Explanations » A1 Grammar Explanations » Past simple – negatives and questions

Past simple negatives and questions

We use did and didn’t to make negatives, questions and short answers in past simple.
past simple form

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Word order in questions

Remember that the word order in questions is QWASI: (Question Word), Auxiliary (did), Subject, Infinitive.
past simple – word order in questions

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Infinitive without to

We use did or didn’t with the bare infinitive of the main verb (= infinitive without to).

  • I didn’t work yesterday. (NOT I didn’t worked.)
  • Did you go to the concert? (NOT Did you went…?)

Don’t use did in positive sentences

We use did or didn’t in negatives, questions and short answers, but NOT in positive sentences.

  • We stayed home yesterday. (NOT We did stay home yesterday.)
  • I went out last night. (NOT I did go out last night.)

Did or was/were?

We use did and didn’t (NOT was/wasn’t or were/weren’t) as the auxiliary verb in negatives and questions in past simple.

  • We didn’t eat at 6. (NOT We weren’t eat.)
  • Did you do your homework? (NOT Were you do your homework?)

We do NOT use did or didn’t in past simple negatives or questions when the main verb is be.

  • They weren’t happy. (NOT They didn’t be happy.)
  • Was he at home? (NOT Did he be at home?)