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Tenses - Part 2(Past Tense)

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There are a lot many confusions regarding rules. Different people have different rules, though most of them have many misconceptions. I am going to tell you about rules of forming sentences in each tense. To avoid boredom and tiredness, I will divide this into 3 parts - part 1, part 2 & part 3, each having different tenses.

This is the second part in which I am going to discuss about past tense first of all kinds. I will first tell you the rules, then I will make the words clear to you more even by examples in sample usages.

Past tense has several forms -

1. Simple Past - It is used to describe an action which has occurred just now.

Affirmative - Subject + 2nd form of the verb.
Negative - Subject + did not + first form of verb.
Interrogative - Did + Subject + 1st form of verb?

2. Past Continuous - It describes an action which started in the past and was continued in the past itself during the time concerned?

Affirmative - Subject + was/were + 1st form of the verb + ing.
Negative - Subject + was/were + not + 1st form of the verb + ing.
Interrogative - Was/were + subject + 1st form of the verb + ing?

3. Past Perfect - It is used to talk about an action which had started in the past but had even finished in the past itself.

Affirmative - Subject + had + 3rd form of the verb.
Negative - Subject + had + not + 3rd form of the verb.
Interrogative - Had + subject + 3rd form of the verb?

4. Past Perfect Continuous - It is used to describe an action which had started long ago, but had continued even after starting, but deals in the past times itself (after the starting of the action)and is known to be continued.

Affirmative - Subject + had been + 1st form of the verb + ing.
Negative - Subject + had not been + 1st form of the verb + ing.
Interrogative - Had + subject + been + 1st form of the verb + ing?

Sample Usage

1. Simple Past


1. I saw a boy over there.
2. He liked her mother to scold him.


1. I did not sing the song.
2. Gyan did not play guitar in front of her.


1. Did you go to school?
2. Did she see that place?

2. Past Continuous


1. They were talking in the corridor.
2. The girls were chatting in the classroom.


1. They were not shouting, got blamed unreasonably.
2. The boys were not working for the exhibition.


1. Were the boys running in the ground?
2. Were the teachers teaching strictly?

3. Past Perfect


1. I had seen one girl over there in the party.
2. She had watched the movie by then.


1. My brother has not met me.
2. Ramesh had not got his companion yet.


1. Had Ravi heard that song?
2. Had he gone to the school yesterday?

4. Past Perfect Continuous


1. Ram had been listening to him for 20 minutes.
2. Suresh had been working in that mill since 1982.


1. Anit had not been attending the classses since 2 weeks.
2. Anita had not been going to cinema for years.


1. Had Avinash been teaching for years?
2. Had Anil been playing in the team since 1999?

Next Resource: The Homophones—Part— I
Previous Resource: Tenses - Part 3(Future Tense)

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