Verbs: Expressing the Past

Subject: English

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Overview

This note explains about the verbs expressing past .

Verbs: Expressing the Past

The past tense of be

It was Wednesday yesterday. Rakesh and Rita were at home.

The word in bold letters are the past tense form of the verb be.

Form

Positive Negative Interrogative
I was I was not was I?
We were we were not were we?

 

The past tense of have

I had an umbrella with me.Unfortunately, I did not have an umbrella.

The word in bold letters are the past tense form of the verb have.

Form

Positive:- had in all persons

Negative :-had not/did not have

Interrogative:- had you? did you have?

Simple past tense

I invited all my friends to tea. Mother baked for a party. Father decorated myroom.

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The words in bold letters are in the simple past tense.

Form

Positive statements:- Simple past tense of the verb with all subjects.

Negative sentences:- Subject + did not + root form of the verb + ......

Interrogative sentences:- Did + subject + root form of the verb + ..... ? ,Question word + did + subject + root form of the verb + ......?

Where to use the simple past tense

  1. The simple past tense is used to express actions that took place at some time in the past and are over now. These actions might have occurred at some moment or might have taken a period of time. But they do not have any connection with the present.
  2. This tense also expresses some past habit: She never worked at night.

Past continuous tense

In park, a number of children were running around. Some people were briskly walking.Some were taking exercise.

The words in bold letters are in the past continuous tense.

Form

In affirmative sentences, we use the pattern:

was/were + -ing form of the verb

I was playing. They were playing.

In negative sentences, not is inserted after the first part of the verb:

I was not playing. They were not playing.

In interrogative sentences, the first part of the verb is put before the subject:

Was he playing? Were they playing?

Where to use the past continuous tense

  1. The past continuous tense is used to expressed an action which was in progress at some point of time in the past but whose time limits are not mentioned.
  2. Very often, simple past and past continuous tense are used together. Then they suggest that one activity was continuing when another took place.

Present perfect tense

I have just received your message. I am delighted to learn that Sunil has got an offer to represent the school in chess.

The words in bold letters are in the present perfect tense.

Form

In affirmative sentences, we use has/have + past participle form of the verb:

I have played;He has played.

In negative sentences, not is inserted after the first part of the verb:

I have not played; He has not played.

Where to use the present perfect tense

  1. This tense is used to express an action that has been recently completed.
  2. This tense expressed an action which was completed in the past but whose effect can be felt at the time of speaking.

Simple past or present perfect?

Both the simple past and the present perfect express an action complete in the past. But there is one basic difference. The simple past tense expresses a completed action not connected with the present. The present perfect tense expresses a completed action with the present.

Past perfect tense

It had started raining before we left the office.

Form

had + past participle form of the verb

Positive: I had played. He had played.

Negative: I had not played. He had not played.

Where to use the past perfect tense

  1. The past perfect tense is used to express an action completed before a given past moment. e.g. I had finished my work by 5 o'clock.
  2. The past perfect tense is used with such verbs as hope, expect, think, mean, suppose, want, etc., to indicate that a past hope, desire, intention, etc., was not realized. e.g. I had hoped that he would pass.

Present perfect continuous tense

Ashin has been watching television since 8 pm.

Form

Have been/has been + -ing form of the verb

Positive: I have been playing.

Negative: I have not been playing.

Interrogative: Have I been playing?

Where to use the present perfect continuous tense

  1. The present perfect continuous tense expresses an action that began in the past and has gone on till the time of speaking. In fact, it could be in progress at the time of speaking.
  2. We can use this tense to express an action that has just finished or that finished only a short time ago.

Present continuous or present perfect continuous?

Sometimes we want to suggest that an action is going on at the present moment but do not care how long it has been going on. In such case, we use the present continuous tense. But if we also want to take into consideration the time for which it has been going on, we use the present continuous tense.

Past perfect continuous tense

I had been working in that office since 2007.

Form

had been + -ing form of the verb

Positive: I had been playing.

Negative:I had not been playing.

 

Interrogative: Had I been playing?

Where to use the past perfect continuous tense

This tense is used to express an action which began before a definite moment in the past, had continued up to that moment and was still in progress at that moment or had very recently finished.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things to remember

Verbs: Expressing the Past

  • The past tense of be
  • The past tense of have
  • Past continuous tense
  • Past continuous tense
  • Simple past or present perfect
  • Past perfect tense
  • Present perfect continuous tense
  • Present continuous or present perfect continuous
  • Past perfect continuous tense
  • It includes every relationship which established among the people.
  • There can be more than one community in a society. Community smaller than society.
  • It is a network of social relationships which cannot see or touched.
  • common interests and common objectives are not necessary for society.

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