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                    PAST TENSE - USAGE OF PASTE TENSE Simple Past Tense: We use the simple past tense 1)     to indicate an action completed...

07. English Grammar for Competitive Examniations - Past Tense and Usage of Past Tense

                    PAST TENSE - USAGE OF PASTE TENSE

Simple Past Tense:
We use the simple past tense

1)    to indicate an action completed in the past  and that have no relation with the present..
Adverbs and adverb phrases denoting past time are after used with this tense.
Ex: then, yesterday, at that time, last week, ago etc.
Examples :    I bought a house last year.
He met me yesterday.
Ravi came to my place day before.
Lakshmi was late yesterday.
Nehru used to wear a rose every day.
He used to watch movies.

2)   to describe an action that occurred in the past or at a specified time or the time is easily understood or already implied.
Example: We finished our final exam an hour ago. (NOT: We have/had finished our final exam an hour ago.)
My friend played for the Yellow Hornless Bull football team.
He ate a big spicy piece of pizza for his breakfast.

3)   for an action that began and ended in the past.
Example: The dangerous criminal was recaptured after three months on the run.

4)   to refer to an action completed regardless of how recent or distant in the past.
Example: Alexander Bell invented the telephone in 1876.
                   My brother joined the circus as a clown last week.
              Alexander Fleming discovered Pencillin.

5)   for an action done repeatedlyhabitually or at regular times in the past.
Example: We saw the Telugu movie 'Athadu' several times at the cinema.
               Subbu  was always a heavy drinker in the old days.
               Vasudha phoned her mother every Sunday until her death.

6)   for a state in the past.
Example: The player  felt very tired after a couple of games of tennis.

7)   for a short event or action that comes or follows one after the other.
Example: We looked left and we looked right. Then we crossed the road.

8)   to place emphasis on what we say, especially in response to some remark.
Example: "You didn't seem to help much." "I did help to clear the room of all the                                unwanted things."

9)   to talk about someone who has died.
Example: K.Viswanath was a highly respected movie director.
              Bill Gates left all his money to charity.

Past Continuous Tense:
The past continuous tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to be(was/were) + present participle (verbs ending in
I/he/she/it was eating Pizza at 10 o'clock last night.

The past continuous tense questions are formed with was/were + subject + ... ing.
Example: What were you doing exactly last week by this time? (NOT: What did you do exactly 1 week ago?)

1)   It is used to denote an action going on at some time in the past.
    Example: It was raining by this time yesterday.
I saw a girl who was walking alone.
Hari was sleeping when I called.
2)   It is used to denote that an activity was continuing when another action took place.
     Example: while I was going to college, I saw a snake.
When I went to her yesterday, she was cooking food.
While I was making the dinner, my sister was watching t.v
3)   It is used to express a very frequently repeated actions in the past.
     Example:She was continually playing chess.
I was always watching T.V.

4)   with while to describe two actions that were going on at the same time in the past.
     Example: While my mother was laughing, my brother was crying.
              My brother was drinking while my mother-in-law was eating.

5)   for an action that was happening and not yet finished at a particular time or throughout a period of time in the past. We do not state when the action started or ended.
     Example: Monther was singing a song at 11 o'clock last night.
                   They were hunting wild boars all evening.

6)   in Reported or Indirect Speech.
"Are you catching a train to Kakinada, Sudheer?" asked Komali.

Komail asked Sudheer if he was catching a train to Kakinada.

7)   to describe the introductory scene for a story written in the past tense.
    Example: The sun was shining after weeks of rain. The flowers were waving in the         breeze.

Past Perfect Tense:
The past perfect tense is formed with the past tense of the verb to have (had) and the past participle of the verb (e.g. eaten, stolen, taken).

The past perfect tense describes an event that happened in the past before another event  was completed in the past. It tells us which event happened first regardless of which event is mentioned first or second in a sentence or conversation.

The Past Perfect Tense is used:
1)    It is used to show that one past action took place in the past before another action commenced.
Example: When I had finished my work I went home.
The dog had bitten  the child before I came.
 After I had eaten five guavas, I felt ill.
I arrived at the cinema after the film had started.
2)   It is used to express impossible conditions ( unfulfilled conditions) in the past.
Example: if she had practiced well, she would have win the match.
If he had worked hard, he would have passed the examination.
3)   Words such as alreadyjust and as soon as are also used with the Past Perfect tense.
Example: It had already stopped raining when I bought an umbrella.
              The whole house had just burnt down when the firemen got there.
              As soon as he had got married, he regretted it.

4)  for an action which happened before a definite time in the past.
      Example: They had finished their lunch by ten o'clock.

5)  for an action which took place and completed in the past.
Example: He had hurt his back in an accident at work and he had to stay at home for                                 three    months.
(The action happened and he suffered the consequences all in the past)

6)  for states.
Example: They had become good friends for many years after meeting on holiday.

Past Perfect Continuous Tense:  
The past perfect continuous tense is formed with the past perfect tense of the verb to be (= had been) + the present participle (–ing).
Example: He had been reading.

The past perfect continuous is used:
1)   The past perfect Continuous is used for an action that began before a certain point in the past and continued up to that time.
Example:When I saw him, he had been waiting for his friend over half an hour.
             Suneel had been going to the movies regularly before he was punished by his father.
           I had been looking for you since you reached here.
2)   for an action that occurred over a period of time in the past.
     Example: He had been playing guitar in a band.

3)   for an action which started and finished in the past before another past action. Here, since or for is usually used.
Example: Sunil got a job at last. He had been looking for a job since last year.
              Ram and Syam had been playing Shuttle badminton together for ten years before one of them got married.

4)   in reported speech, the present perfect continuous tense becomes past perfect continuous tense.

Example: Mohiddin said, "We have been traveling by train across India."
             Mohiddin said they had been traveling by train across India.