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Past Simple Conversation Questions (100+ questions; includes pictures)

Updated: Jan 28


This page is intended to be a resource for English learners and teachers. You can practice answering these past simple discussion questions by yourself or with a partner. You can also write the answers in a notebook, in a digital document, or in the comments section below. To help learners feel more confident and to develop grammatical accuracy, the warm-up questions have some suggested answer beginnings, which make them ideal for beginners. For more challenging questions, move on to the "Let's go!" section.


Recommended levels: beginner/low intermediate for "Warm-up" questions; mix of intermediate and advanced levels for majority of "Let's go!" questions.


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Grammar Reference (scroll down for questions)

Statement structure

Affirmative: subject + past simple verb

Negative: subject + didn't + bare infinitive/base verb

Past "be" verb sentences: subject + was/were (not) (or: "wasn't/weren't" (for negatives))

"She went to the store."

"The company didn't want to give him a raise."

"We waited for the bus for over an hour."

"They weren't happy with the final result."


Open question structure

Known subject: Wh- question word + did + subject + bare infinitive/base verb

Past "be" verb questions: Wh- question word + was/were (not) + subject

"When did you wake up?"

"How was soccer practice today?"

"Where did they go?"

"Who(m) did he go with?"


Unknown/Open subject: Who/What/Which one(s) + past simple verb

Unknown/Open subject negative: Who/What/Which one(s) + didn't + bare infinitive/base verb

Unknown/Open subject with past "be" verb questions: Who/What/Which one(s) + was/were (not) (or: wasn't/weren't)

"Who won the game last night?"

"What happened?"

"Who was there?"

"Which one didn't break?"


Yes/No question structure

Did + subject + (not) bare infinitive/base verb (or: Didn't + subject + bare infinitive/base verb for common negative question structure)

Was/Were + subject (not) (or: Wasn't/Weren't + subject for common negative question structure)

"Did you see him at the store?"

"Were the roads really bad last night?"

"Did they ask you any questions?"

"Was it difficult?"

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Warm-up

Where were you born?

I was born in...


Did you grow up there too (in the place you were born)? / Where did you grow up?

Yes, I did. / No. I grew up in...


Where did you go to school? How was it?

I went to [name of school]. It was...


How did you get to school every day?

I got to school by car/bus/metro/train. / I walked to school every day (or "I got/went to school on foot.") / My mom/dad/parents took me to school.


Did you go anywhere yesterday? What did you do?

Yesterday, I went to... / No, I didn't go anywhere yesterday. I stayed (at) home and...


What time did you go to bed last night?

I went to bed at/around...


What time did you get up this morning?

I got up at/around...


What did you have for breakfast?

I had...


What time did you start school/work?

I started work/school at...


What was your favourite TV show when you were a kid? (If you didn't watch TV, what was your favourite book, video game, etc.?)

When I was a kid, my favourite show was... / ...I loved watching... / ...I was obsessed with...


What did he/she/they do yesterday?

He/She/They...


Let's go!

How was your weekend? What did you do?


What was the last thing you bought?


What were your hobbies when you were a kid?


Which subjects were you good at in school?


What was one of the most important things you learned when you were younger?


What kind of kid were you? Were you creative? Quiet? A clown? Energetic? Active? Lazy? Etc.


When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? (Example: "I wanted to be a doctor.")


How often did you get into trouble when you were a kid? Did you ever do anything that you felt bad about afterwards?


Who picked you up from school when you were a kid?


What was your first memory?


Do you remember your first best friend? What was his/her/their name?


How old were you when...?

Answer: "I was [your age at the time]." (Don't be afraid to say more about this experience.)

  • you learned to ride a bike?

  • you learned to drive?

  • you got your first job?

  • you went to your first concert (or other major public event)?

  • you cooked something by yourself for the first time?

Daily routine

Think about yesterday. Which of these things did you do? Ask yourself (or ask a partner) yes/no questions, answer them, and discuss. (Example: "Did you have breakfast yesterday?")


Did you learn to swim when you were younger? Who taught you?


Which chores did you do last week? Did you take out the garbage? Wash the dishes? Vacuum the floor? Do the laundry?


What was your first job?


Why did you decide to start studying English?


What did you do on your last day off?


When was your last vacation? Did you go anywhere new? What did you do?


What time did you start answering these questions?


What did you have for breakfast/lunch/dinner today?


What was the last book you read?


Who was the first person you talked to today?


What was the first thing you did when you woke up today?


Tell me about one of your favourite teachers from the past (elementary school, high school, college, university, etc.). What was their name? What did they teach you? Why did you like them?


How many hours of sleep did you get last night? (Example: "I got [number] hour of sleep last night," or "I slept for [number] hours last night.")


In what ways were you different 10 years ago?


How often did you visit your family when you were a kid?


Tell me about one of your favourite travel experiences. What made it memorable/special?


Who did you look up to when you were younger? (This means "Who did you admire and respect when you were younger? Who was one of your role models?")


What was something you believed when you were younger, but you don't believe now?


What were your favourite holidays when you were a kid?


How did you get here today? (by bus, by car, by train, on foot...)


What were your favourite snacks and meals when you were younger? (I really liked...)


When was the last time you...

  • got a haircut?

  • cried?

  • played a sport?

  • rode a bike?

  • drove a car?

  • went out to eat?

  • went to a movie theatre?

  • felt proud of something or someone?

  • wrote a physical letter to someone?

  • called someone?

  • ate junk food or drank soda?

Think about a time in your life when you had to make an important decision. What happened?


What was the last thing you received in the mail?


Finish these sentences with your own ideas:

  • Last night, I thought about...

  • She got...

  • Yesterday, I saw...

  • We tried...

  • My friends and I hung out... (to hang out is to spend time)

  • When I was a kid, I didn't like to eat...

Passive past simple (was/were (not) + past participle)


Do you know what year your house/apartment/condo was built?


Who(m) was your favourite book written by?


Where were your clothes made?


Do you have a cellphone? Do you know where it was made?


What was the last thing that was delivered to your house?


Picture time! Yesterday was a busy day. What did these people do? More than one answer is possible in some situations.


By what time were you expected to be home when you were a teenager?


What kind of music did you listen to when you were younger?


What is something you didn't learn in school?


Tell me about a time when something or someone surprised you.


How much money did you make at your first job? How many hours did you work per week?


When was your last birthday party? How many people were there?


How old were you when you got your first computer and/or cellphone?


How much time did you spend on these questions? Did you answer all of them, or did you skip some of them? Why or why not?


That's it! That wasn't so bad, was it? If you enjoyed this resource and you want to support my work--and if you want to continue improving your English vocabulary and speaking skills!--pick up a copy of my book, 300 Practical English Words and Phrases. Thank you and good luck with your studies!

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