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Unit 6: Past tenses A concise overview of the 6th unit: ? The past tenses ? Past simple ? Past continuous ? Past perfect ? Past perfect continuous The past tenses: The system and structure of past tenses is not too different from present tenses, except that past tenses obviously relate to past time periods. Past simple: Form: Regular verbs: add ?ed or ?d to the base form of the verb. Example - ?I WORKED?. Irregular verbs: many common verbs in English have an irregular simple past form, base form ?SEE?, past simple form ? ?SAW?. Example - ?I met him yesterday?. Usages: ? For the past action when the time is given ? When the time is asked about ? When the action clearly took place at a definite time even though this time is not mentioned ? Sometimes the time becomes definite as a result of a question and answer in the present perfect Past continuous: Form: past tense of the auxiliary verb ?BE? (WAS/WERE) + present participle (VERB+?ING?). Example - ?While I was having a bath the phone rang?. Usages: ? For interrupted past actions ? Used without a time expression, it can indicate gradual development that took place in the past ? It can express an action, which began before that time and probably continued after it ? We use the continuous tense in descriptions The past continuous almost always requires some form of time reference! Past perfect: Form: Subject + had + past participle. Example - ?When I arrived the concert had started? Usage: all of the past perfect verbs represent actions that occurred before other actions in the past. The past perfect is ?THE PAST IN THE PAST?. Past perfect continuous: Form: Subject + had + been + verb + ing. Example ? ?Before eating lunch, she had been clipping her toenails for two hours?. Usage: to talk about longer actions or situations in the past that had been going on continuously up to the past moment that we are thinking about. We don?t know or are not concerned with whether or not it continued after. Certain conclusions can be drawn: past simple tense implies past action when the time is given. Past continuous tense is used when we describe continuous actions in the past or interrupted past actions. Past perfect tense represents actions that occurred before other actions in the past. Past perfect continuous tense indicates longer actions in the past that had been going on continuously up to the past moment that we are thinking about.