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Past Tense: Examples, Formula, Rules, Verbs, Structure, Words, Chart

Past Tense

The past tense of verbs, as the term suggests, can be used to talk about or express an event or action that has already happened in the past. An important thing to note is that when many verbs are used in the past tense, they do not follow the general rule of adding “ed” to the end of the verb to form the past tense.

This article will teach you definitions, structures, usage rules, and examples.

Past Tense – Definition

The Oxford Learner’s Dictionary defines the term “past” as “the verb form used to describe past actions”. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the past tense of verbs is “used to represent the verb form in many languages ​​used for actions that are ending in the present”.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “a verb that expresses action or state in the past tense or so” is the definition of the past tense. The Macmillan Dictionary defines the “past tense” as “a verb group form that indicates that an action or event occurred regularly, or that a situation had previously existed or been true.”

Past Tense – Types

There are four different types of Present tenses in the English language.

Simple past tense -Use the simple past tense to refer to an action or event that happened in the past.
Past continuous tense – used to express actions that were ongoing or taking place at some moment in past.
Past perfect tense – a verb form used to indicate that another action has already been completed when another action is taking place.
Past Perfect Continuous Tense – used in sentences to express an action that began at some point in the past and continued until a certain point in the past

Past Tense- Structure

The structure of Present Tense is as follows:

Structure of Present Tense
Simple present tense Present continuous tense Present perfect tense Present Perfect Continuous Tense
Subject + past form of the verb(verb 2) + rest of the sentence. Subject + was/were + present participle (verb+ing) + the rest of the sentence Subject + had + past participle (third form of the verb+ rest of the sentence. Subject + had + been + present participle (verb+ing) + since/for (if needed) + the rest of the sentence.

Past Tense- Examples

Examples of Simple Past Tense are given below:

  1. She didn’t go to school daily.
  2. You read this chapter.
  3. I listened to songs every morning.
  4. She completed her work on time.
  5. Did cats drink milk?

Examples of Past Continuous Tense are given below:

  1. She was learning the chapter.
  2. The teacher was teaching in the class.
  3. Were birds chirping on trees?
  4. They weren’t going anywhere.
  5. Some people were following her.

Examples of Past Perfect Tense are given below:

  1. She had watched this movie.
  2. I had never gone there.
  3. Had he completed his work?
  4. Had they taken their lunch?
  5. We had learned this lesson.

Examples of Past Perfect Continuous Tense are given below:

  1. We had been living here since 1992.
  2. It had been raining since morning.
  3. Children had been studying for two hours.
  4. Jack had been doing this work for five hours.
  5. Ben had not been playing a video game since 6 p.m.

Past Tense- Exercises

Let’s do some exercises based on past tense

Que. Fill in the blanks using the correct form of the verbs given in the bracket.

  1. They ____ watching the match all night. (was/were)
  2. I ___ out with my family. (went/go)
  3. Joy____ walking towards the field. (was/were)
  4. Train ___ a few minutes back. (left/leave)
  5. The teacher ___ us about modals. (teach/taught)
  6. We ____ to California last week. (drove/drive)
  7. The actress ___ next to the director. (stand/stood)
  8. The thieves ____ into the house last night. (break/broke)
  9. She ___a trophy for the competition on the last day. (receive/received)
  10. My cousin___ playing chess last night. (was/were)
  11. I ___ seen Rohan before he came. (has/had)
  12. We ___watched the movie last night. (had/has)
  13. The opponent team ___with dedication. (play/played)
  14. Ankit __ all the biscuits. (ate/eaten)
  15. Ashok ___removing the fan from the roof when he fell off. (was/were)

Check your Answers

  1. They were watching the match all night. (was/were)
  2. I went out with my family. (went/go)
  3. Joy was walking towards the field. (was/were)
  4. The train left a few minutes back. (left/leave)
  5. The teacher taught us about modals. (teach/taught)
  6. We drove to California last week. (drove/drive)
  7. The actress stood next to the director. (stand/stood)
  8. The thieves broke into the house last night. (break/broke)
  9. She received a trophy for the competition on the last day. (receive/received)
  10. My cousin was playing chess last night. (was/were)
  11. I had seen Rohan before he came. (has/had)
  12. We had watched the movie last night. (had/has)
  13. The opponent team played with dedication. (play/played)
  14. Ankit ate all the biscuits. (ate/eaten)
  15. Ashok was removing the fan from the roof when he fell off. (was/were)

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Past Tense- FAQs

Q.1 What is Past Tense?

Ans. The past tense of verbs, as the term suggests, can be used to talk about or express an event or action that has already happened in the past.

Q.2 How many past tenses are there in the English language? Name them.

Ans. There are four present tenses in the English language as follows:

  1. Simple Past Tense
  2. Past Continuous Tense
  3. Past Perfect Tense
  4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

Q.3 Give some examples of Past Tense.

Ans.

  1. You studied this chapter.
  2. Ben had not been playing a video game since 6 p.m.
  3. The teacher was teaching in the class.
  4. I had never gone there.

Q.4 Why do we use Past Tense?

Ans. Past Tense is used to tell the actions of the past time.

Q.5 What is the formula for Simple Past Tense?

Ans. Subject + past form of the verb (verb 2) + rest of the sentence.

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