Basic English Grammar
Tanggal Terbit: February 1, 2010


Read this paragraph carefully!

"I was still young at that time when my uncle, Tom, left for America and I had to live alone in an apartment and tried to survive and continued my study at a university in this city. I meat a man, who everyone called him "Joe". He was a lecturer at the Academy of Foreign Language in jakarta. He often came to my apartment and talked everything. I felt that I found someone who understood everything about me."
From the short paragraph above, we will find the sentences like,

I was still young.....
I met a man.
My uncle, Tom, left for America.
I felt ....
He often came ....

The sentences above are in the simple past tense. The simple past tense is used to express something happen in the past time. And It was done completely.

Simple past tense has so many determiners like,

Yesterday, a long ago, last month, two years ago, last night, etc ....

All words or phrases above are some of the determiners mentioned in simple past. They are called " Adverb of Time". Besides, there are two important determiners in the simple past, they are:

/be/, and
/Past form verb or second verb/


Be /was,were/ as a structural meaning word is called "be-past". Be-past is used to build a nominal sentence in simple past form. The existance of be-past in nominal sentence is important because it is a vital word or a verb (we can say that /be/ is "a Structural Verb" in Nominal Sentence.

Look at this illustration below!

For examples:

I was here.
you were here.
we were here.
they were here.
he was here.
she was here.
it was here.

 Take notice that the be  /was or were/ has its spesific subject and it can not be exchanged!.

To make it into Negative Sentence, place "NOT" behind the /be/.

Here's the formula :

Subject + be-past + not + complement

For examples;

I wasn't late.
You weren't late.
we weren't late.
they weren't late.
he wasn't late.
she wasn't late.
it wasn't late.

To make an interogative sentence, place the be-past at the beginning of the sentence.

For examples:

Was I late?
Were you late?
Were we late?
Were they late?
Was he late?
Was she late?
Was it late?

Here's the formula :

Be-past + Subject + Complement + ?


In verbal sentence, simple past tense has a single auxilliary, that is, "DID". This auxilliary will appear when the positive sentence is changed into Negative (-) or Interrogative Sentence (?).

For examples:

(+) I went to Bali a month ago.
(-) I did not go to Bali a month ago.
(?) Did You go to Bali a month ago?

In the verbal positive sentence, we use the second verb or the past form verb. Remember that the verb, in verbal sentence, is Lexical-meaning-verb and it is different of /be/, as a structural-meaning-verb.

When the positive sentence is changed into negative then change the second verb into the first-verb or present-verb (V1) and use /did/ + not before the subject.

For examples:

(+) I saw it.
(-) I didnot see it.

and when you want to make an interrogative sentence, place the only /DID/ at the beginning of the sentence and change the verb into the first-form-verb or present verb, like :

They told me everything.
Did they tell you everything?

As a conclusion, take notice of this illustration below!

English Lesson #1

How to understand English Sentence or Structure

taken from: Every languages has its own uniqueness as well as English language. In English grammar, structure points to h...

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