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English Grammar

Past Simple

We use the past simple to talk about actions and states which we see as completed in the past.

Specific Point in Time

We can use it to talk about a specific point in time.

  • She came back last Friday.
  • I saw her in the street.
  • They didn’t agree to the deal.

A Period of Time

It can also be used to talk about a period of time.

  • She lived in Tokyo for seven years.
  • They were in London from Monday to Thursday of last week.
  • When I was living in New York, I went to all the art exhibitions I could.

Used with time expressions

You will often find the past simple used with time expressions such as these:

  • Yesterday
  • three weeks ago
  • last year
  • in 2002 
  • from March to June
  • for a long time
  • for 6 weeks
  • in the 1980s
  • in the last century
  • in the past
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