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Simple Past Tense #5, by Dennis Oliver

 
 

Simple Past Tense #5:
Making Negatives

 

Negative sentences are made in two different ways in
simple past tense:

1.  

sentences with BE (was or were)

Make sentences with BE (was or were) negative
by adding not after was or were:

Lucy was not at the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother were not at Julia's party
last night.

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These negative forms are frequently contracted:

was not -----> wasn't

were not ----> weren't

Lucy wasn't at the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother weren't at Julia's party last night.

     
2.  

sentences with other verbs

Make sentences with verbs other than BE (both
regular and irregular) negative by adding did not
before the simple form of the verb:

Lucy did not attend the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother did not go to Julia's party
last night.

__________________________________


This negative form is frequently contracted:

did not -----> didn't

Lucy didn't attend the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother didn't go to Julia's party last night.


____________________________________________

 

Special Notes:


1.  

Do not use didn't when the verb is was or were:

Not this:

*Lucy didn't was at the meeting yesterday.

*Bill and his brother didn't were at Julia's party
last night.

But this:

Lucy wasn't at the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother weren't at Julia's party
last night.

     
2.  

Do not use wasn't or weren't when the verb in
past tense is not
was or were:

Not this:

*Lucy was not attend the meeting yesterday.

*Bill and his brother weren't go to Julia's party
last night.

But this:

Lucy didn't attend the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother didn't go to Julia's party
last night.

     
3.  

If you use did not or didn't to make a negative,
remember that the main verb is in
simple form:

Not this:

*Lucy did not attended the meeting yesterday.

*Bill and his brother didn't went to Julia's party
last night.

But this:

Lucy didn't attend the meeting yesterday.

Bill and his brother didn't go to Julia's party
last night.

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