AEM Academy

Past Simple

Purpose: The action was finished in the past; the condition is no longer true.

Past simple is mainly used for things that happened in the past, that are finished, that are no longer true.

Active voice:               

  • The kids damaged the iPad when they knocked it off the table.
  • When I was three years old, I moved to England.

Passive voice:              

  • The iPad was damaged when it was knocked off the table.
  • The furniture was moved by the painters.

Important pronunciation note:

In general, the “e” in “ed” is silent, unless the word ends in “t” or “d”:

  • Started
  • Ended

Past simple vs Present perfect

Past simple deals with events that are finished. Present perfect deals with experiences. This is important: don’t use present perfect when mentioning a specific past time.

1. I’ve worked at 3 different companies in this field.

  • This refers to experience.

I worked at Omni Mega Group when I was younger.

  • This refers to a specific past event that is no longer true.


2. I’ve never dealt with this kind of issue. I’ll have to do some research.

  • This refers to lack of experience.

I already dealt with this last week! Why is it broken again?

  • This refers to a specific past event.

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