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Past Tense

The past tense can be classified into the following types-

  1. Simple Past Tense
  2. Past Continuous Tense
  3. Past Perfect Tense
  4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense
Past Tense | English Medium

Simple Past

It is used to express an action that took place in the past.

For example: The man came.

The above sentence talks of an action that happened in the past; hence, past form of the verb ‘come’ has been used.

The following rule must be followed-

Subject + Past form of the verb + Object (if any)

Past Continuous

It is used to express an action which began in the past and continued in the past.

For example: The man was coming.

The above example talks of an action that began in the past and continued. Hence, present continuous tense will be used.

The following rule must be followed-

Subject + was/were + verb + ing + object (if any)

Past Perfect

It is used when two actions are being discussed in the statement, one of which was already completed before the second one started. It must be noted that the second action was also started in the past. The verb expressing the previous action must follow the past perfect tense.

For example: The rain had stopped when he arrived.

In the above example, the first action had been completed before the other was commenced. Hence, past perfect tense will be used.

The following rule must be used-

Subject + had + 3rd of the verb + Object (if any)

Past Perfect Continuous

It shows that the action had continued for a certain time in the past before a certain instance happened.

For example: I had been waiting for an hour.

In the above example, the subject, ‘I’ had been performing an action for a long time in the past before the other person (for whom the subject had been waiting for) appeared.

The following rule must be used in such cases-

Subject + had + been + verb + ing + Object

Read more about tenses here.

Write your questions about tenses to us at mehak@englishmedium.in.

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