Past tenses overview

The past simple refers to a single, completed action in the past.

Past tenses overview

PAST TENSES

The past simple refers to a single, completed action in the past.

The past continuous refers to a continuing action in the past.

The present perfect simple refers to an unfinished action or series of actions that started in the past, or past actions that still have a consequence in the present moment.

The present perfect continuous refers to a continuing activity in the past that still has a consequence in the present moment.

PAST SIMPLE AND PRESENT PERFECT SIMPLE

The past simple is used to refer to single, completed actions or events in the past. These no longer have a consequence in the present moment.

Examples:

The present perfect simple is used to refer to actions or events in the past that are unfinished, or still have consequences in the present moment.

Examples:

 

The past perfect simple refers to an action or event that took place before another action or event in the past.

The past perfect continuous refers to a continuing action or event that was taking place before another action or event that happened in the past.

“Used to” and “Would” are used to talk about repeated actions in the past that no longer happen.

“Used to” can also be used to refer to a fixed state at some indefinite time in the past that is no longer true.

KEY LANGUAGE NARRATIVE TENSES:

Narrative tenses are types of past tense that are used when telling a story.
The past continuous is used to set the scene. The past simple describes actions in the story.
The past perfect is used to talk about things that happened before the beginning of the story.