"I had work yesterday."
I don't get this sentence at all. Could someone break it down for me, please?
The topic is きのう, meaning yesterday. It's followed by は, the topic marker. Then comes しごと, or work. Finally, the normal copula です is replaced with でした because it's past tense. So a literal word-by-word translation could be, "Regarding yesterday, party did." The one who partied is implied to be the speaker in the absense of context, but that depends on the conversation or paragraph.
Sorry, not "party did", "work did". Don't know how I screwed that up.
Wouldn' the translation be more like "...the party was"? If so I don't get the sentence either
しごと is a noun (you might translate it to 'job') while はたらく is a verb "work"
Usually with expressions of time, a particle isn't explicitly necessary, at least with simple statements like these. At least, that was my understanding....