What is Past Tense?
The Past Tense describe an action in the Past time.
or, A verb that refers to Past Time is to said to be in the Past Tense.
as – I went, He wrote a letter , They were playing.
Read these sentences for better understanding:
1. I loved. (Simple Past)
2. I was loving. (Past Continuous)
3. 1 had loved. (Past Perfect)
4. I had been loving. (Past Perfect Continuous)
*** The Verbs in all of these sentences refer to the past time, and are therefore said to be in the past tense.
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In sentence I, we see that, however, the Verb shows that the action is mentioned simply, without anything being said about the completeness or incompleteness of the action.
In sentence 2, we see that, the Verb shows that the action is mentioned as incomplete or continuous, that was, as going on.
In sentence 3, we see that, the Verb shows that the action is mentioned as was finished, completed, or perfect, at the time of speaking.
The tense of the Verb in sentence 4 is said to be past Perfect Continuous, because the verb shows that the action was going on continuously, and not completed at the time saying.
*** We may now define Tense as that form of a Verb which shows the time and the state of an action or event.
A verb agrees with its subject in number and person. Study the verb forms of various tenses:
Simple Past Tense
* I spoke
* You spoke
* He spoke
* We spoke
* They spoke
Past Continuous Tense
* I was speaking
* You were speaking
* He was speaking
* We were speaking
* They were speaking
Past Perfect Tense
• I had spoken
• You had spoken
• He had spoken
• We had spoken
• They had spoken
Past Perfect Continuous Tense
* I had been speaking
* You had been speaking
* He had been speaking
* We had been speaking
* They had been speaking
Kinds of Past Tense
From the above discussion we can easily realized that there are four kinds of Past Tense
1. Simple Past Tense or Past Indefinite tense
2. Past Continuous Tense or Past Progress
3. Past Perfect Tense
4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense