However, the passé simple is a literary tense and is thus limited to formal writing, such as literature, journalism, and historical accounts. - Lawless French. The passé simple (past definite) is used primarily in formal, literary, and historical writings to express French II: Everyday Words and Phrases The passé simple of regular verbs is formed by dropping the infinitive endings (‐er, ‐ir, ‐re) and. The passé simple (see the past tense) did not get its name because it's simple to learn! There are two regular forms and then irregularities. Most of the irregular.