• English grammar
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  • 1 English alphabet
  • 2 English pronunciation and phonetics [0/3]
  • 3 English articles [0/9]
  • 4 English pronouns [0/39]
  • 4.1 English personal pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.2 English impersonal pronouns (it, there, ...) [0/4]
  • 4.3 English object pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.4 English possessive pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.5 English reflexive pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.6 English reciprocal pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.7 English demonstrative pronouns [0/3]
  • 4.8 English relative pronouns [0/4]
  • 4.9 English indefinite pronouns [0/5]
  • 4.10 English interrogative pronouns [0/4]
  • 5 English nouns [0/16]
  • 6 English adjectives [0/38]
  • 6.1 Adjectives of quality in English [0/4]
  • 6.2 Demonstrative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.3 Possessive adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.4 Quantity adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.5 Interrogative adjectives in English [0/4]
  • 6.6 Numeral adjectives in English [0/8]
  • 6.7 Comparatives and superlatives [0/10]
  • 7 English adverbs [0/18]
  • 7.1 Position of adverbs in English [0/2]
  • 7.2 Adverbs of manner in English [0/2]
  • 7.3 Adverbs of place in English [0/2]
  • 7.4 Adverbs of time in English [0/2]
  • 7.5 Adverbs of quantity in English [0/2]
  • 7.6 Adverbs of frequency in English [0/2]
  • 7.7 Adverbs of degree in English [0/2]
  • 7.8 Adverbs of probability and certainty in English [0/2]
  • 7.9 Adverbs of opinion and observation in English [0/2]
  • 8 English prepositions [0/12]
  • 9 English verbs [0/122]
  • 9.1 Present tenses in English [0/29]
  • Fill in the correct present tense in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Exercise about all present tenses in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Mixed present tenses exercise in English (Score -/-)Free
  • Practice all the English present tenses (Score -/-)Free
  • 9.1.1 Present simple tense in English [0/5]
  • 9.1.2 Present continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.3 Present simple vs present continuous in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.4 Present perfect tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.5 Present perfect continuous tense in English [0/4]
  • 9.1.6 Difference past simple and present perfect in English [0/4]
  • 9.2 Past tenses in English [0/20]
  • 9.3 Future tenses in English [0/21]
  • 9.4 Auxiliary verbs in English [0/9]
  • 9.5 Present participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.6 Past participle in English [0/3]
  • 9.7 Modal verbs in English [0/11]
  • 9.8 Phrasal verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.9 Regular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.10 Irregular verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.11 Gerund (-ing form) in English [0/8]
  • 9.12 Infinitive verbs in English [0/3]
  • 9.13 Imperative in English [0/2]
  • 9.14 Reported speech in English [0/2]
  • 9.15 Active and passive voice in English [0/2]
  • 10 English conditionals [0/20]
  • In this part of the course you will learn all about the English past tense. The English tense has the following past tenses:

    This chapter will show you an overview of when to use the different past tenses. For a more detailed explanation of the tenses you can take a look at the different chapters of this course, where you will also find exercises to practice the tenses.

    Usage of the English past verb tenses

    1) Past simple tense

    The simple past of the English regular verbs are formed by adding '-ed' to the infinitive of the verb.

    • He swam in the ocean.
    • She watched a movie yesterday.
    • I brought my laptop with me. 

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    2) Past perfect tense

    For the past perfect the verbs 'to have' and 'to be' are used in the past tense together with the past participle.

    • They had read the chapter.
    • She had walked to the supermarket.
    • I had worked on the project. 

    3) Past continuous tense

    The past continuous is formed with the past simple of the auxiliary verb 'to be' and the present participle of the verb.

    • I was reading a book. 
    • He was making his lunch.
    • They were watching the game. 

    4) Past perfect continuous tense

    To form the past perfect continuous the past perfect of the verb 'to be' is used followed by the present participle of the main verb (verb + ing). 

    • She had been crying. 
    • I had been working all day.
    • He had been studying. 

    The table below gives you an overview of the different past tenses in English. 

    Tense Usage Example
    Past simple  The past simple is used for describing a completed action that took place in the past. 
     
    •  I went to tennis last week.
    • I finished my homework.
    Past perfect  The past perfect is used to indicate that an action in the past occurred before another action also in the past. 

     

    • I had gone to tennis.
    • I had done my homework.

     

    Past continuous The past continuous is used to describe actions starting in the past and are still continuing in the present. 
    • We were walking home together. 
    • I was listening to music. 
    Past perfect continuous The past perfect continuous is used to describe actions that were going on in the past until another action in the past occurred. 
    • She had been waiting for over an hour. 
    • He had been walking to the supermarket. 

    Do the exercise to practice the different tenses!

    Next lessons

    1 Past simple tense in English Learn all about the past simple tense in English.
    2 Past perfect tense in English Learn all about the past perfect tense in English.
    3 Past continuous tense in English Learn all about the past continuous tense in English.
    4 Past perfect continuous tense in English Learn all about the past perfect continuous tense in English.