What are 4 of the English past tense forms and structures?

The English past tense

Abstract

The English past tense structure is one of the English grammar parts which is a form the verb used to talk about things that happened in past time. The English past tense can be activities done yesterday, last week or last year.

Some students find the English past tense a bit difficult, but knowing all its forms with the correct structures, will make this tense one of the easiest parts to learn in English grammar.

There are 4 forms of the past tense structure which are simple past, past continuous, past perfect and past perfect continuous. Each of these English past tenses have their own structures and definitions. Here are complete details about each past tense forms and structures with some good and easy examples that are helpful for students.

The English past tense

The English past tense structure can be defined as a form of verb which is used for actions done in the past time. Students who are learning English grammar may face some difficulties when learning the English past tense forms and structures.

There are four different past tense customs that are simple past, past continuous, past perfect and also past perfect continuous. Each of these forms have their own structures and definitions.

In this article, there are complete detailed definitions and also examples which are helpful in order to understand the English past tense easier and without any difficulties in the best way possible.

Simple past

The first form of the past tense structure is simple past. Simple past can be defined as activities done in a specific time in the past and they are now completely finished.

Structure: Subject + Verb root +(ed) or irregular verb

  • Examples:

 I went to school yesterday.

She washed her hands two minutes ago.

He went to park last week.

Negative form structure: Subject + didn’t + verb

  • Examples:

He didn’t do his homework yesterday.

I didn’t paint the picture today.

She didn’t see me yesterday.

Past continuous

Another form of the English past tense is past continuous. Past continuous can be defined as an action which was in progress in the past and it’s finished.

Structure: Subject + was/were + verb root+(ing)

  • Examples:

I was eating cake at 7 o’clock.

She was watching movies this week.

Negative form structure: Subject + was/were + not + verb root+ (ing)

  • Examples:

They were not eating dinner at 6 o’clock.

I wasn’t planning to meet her today.

Past perfect

Past perfect is another form of past tense in English grammar. Past perfect is about activity that was complete before another activity or time in the past

Structure: Subject + had + past participle

  • Examples:

She had completed the task before they arrived.

I had washed all the dishes before I went out.

Negative for structure:

  • Examples: Subject + had + not + past participle

She had not prepared dinner before he stopped by.

I had not bought the book before she came.

Past perfect continuous

The last form of English past tense is past perfect continuous. Past perfect continuous emphasizes the duration of an activity that was in progress before another activity or time in the past.

Structure: Subject+ had been + the verb’s present participle (root + -ing).

  • Examples

I had been cooking before they arrived.

She had been reading the book before she went out.

Negative form structure: Subject+ had not been + the verb’s present participle (root + -ing).

  • Examples

She hadn’t been eating before he arrived home from his trip.

Conclusion

The English past tense

Overall, the English past tense is an easy part of English grammar form which is really important to learn and master. Practicing it’s all different forms continuously can be helpful in order to become proficient in English. Learning the past tense structures will improve a great deal of your English skills as for example your speaking and writing skills.

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