In Grammar By Victoria

Elapsed time in the English language

This article is the second of the cycle «of the English language.» The first was devoted to the present time and the means of expression in this language, and this material present elapsed time in English. As we know, the past tense — a form of the verb, which indicates the time of action, which in this case happened in the past. All the past tenses in English we call the Past Tenses, which is only a difference in their duration or quality is whether it is the simple past Past Simple, long past Past Continuous or Past Perfect Past Perfect. Let us examine each of the past tense in English.

Past Simple — simple past tense in English

This time can be called almost fundamental in terms of the past tense in English, as it expresses, in principle, any act that took place in the past. Of course, this time competing Present Perfect, which is being committed by this time, still being translated by the verb in the past tense. In this case, you should remember only one moment Present Perfect enter into force only in cases where the action happened in the past and in some way affects or is related to this. If the last event of such a connection do not, take the Past Simple and use it without a doubt.

Formed during Past Simple simple: if the verb is wrong, take it a second form (from the table); If the verb is correct, add to it the ending ed. Need a question? Use the auxiliary did. The predicate expressed by the verb to be in the required form? Submit it to the top and is ready to offer. It should be a denial? Come to the aid is the same auxiliary verb did, only in the company of a particle not. The same particle is easily attached to the verb to be in the form of the past tense in English.

To sum ​​up: Time Past Simple, we use in the following cases:

  • our action happened in the past and has nothing to do with this. Note the word markers: yesterday (yesterday), last month (last month), 5 years ago (5 years ago), in 1999 (in 1999)

    My brother was born in 1987. — My brother was born in 1987.

    She moved to the capital seven years ago. — She moved to the capital seven years ago.

    We saw him last month. — We’ve seen it in the past month.

  • we strive to recite a series of actions in the past

    He wrote the letter, put it in the envelope, left it on the table and went out. — He wrote a letter, put it in an envelope left on the table and left.

  • we want to show that the action was referred to the usual and repeatedly happened in the past for any period of time

    From 1995 to 2000 he worked as a manager. — He worked as a manager from 1995 to 2000 ..

  • if our aim — to present a well-known fact of the past

    The Second World War began in 1939. — The Second World War began in 1939.

Past Continuous — long past time in English

The difference between this time from the previous only in that in this last case, the action is shown in process. For example:

Mary was doing chores at 10 am — Mary do the cleaning at 10 am.

As cribs can remember that the verb is imperfect kind. Proposition shows that the formation time Past Continuous only requires knowledge of the verb to be — was / were. One of them we add the main verb, and attribute to him the ending ing. In the case of an interrogative sentence take out the top of the auxiliary verb and the sentence is negative to the same auxiliary verb attach not.

Use this elapsed time in English will also need:

  • If you talk about the action, which took place at some point in the past

    She was drinking coffee when I came in. — She was drinking coffee when I came.

  • If you want to give human characteristics, thus making your speech emotive

    My mother was always hiding sweets from me when I was a kid. — When I was a child, my mother constantly hide from me candy.

Past Perfect and Past Perfect Continuous — perfect and perfect long past tenses in English

For the formation of these times you need a good knowledge of the forms of verbs as correct and incorrect. For the Past Perfect need the auxiliary verb have in the form of the past tense in English, that is had and the main verb participle II (for the right — in the form ed, for the wrong — the third form table of irregular verbs in English). For the time Past Perfect Continuous use auxiliary verb to be in the form of Time Past Perfect, that is, had been, to which we add as the main verb participle I, ie in the form ing. The issue had sent to the beginning of the offer, and by denying the calls to him not.

Simple perfect tense is used in only a few cases:

  • if we want to express an action that ended up to a certain point in the past

    Malfoy had done the work by the time his friend returned. — Malfoy finished all the work for the time he returned his friend.

  • if we want to show the two steps, one of which was in the process, and the second completed to its beginning.

    The rain had stopped and the stars were twinkling on the dark sky. — The rain is over and the dark sky sparkling stars.

  • when we have the complex sentences with subordinate clauses of time, which are incorporated unions scarcely … when, hardly … when, no sooner … than (not in time … like … almost like)

    Scarcely had the thief left the flat, the policeman caught him. — As soon as the thief left the apartment as the police caught him.

Pay attention to the indirect word order!

Well, the last time we’re talking about Past Perfect Continuous — required when your action in the proposal will to a certain point in the past and will continue until it is (or including).

Tim was a man she had been searching for all her life. — Tim was exactly the man she was looking for all my life.

This topic is closely related to the other as described in the articles that need to pay attention:

  • «Time Past Simple (simple past tense)»
  • «Time Past Continuous (Past a long time)»
  • «Time Past Perfect (Past perfect tense)»
  • «Time Past Perfect Continuous»

After reading them, we recommend to pass the following test: «test group times Past».



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