Questions - What / Where / When in the Past Tense

Past Tense - Lesson #11

We make past tense questions by using "question word + did". Use "did" with every subject when making past tense questions.

In this lesson, we will focus on the words what, where, and when.
  • "What" asks about a thing.
  • "Where" asks about a place.
  • "When" asks about a time.
Question Word + did + subject + verb….?
  • What did you do yesterday?
  • What did she say to you?
  • Where did they go on vacation?
  • Where did Nick get that coat?
  • When did you arrive?
  • When did Mary call you?
The pattern is the same as questions in the present tense. Compare the present tense questions to the past tense.Present Tense Past TenseWhat do you do every morning? What did you do yesterday morning?What does she need? What did she need earlier?Where does he work? Where did work last year?Where do you want to go? Where did you want to go?When does the concert start? When did the concert start?When does he need to leave? When did he leave?Don't forget about questions that start with "What + noun" or "Which + noun". It is also possible to put "kind of" or "type of" before the noun.

What + noun + did + subject + verb…?
Which + noun + did + subject + verb…?
  • What movie did you see last night?
  • What kind of car did he buy?
  • What type of dog did he get?
  • Which hotel did you stay at?
  • Which kind of book did you buy – fiction or non-fiction?
  • Which country did you visit – Brazil or Paraguay?
Take a look at some examples of how to answer a past tense question.

A) What did you do last weekend?
B) I went to the park with my friends.

A) Where did you go on your last vacation?
B) My family and I went to Europe.

A) When did he need to finish his paper?
B) He needed to finish it yesterday, but he didn't finish it.

It is important to practice these questions a lot because you will need to use them a lot when you speak English.

Example Questions
  • What did you do last weekend?
  • What did you eat for lunch?
  • What did he say to you?
  • What did Jon study at university?
  • What did she think about the movie?
  • What did Tina do on her vacation last month?
  • What did it say?
  • What did the message say?
  • What did they talk about at the meeting?
  • What did the managers discuss at the conference?

  • When did you leave last night?
  • When did you finish this report?
  • When did she arrive?
  • When did Jane call you last night?
  • When did he graduate from university?
  • When did Henry get a promotion?
  • When did it begin?
  • When did the movie come out?
  • When did they sell their company?
  • When did Jane and Tyler get married?

  • Where did you meet your wife?
  • Where did you find that coat?
  • Where did she go to school?
  • Where did Paula live in 2004?
  • Where did he work 10 years ago?
  • Where did Peter get that cool hat?
  • Where did your dog get that stick?
  • Where did it come from?
  • Where did they go for dinner last night?
  • Where did the children play after school?

  • What countries did you visit during your trip?
  • What sandwich did you buy?
  • What kind of sandwich did she get?
  • What kind of dog did she get last week?
  • What kind of information did our boss need last week?
  • What hotel did you stay at during your trip?
  • What computer did you get?
  • What kind of phone did they get?
  • What color did they paint their house?
  • What kind of person did this?

  • Which hotel did you stay at?
  • Which park did you go to?
  • Which shirt did he buy?
  • Which countries did they visit?
  • Which set did you order?
English Conversation 1

A) What color did you paint your house?
B) We painted our house pink.
A) Are you serious?
B) No, it was a joke. We painted our house white.
A) Hahaha. You scared me for a second.

English Conversation 2

A) When did you get back from your trip?
B) We returned yesterday. It was an amazing trip?
A) What did you do?
B) We just relaxed on the beach and drank cool drinks. The kids swam in the ocean all day.
A) Sounds amazing. I want to go on vacation now soon.

Improve your English and learn to speak fluently with this simple practice. Finish the questions below and then practice making your own questions. It is the best way to learn English fast!

Tip: Say the questions aloud. This will help you practice speaking English and improve your English fluency.

What did you _______________?
What did people in your country _______________ a long time ago?
What did he _______________?
Where did your family _______________?
Where did you _______________?
Where did your friend _______________?
When did the movie _______________?
What food did you _______________?