can be broken down into forms, these forms are infinitive, simple present, simple past, past participle and present participle.

The simple past and the part participle of regular verbs end in –ed, however, Irregular verbs of these forms are not so consistent. They end in many different ways:

Take a look at this table of some irregular verbs:

Infinitive Simple Present Simple Past Past Participle Present Participle
To Begin Begin(s) Began Begun Beginning
To Bring Bring(s) Brought Brought Bringing
To Buy Buy(s) Bought Bought Buying
To Catch Catch(es) Caught Caught Catching
To Come Come(s) Came Come Coming
To Do Do(es) Did Done Doing
To Drink Drink(s) Drank Drunk Drinking
To Eat Eat(s) Ate Eaten Eating
To Find Find(s) Found Found Finding
To Get Get(s) Got Gotten Getting
To Give Give(s) Gave Given Giving
To Know Know(s) Knew Known Knowing
To Make Make(s) Made Made Making
To Pay Pay(s) Paid Paid Paying
To Say Say(s) Said Said Saying
To Tell Tell(s) Told Told Telling
To Understand Understand(s) Understood Understood Understanding
To Wake Wake(s) Woke Woken Waking
To Wear Wear(s) Wore Worn Wearing
To Write Write(s) Wrote Written Writing



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