Concepts of Past Tense
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What is Past Tense?
Past Tense describes those events or actions that have happened somewhere in the past.
- He cooked delicious Italian food last night.
- Maria lived in a girl’s hostel for two years.
- I was eating a cheese capsicum pizza when the bell rang.
- They had been living here until 1982.
What are the types of Past Tense?
Past Tense has four types-
- Simple Past Tense
- Past Continuous/Progressive Tense
- Past Perfect Tense
- Past Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense.
The use of the various forms of the Past Tense depends on the situation. Let us explore all of these in detail-
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Simple Past Tense
This tense describes the facts and activities that have already happened. It generally refers to actions that are finished.
- She liked sweets a lot, but now she has been diagnosed with diabetes.
- Rony played football with his friends for three hours yesterday.
- He worked extremely hard for his final exams.
- The boy danced very well at the show.
- The children drank a lot of chocolate milkshakes, which caused them stomach aches.
Note– Here, we use the second form of the verb irrespective of the subject. The subject can be singular or plural, but the verb will remain in the second form, such as liked, played, danced, felt, went etc.
Fill in the blanks using Simple Past Tense.
- She __ to her friend over the telephone. (speak)
- I __ a strange noise last night. (hear)
- The children __ the doorbell and ran away. (ring)
- The boss __ all the staff members for a meeting. (call)
- The ladies __ at the party. (enjoy)
- Ronnie __ the room with golden balloons and ribbons. (decorate)
- You __ a fantastic script for the school play. (write)
- The actor __ exceptionally well in the action movie. (perform)
- He __ delicious and spicy vegetable rolls. (cook)
- They __ on an official tour last month. (go)
Past Continuous/Progressive Tense
Past Continuous tense, also called the Past Progressive Tense, describes an action that went on for some time.
- Annie was speeding in her brand new car when she saw a policeman.
- They were baking vanilla cookies and chocolate muffins for the Christmas party.
- I was busy cleaning the house when I heard a strange noise from outside.
- The creepy insects were moving around the corner of the house.
Note– In the Past Continuous Tense, we use the auxiliary verb (to be) and the main verb in the –ing form.
Note- With a singular subject- we use “was” and with a plural subject, we use “ were”.
Fill in the blanks using Past Continuous Tense.
- He __ in his room when his mother called him. (sleep)
- They __ for a new house as they wanted to relocate. (look)
- The children __ badminton in the garden when the guard shouted at them. (play)
- The teacher __ notes before delivering the lecture. (prepare)
- She __ to songs instead of completing her assignment. (listen)
- We __ a small party for orphan kids. (organise)
- Some of the people ___ unwell due to excessive heat. (feel)
- The sparrow __ constantly on the roof. (chirp)
- The engineers __ on a tedious project. (work)
- You __ ready for the play, when I came to meet you. (get)
- was sleeping
- were looking
- were playing
- was preparing
- was listening
- were organising
- were feeling
- was chirping
- were working
- were getting
Past Perfect Tense
The Past Perfect Tense is used for an action that finished before another action started in the past.
- I had completed all my science homework before going to play.
- She didn’t say anything till the movie had ended.
- By the time we called them, they had left for a vacation.
- We had lived here for many years before we decided to move out.
Note– Here, we use ‘had’ along with the verb in the third form with singular and plural subjects.
Rewrite the following sentences using the correct form of Past Perfect Tense.
- I have met them before.
- She have gone to the vegetable market when I called her.
- Victor has worked hard before he got promoted.
- The team lost the match as they have not trained well.
- She have lived in a city for a few years before moving to the countryside.
- They had got married by the end of last year.
- The children has fallen asleep before 9 p.m.
- We did not get a table at the Italian restaurant as we have not booked in advance.
- Our aunt has visit several doctors before finding out the reason for her shoulder pain.
- I could not buy a bus ticket as I did lost my wallet.
- I had met them before.
- She had gone to the vegetable market when I called her.
- Victor had worked hard before he got promoted.
- The team lost the match as they had not trained well.
- She had lived in a city for a few years, before moving to the countryside
- They had gotten married by the end of last year.
- The children had fallen asleep before 9 p.m.
- We did not get a table at the Italian restaurant as we had not booked in advance.
- Our aunt has visited several doctors before finding out the reason for her shoulder pain.
- I could not buy a bus ticket as I had lost my wallet.
Past Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense
This tense is used for an event that started in the past and continued until another time in the past.
- She had been looking for her mother for a long time until she found her.
- You had been doing a lot of hard work before you fell ill.
- The carpenter had been repairing the damaged wooden chair when he decided to take a lunch break.
- They had been travelling to Chicago with their family by train when the accident happened.
Note– Here, we use ‘had been’ along with verb in –ing form with singular and plural subjects.
Rewrite the following incorrect sentences using Past Perfect Continuous/Progressive Tense.
- We had been surf the internet for information before mom changed the wifi password.
- She had living here with her family for twenty years until she decided to move out.
- The participants been practice at the rehearsals when they learnt that the organisers cancelled their show.
- The patient had gained weight because he had been overeating.
- My father had watering after the plants in the garden when my mom called out.
- Sarah been rest when the boss called her to submit the presentation.
- He had been improve at his work gradually when suddenly he decided to quit.
- How long is Mr. Thomas been drinking black tea before he decided to end this habit?
- She has been studying in the college for a year before she applied to another college.
- I was tired because I has been jogging.
- We had been surfing the internet for information before mom changed the wifi password.
- She had been living here with her family for twenty years until she decided to move out.
- The participants had been practising at the rehearsals when they learnt that the organisers had cancelled their show.
- The patient had gained weight because he had been overeating.
- My father had been watering the plants in the garden when my mom called out.
- Sarah had been resting when the boss called her to submit the presentation.
- He had been improving at his work gradually when suddenly he decided to quit.
- How long had Mr. Thomas been drinking black tea before he decided to end this habit?
- She had been studying in the college for a year before she applied to another college.
- I was tired because I had been jogging.
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