Simple Past: Our Business History

Simple past is a particularly useful tense in Business English. It is very common for business persons to speak about their experiences or their business history. This also involves reports of past actions and activities. To share this information, you need to use the simple past form of the verb. To do this, you need to be aware of the types of verbs. There are two types of verbs in English. Regular verbs are those that will take a suffix (a morpheme that is attached to the end of a word) to indicate the time at which it occurred (ex: worked). The other type of verbs are called irregular (ex: wrote). There verbs each have their own past and future forms. Learners need to practice these verbs to remember their forms.

Simple past is a form of the verb that refers to an event or an action that occurred at a certain time in the past. That is why sometimes the time is also included in the sentence. However, indication of time is not necessary. This form of tense is seen frequently in business reports. It is also used in business meeting presentations where past performances and achievements are reported. Another use of simple past is in conference and seminar presentations when businesses share their history.

Lotus: a trading company in a business meeting (annual report summary)

During the past year, the company made of $150bn in revenue. Lotus cleared his bank loans last June, therefore, profits decreased considerably in compare to the previous months. Sales raised successfully by %10 percent at the end of the year. From the total sales, $84 was international and %16 local. All international orders were FOB. International orders came from 12 countries and an average of 12 orders were received, all orders were delivered in time. The longest manufacturing time for orders was 4 months and the least 45 days. Inspection and Insurance of goods were done without difficulty.

Note: There are several verbs that follow this pattern: was/were + past form of the verb. They are passive forms used with past tense. Passive forms are discussed separately in another post.

Lotus: a trading company in international conference

Lotus was established in 2016 by Jack Bender and Lawrence Beckett. It began working in Europe and expanded to international grounds after one year. The company made a gross profit of $90bn in 2018. Lotus supplied spare parts to 34 plants around the world in the past three years. Most of its business transaction were made through Letters of Credit. Most of its orders were delivered by freight. Lotus raised it capital by %20 last year. The company changed to a private one last march.

Real-world Example: Wilmar International History

Check the link below to see how Wilmar International uses past simple to talk about its history:

As you can see, a lot of information can be given using simple past tense. All the points made in bot examples refer to an action or event that occurred at a certain point in the past and it is unchangeable in the present. Practicing simple past requires knowledge of Business English verbs and business information. You prepare the information and I will give you the verbs.

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