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Past Tense | Past tense and Its Forms | Past tense Examples, Formula

Verbs come in three tenses- Past, Present, and Future. In general, the Past tense is used to describe things that have already taken place. These verbs are used to indicate or relate to actions or states that have already ended or if it didn’t end it continues to happen now although it began in the past.

Ex- I went to watch a movie with my friends yesterday.
We visited an orphanage last week.
I prepared breakfast yesterday.


Most of the common terms used for past tense sentences are
earlier in the day, last week, yesterday, long ago

Categories of Past Tense
There are four different categories of Past Tense, they are illustrated as follows-

Simple Past
Ex- Last night I read chemistry.

Past Continuous
Ex- I was reading Shakespeare’s novel last night

Past Perfect
Ex-I had read at least 30 books by the time I was eight.

Past Perfect Continuous
Ex- I had been reading for at least a year before my brother learned to read.

Simple Past Tense

past tense

Simple Past Tense is formed by replacing ed or d and also t in some places example help is written as helped and build is written as-built when written in the past tense.
Simple Past Tense is used to relate to states or actions that began and got completed in past itself.
Ex- I traveled to Paris last week.
My lazy friend slept on the bed for many hours.
The pyramid was built by the Egyptians.

Past Continuous Tense

Past Continuous Tense is formed by adding the past tense of being verb(was/were) followed by the present participle form of the main verb with the suffix (-ing).
We use Past Continuous Tense in the following situations-

Any interruption in a past event
Ex- We were playing a match when it started raining.
Ex- We were having lunch when it started raining.

Two simultaneous actions were taking place
Ex- Harry was sleeping while Tom was watching the movie.
Ex-One class was playing cricket while another was playing football.

An event that was in progress
Ex- At 5:40, I was cooking.
Ex- He couldn’t have cleaned the room because he was jogging at that time.

Past Perfect Tense

We add the word had followed by past participle form of regular verbs to structure the Past Perfect Tense.
Past Perfect is used in different situations like –

A past action happened before another one

Ex- She told me that her brother had failed his examination.
(Note here two actions took place in the past but the first action failed took place before told that is the reason why had was used with failed.)
Ex- I had finished my homework by the time my friends came to play.

Someone reporting any information
Ex- He told me that Harry had broken the vase.
Ex- The journalist said that the flood had started before evening.

Statements with conditions
Ex- If I had bought a raincoat, I wouldn’t have gotten wet.
Ex- If I had bought a bike, I wouldn’t have gotten late.

Past Perfect Continuous

past tense

The phrase had been followed by the present participle form of the verb ending with (-ing) form is used in Past Perfect Continuous Tense. It refers to the actions that began in the past and continued for some time and then got finished in the past itself.

Ex- Our team had been winning the football championship before the corrupt officials took over.
Ex- I had been studying at that school before I graduated.
Ex- Harry had been running eight miles a day before he twisted his ankle.

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