Today we are going to look at how to form negative sentences and questions in the past simple with regular verbs and most irregular verbs. Don’t worry; it’s easy ☺
To form negative sentences in the past simple with regular verbs and most irregular verbs, except the verb “to be” and modal verbs, we just put a subject and then “did not” (or with contraction, “didn’t”) before the base form of the verb, i.e. the infinitive without “to”.
Look at some examples:
I didn’t play football last Saturday but I played football two Saturdays ago.
Sabato scorso non ho giocato a calcio, ma due sabati fa sì.
We didn’t go out last night.
Ieri sera non siamo usciti.
They didn’t work yesterday. Their office was closed.
Ieri non hanno lavorato. L’ufficio era chiuso.
To form questions, you need to put the auxiliary verb “did” followed by a subject and then the base form. For example,
Did you read the newspaper this morning?
Hai letto il giornale stamattina?
Did they like the food at the new French restaurant?
A loro è piaciuto il cibo al ristorante francese?
Did you eat pizza for dinner last night?
Ieri sera a cena avete mangiato la pizza?
Did he do his homework yesterday?
Ha fatto i suoi compiti ieri?
Look at a question and an affirmative and negative answer:
Did you watch TV last night?
Hai guardato la tele ieri sera?
Yes, I watched TV last night.
Si, ho visto la tele ieri sera
No, I didn’t watch TV last night.
No, ieri sera non ho guardato la tele.
The short answers to this question would be “Yes, I did” or “No, I didn’t”.
Here’s another example:
Did she go to the beach on Saturday?
Sabato è andata in spiaggia?
Yes, she went to the beach on Saturday. (or the short answer, “Yes, she did”)
Sì, sabato è andata in spiaggia. (O la risposta breve, “Yes, she did”)
No, she didn’t go to the beach on Saturday. (or the short answer, “No, she didn’t”)
No, sabato non è andata in spiaggia. (O la risposta breve, “No, she didn’t”)