Conjugation & verb forms of ‘to do’ in the past simple

(Formation of the simple past tense of ‘to do’)

Table of contents – past simple of ‘to do’

On this page you will find the following:

  1. Formation past simple of ‘to do’
  2. Auxiliary verb forms of ‘to do’
  3. Full verb forms of ‘to do’
  4. Further explanations and exercises

Formation of ‘to do’ in the past simple

The simple past tense (sometimes merely called past) of to do is formed irregularly and has only one form – unlike its counterpart in the present tense, which has two forms (do/does). Furthermore, the verb ‘to do’ can be used as an auxiliary verb as well as a full (main) verb. Compare the formation and occurrences in the example sentences and the table below:

  • Examples of conjugating ‘to do’ in the past simple as a full verb:
    • “Patrick did all his homework yesterday.”
    • “Last year I did a lot of sports.”

Auxiliary verb forms of ‘to do’ in the past simple

The tables show the forms of ‘to do’ as an auxiliary verb combined with a full verb, in this case, ‘to eat’. For example:

Positive/affirmative sentences (as an auxiliary verb)

Person/pronoun Positive Short form Interrogative form Short form of question
I
he/she/it
we/you/they

(She did eat.)*
Did she eat?

Negative sentences (as an auxiliary verb)

Person/pronoun Negative Short form Interrogative form Short form of question
I
he/she/it
we/you/they
You did not eat. You didn’t eat. Did you not eat? Didn’t you eat?

* In regular positive statements, ‘did’ does not appear as an auxiliary verb unless particular emphasis is needed.

Full (main) verb forms of ‘to do’ in the past simple

These tables demonstrate the forms of ‘to do’ as a full verb together with ‘to do’ as an auxiliary verb in questions and negations:

Positive/affirmative sentences (as a full verb)

Person/pronoun Positive Short form Interrogative form Short form of question
I
he/she/it
we/you/they
She did something. Did she do something?

Negative sentences (as a full verb)

Person/pronoun Negative Short form Interrogative form Short form of question
I
he/she/it
we/you/they
You did not do anything. You didn’t do anything. Did you not do anything? Didn’t you do anything?

Further explanations relating to the ‘Formation of the simple past of ‘to do’

The following explanations are related to the topic ‘Conjugation and verb forms of ‘to do’ in the past simple’ and may also be interesting: