The Past Tense
The Simple Past Tense
We use the simple past tense to state a fact or an action that has already taken place We use the simple past tense form of the verb with all nouns and pronouns
Alex threw the ball at Kim.
We rode horses at the beach.
The Past Continuous Tense
We use the past continuous tense when we want to state something that was happening in the past (as it was happening). In the past continuous tense we use helping verb was with singular nouns (or pronouns) and were with plural nouns (or pronouns). In the past continuous tense we also use the present participle form of the verb and add “ing” at the end.
|Singular Noun / Pronoun||Helping Verb||Verb + ing|
|Plural Noun / Pronoun|
|Ron and Bob (they)||were||fishing at the lake.|
The Past Perfect Tense
We use the past perfect tense when we want to relate two events which happened in the past. It emphasizes an action from the
past which finished before another action from the past began in the past perfect tense we use helping verb had with all nouns and pronouns, followed by the past participle form of the verb
|Third form of the verb|
|I||had||typed the letter before Sam came.|
|You||had||left the party by the time 1 arrived.|
|The race (it)||had||started by four o’ clock yesterday.|
The Past Perfect Continuous Tense
We use the past perfect continuous tense to talk about an action that started in the past and was still ongoing in the past. In the past perfect continuous tense we use the words had been with all nouns and pronouns followed by the present participle form of the verb by adding ‘ing’ at the end.
|Verb + ing|
|getting bored before my friends came over.|
|Mr. Brown (he)||had
|working on his car for two months when it got stolen.|
|The musicians (they)||had
|practicing for months when the concert was cancelled.|