Past Tense (July 2019) : Definition, Types And Important Exercise

Past Tense:

The past Tense or The simple past tense is the tense used for the relation of past events. It’s used to indicate an action completed in the past at a definite time. It is used whenever any given past time is stated or implied.

Past Tense is divided into four types: 

  1. Past Indefinite Tense
  2. Past Continuous Tense
  3. Past Perfect Tense
  4. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

SIMPLE PAST:

The past Tense or The simple past tense is the tense used for the relation of past events. It’s used to indicate an action completed in the past at a definite time. It is used whenever any given past time is stated or implied. There is often an adverb of time denoting past tense in the sentence. ( One of the commonest adverbials used in the past indefinite tense is ‘ago’.Ago means a date or period of time measured back from the present) .  

ITS USES :

a)  The Past Tense is sometimes used to indicate a series of activity, each one separately provided the context is clear.  

Ex. 

  1. He came.
  2. He saw. 

b) It is sometimes used to express a habitual action in the past.

Ex.
He studied hard.

c) It is also sometimes used to denotes an action actually going on the past.

Ex.
While the boys danced, the girls sang.

d) It is used to express a polite form of address.

Ex.
Could you please lend me your dictionary?

e) It is used after the expression, “It is time”.

Ex.
It is time we went.

FORMATION OF SIMPLE PAST:

  SUBJECT + PAST FORM OF VERB + OBJECT

     Ex.            

  1. I played.            
  2. You played.            
  3. It rained heavily last night.    

EXERCISE 

  1.  It rained heavily last night. 
  2. The decoit was killed in action. 
  3. Plato taught in Athens. 
  4. I do not know your name. I wish I knew it. 
  5. Shakespeare wrote a large number of dramas. 
  6. He went out ten minutes ago. 
  7. He went abroad last week. 
  8. He got a new job a week ago. 
  9. It is time you prepared your lessons thoroughly. 
  10. She talks as if she knew everything. 
  11. If you were a rate, the cat would eat you. 

PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE 

The past continuous tense is used for an action going on sometime in the past. It is used to express an action that was going on in the past but not yet completed. 

It’s Uses :

A. It is used for an action going for some time during which something takes place. 

  Ex.

It was raining when we went out this morning. 

The bus knocked down the boy while he was crossing the road. 

While I talking with my friend, the telephone rang. 

B.  The past continuous tense is also used to describe two or more past activities going on or taking place at the same time. 

Ex. 

     While I was doing my work, my younger brother was playing table tennis. 

    While I was washing the napkin, my sister was cleaning the table. 

FORMATION OF PAST CONTINUOUS TENSE 

       SUBJECT + WAS / WERE ( ING)  + OBJECT 

Note : If subject is  3rd person singular then always Subject with was. 

Ex.

 He was playing. 

She was playing. 

EXERCISE

  1. I was reading a book when Meera came in. 
  2. I came in while he was writing. 
  3. when the broke out, we were living in London. 
  4. The light went out while I was having tea. 
  5. I was writing a letter. 
  6. The telephone was ringing. 
  7. He was cleaning his pistol when it accidentally went off. 

PAST PERFECT TENSE 

The past tense is used to express an action which is already completed at some time in the past before another past action. It denotes that :-

            A.  Two actions took place in the past;

            B.  One of them took place before the other. 

           C. The earlier action is expressed by the past perfect tense and the later action, by the past indefinite tense. 

   Ex. 

           Haren had left the place before Paban came. 

          The patient died after the doctor had come. 

ITS USES 

A.  It is used after ‘ If ‘ or ‘ I wish ‘ if it relates to a past activity that is unreal or a mere supposition. 

Ex. 

If I had a car, I should have given you a lift. 

If you had eaten it, you would have died. 

I wish I have invited my friends. 

I wish I had helped him with my books. 

B.  The past perfect tense is used before the word ‘ before ‘ and afterword ‘ After ‘.

Ex. 

He wants after I had come. 

I did it before he came. 

I had seen him before he saw me. 

The Chief Conjunctions used to join two actions are: when, before, after, until, no sooner …….. Than, etc. 

FORMATION OF PAST PERFECT TENSE 

PATTERN: SUBJECT + HAD + PAST PARTICIPLE OF THE VERB 

EXERCISE :

  1. Hari had entered the classroom before the teacher came. 
  2. She told me her name after I asked her twice. 
  3. Dadhi went home after they had finished their work. 
  4. When we reached the Nehru Stadium, the play had already begun. 
  5. He said that he had worked in a paper mill before. 
  6. When we reached the station, the train had already left. 
  7. No – sooner had we gone out than it began to rain. 

PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE 

The past perfect continuous tense is used to express an action that began in the past and was still going at a given moment in the past. 

Ex. 

I had been reading English for four hours. 

The girl had been singing for two hours. 

FORMATION OF PAST PERFECT CONTINUOUS TENSE 

SUBJECT + HAD BEEN + VERB + ING + OBJECT 

EXERCISE :

   1. The bosses had been living in Pune for 25 years before they settled in Mumbai. 

2. We had been waiting for him for four hours and then we left. 

3. Mr Prafulla had been serving as a teacher before he joined the judicial service. 

4. My father had been suffering from fever for ten years before he died

5. He had been working in a factory before he fell ill. 

6. Mr Mahdi had been serving as a lecturer in cotton college before he became a sub deputy collector. 

7. The police had been watching his movement until they arrested him. 

8. We had been playing football before it rained. 

9. Asit had been reading in this school before he left for  Mumbai. 

Related:

  1. WHAT IS GRAMMAR? DEFINITION, WITH IMPORTANT EXERCISE
  2. STORY WRITING
  3. PRESENT TENSE :MEANING, TYPES AND EXERCISE

Categories Grammar

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