Past Tense

Past Tense is the verb used to indicate an action, event or condition that started in the past but ended either in the past or continue to the present.

Based on completion of the action, event, or condition, there are 4 types of Past Tenses commonly used in English Grammar:

1. Simple Past

Simple past is used for actions that starting and ending in the past.

Form: infinitive + ed or simple past form of irregular verb

Examples

Affirmative:
They visited Oklahoma last month.

Negative:
They did not visit Oklahoma last month.

Interrogative:
Did they visit Oklahoma last month?

2. Past Continuous (Past Progressive)

Past Continuous or Past Progressive is used for actions that starting in the past and continuing to the present.

Form: was/were + infinitive + ing

Examples

Affirmative:
David was writing a letter this morning.

Negative:
David was not writing a letter this morning.

Interrogative:
Was David writing a letter this morning?

3. Past Perfect

Past Perfect is used for actions that started and ended in the past before another action that is also in the past.

Form: had + past participle

Examples

Affirmative:
Samantha had written tomorrow tasks before she went to bed.

Negative:
Samantha had not written tomorrow tasks before she went to bed.

Interrogative:
Had Samantha written tomorrow tasks before she went to bed?

4. Past Perfect Continuous (Past Perfect Progressive)

Past Perfect Continuous or Past Perfect Progressive is used for actions that were going on in the past up until another action in the past happened.

Form: had + been + infinitive + ing

Examples

Affirmative:
Rose had been waiting for Jack for an hour when he arrived.

Negative:
Rose had not been waiting for Jack for an hour when he arrived.

Interrogative:
Had Rose been waiting for Jack for an hour when he arrived?

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Exercise

After reading explanation and several examples above, now it’s time to check your understanding about past tenses of grammar rules.

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