1. Home
  2. /
  3. Grammar
  4. /
  5. Past Tenses Overview

Past Tenses Overview

Past Tenses Taalhulp Engels
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp

In English, there are tenses to talk about the present, the past and the future. It can be tricky to know which tense you should use in a particular situation. On this page, you have a detailed, but clear overview of the past tenses in English.

When one refers to the past tenses, he or she is talking about one of the following:

Past tenses overview

Past Tenses Schematic Overview Taalhulp Engels

On the overview above, you see a visual representation of the differences between the past tenses. The past simple is mainly used for short, simple actions and habits in the past. The past continuous is used for longer actions in the past and the past perfect for actions that happened before another action in the past. You can also use the past perfect continuous in these kinds of situations, but only when the focus is on the duration.

You have another overview below where you can compare the different past tenses.

Past simplePast continuousPast perfectPast perfect continuous
UseShort actions, hobbies and habits in the pastActions that were going on or when the focus is on the duration in the pastAn action that happened before another action in the past An action that happened before another action in the past when the focus is on the duration
Form
Infinitive + ed / list
was/were + -ing formhad + past participlehad + been + -ing form
ExampleI walked
He walked
I was walking
He was walking
I had walked
He had walked
I had been walking
He had been walking

Exercises

Related articles

Share

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email