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Lesson 25
the past tense - questions

past tense - questions

To make a question in the past tense negative, put “did” before the subject. The main verb remains in the simple form. 

 

live / lived / lived

Where did you live five years ago? 

Did you live there a long time? 

 

The Past Tense in English

There are two main types of questions for the past tense:  yes-no questions and information questions. 

25a. past tense - yes-no questions

Did + subject + main verb

The answer is “yes” or “no.”

have

have / had / had 

Singular

Did I have breakfast? 

Did you have breakfast?  

Did he have breakfast? 

Did she have breakfast? 

Did it have breakfast? 

Plural

Did we have breakfast?  

Did you have breakfast? 

Did they have breakfast? 

An affirmative or negative answer to the question, often includes the helping verb “did.” 

A: Did you have breakfast this morning? 

B: Yes, I did.  / No, I didn’t. 

25a. Example

breakfast, toast, egg-7110228.jpg
  • A: Did you have breakfast this morning?
  • B: Yes, I did.  I had eggs and toast. 
have / had / had 
stomach, health, diet-3532098.jpg
  • A: Did he feel well this morning? . 
  • B: No he didn’t. He felt sick. 
feel / felt / felt
bike, together, two-3682650.jpg
  • A: Did they go biking last weekend? 

  • B: Yes, they did. They went for a long bike ride. 

go / went / gone 

25b. past tense - information questions

Question word + did + subject + main verb

The answer provides information. 

have — irregular verb

have / had / had 

Singular

What did I have?  

What did you have?   

What did he have? 

What did she have? 

What did it have? 

Plural

What did we have? 

What did you have? 

What did they have? 

live — regular verb

lived / lived / lived

Singular

Where did I live?  

Where did you live?  

Where did he live? 

Where did she live?

Where did it live?  

Plural

Where did we live? 

Where did you live?

Where did they live?

25b. Example

breakfast, toast, egg-7110228.jpg
  • A: What did you have breakfast this morning?
  • B: I had eggs and toast. 
have / had / had 
baker, bread, bake-4840960.jpg
  • A: What did he make
  • B: He made some bread 

make / made / made

rio de janeiro, brazil, travel-4566312.jpg
  • A: Where did they live ten years ago? 

  • B: They lived in Brazil. 

live / lived / lived

25c. past tense - information questions

Some questions about the past do not use the helping verb “did.” 

What happened?

Who was here yesterday? 

Who completed their homework? 

 

25c. Examples

teacher, property, plant-3765909.jpg
  • What happened in class yesterday? 
  • How many students were in class?
  • Who completed the homework assignment? 
25d. Here are some examples of ways to ask about past activities:
  • A: Did you wake up early this morning? 
  • B: Yes, I did. 
  • A: What time did you wake up? 
  • B: I woke up at 6:30. 
  • A: Did Olivia leave for work yet? 
  • B: Yes, she did. 
  • A: What time did she leave? 
  • B: She left at 8:20. 
  • A: Did it rain yesterday? 
  • B: No, it didn’t. 
  • A: That’s too bad. We needed the rain. 
  • A: Did you go out in the rain? 
  • B: Yes, I did. 
  • A: Why did you do that? 
  • B: I had to get to work. 
girl, nature, dog-8371776.jpg

A: How much rain did we get yesterday? 

B: We got an inch of rain. 

In Lesson Twenty-six, you will learn how to use possessive adjectives

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