Simple Past and Past Perfect

when to use the Simple Past

  • used for actions and events completed in the past (I saw him yesterday.)
    signal words (signifying a definite time): yesterday, …….. ago, when …., last week/month/year, in 2018
  • habitual action in the past (She always walked to school.)

when to use the Past Perfect

  • for an action or event which was already completed before some point in the past. (I had washed the car.)
  • for a period which started in the past and which was continuing until a past point of reference or has only just finished (I had been ill for a week when the antibiotics finally kicked in.)
  • to indicate the sequence of events in the past: we use the Past Perfect (had seen) to indicate that this action happened earlier than the Simple Past (told) (I told him yesterday I had seen him on the train the day before.)

Exercises

Simple Past (he went) and Past Perfect (he had gone)

  • exercise 1: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 2: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 3: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 4: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 5: two exercises practising the use of the simple past and the past perfect
  • exercise 6: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 7: choose the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 8: choose the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 9: choose the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 10: fill in the signal word and correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 11: fill in the correct verb form of the simple past or the past perfect
  • exercise 12: various exercises practising the use of the simple past and the past perfect
  • exercise 13: various exercises practising the use of the simple past and the past perfect

Useful pages

  • exercises for practising the Simple Past ( I went)
  • exercises for practising the Past Perfect (I had gone)
  • exercises for practising irregular verbs (gowent – gone)