Past tense

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Past tense

  1. 1. PAST TENSE and TIME CLAUSES By Belén Sáez Hernáez
  2. 2. PAST SIMPLE We use the past simple: a) For an action which happened at a definite time in the past. The time is stated, already known or implied. We went camping by the lake last month.
  3. 3. b) For actions which happened immediatly one after the other in the past. First he stopped a taxi, … …then he drove him to the station.
  4. 4. c) For past habits or states which are now finished. In such cases we can also use the expression used to. Dresses were / used to be different a hundred years ago.
  5. 5. Past simple + time expressions The past simple is used with the following time expressions: YESTERDAY, THEN, WHEN, HOW LONG AGO…?, LAST NIGHT, LAST WEEK, LAST MONTH, LAST YEAR, LAST TUESDAY, ETC., THREE DAYS/WEEKS AGO, IN 1997, ETC.
  6. 6. PAST CONTINUOUS We use the past continuous: a) For an action which was in progress at a stated time in the past. We do not mention when the action started or finished. At twelve o’clock yesterday evening they were having a party.
  7. 7. b) For an action which was in progress when another action interrupted it. We use the past continuous for the action in progress (longer action) and the past simple for the action which interrupted it (shorter action). He was waiting for the school bus,… …when it started to rain.
  8. 8. c) For two or more simultaneous past actions. She was talking on her mobile phone … …while she was driving to work.
  9. 9. d) To describe the atmosphere, setting, etc. In the introduction to a story before we describe the main events. One beautiful autumn afternoon, we were strolling down a quiet country lane. The birds were singing and the leaves were rustling in the wind.
  10. 10. Past continuous time expressions The past continuous is used with the following time expressions: WHILE, WHEN, AS, ALL MORNING/ EVENING/NIGHT, ETC..
  11. 11. Past Perfect We use past perfect A) For an action which happened before another past action or before a stated time in the past. She had finished work when she met her friends for coffee. B) For an action which finished in the past and whose result was visible in the past. She was happy because she had finished her studies
  12. 12. C) The past perfect is the past equivalent of the present perfect. D) We can use the past perfect or the past simple with before and after without any difference in meaning. They went out after it had stopped raining/ after it stopped raining. F) The past perfect is used with the following time expressions: Before, after, already, just, for, since, till /until, when, by , by the time, never,etc.
  13. 13. Past Perfect Continuous We use the past perfect continuous: A) To put emphasis on the duration of an action which started and finished in the past before another past action or a stated time in the past, usually with since or for. They had been looking for a house for six months before they found one they liked.
  14. 14. B) For an action which lasted for some time in the past and whose result was visible in the past. Last Monday Mark had to fly to Cairo. His flight was delayed. At last he arrived to his destination although he had been waiting at the airport for 3 hours. C) The past perfect continuous is the past equivalent of the present perfect contniuous. D) The past perfect continuous is used with the following time expressions: for, since, how long, before, until, etc.
  15. 15. Present Perfect We use the present perfect: A) For an action which started in the past and continues up to the present, especially with state verbs such as be, have, like, know, etc. In this case, we often use for and since. Ian has had the cat for two years.
  16. 16. B) For an action which has recently finished and whose result in visible in the present. She has just had her hair trimmed and now they will blow dry it.
  17. 17. C) For an action which happened at an unstated time in the past. The exact time is not mentioned because it is either unknown or unimportnat. The emphasis is placed on the action. The Smiths have bought a new sports car. D) For an action which has happened within a specific time period which is not over at the moment of speaking. We often use words and expressions such as today /this morning / evening / week / month, etc. He has taken thirty pictures today.
  18. 18. E) We use the present perfect to announce a piece of news and the past simple or past continuous to give more details about it. The police have finally arrested Peter Smith. He was trying to leave the city when he was caught. F) The present perfect is used with the following time expressions: for, since, already, yet, always, just, ever, never, so far, today, this week /month, etc.., how long, lately, recently, still (in negations) etc.
  19. 19. Present Perfect Continuous We use the present perfect continuous: A) To put emphasis on the duration of an action which started in the past and continues up to the present, especially with time expressions such as for, since, all morning / day / year, etc. She has been doing exercise for half an hour, she must be exahusted!
  20. 20. B) For an action that started in the past and lasted for some time. The action may have finished or may still be going on, The result of the action is visible in the present. I have a terrible headache, I have been studying hard all morning. C) To express anger, irritation or annoyance. Somebody has been giving away my plans for the surprise party, I can’t believe it!
  21. 21. D) With the verbs live, work, teach and feel (=have a particular emotion) we can use the present perfect or present perfect continuous with no difference in meaning. E) The present perfect continuous is used with the following time expressions. For, since, how long, lately, recently.
  22. 22. Time clauses 1) We use the following time conjunctions to introduce time clauses, to name but a few: WHILE, WHEN, AS, BEFORE, AFTER, SINCE, UNTIL, TILL, WHENEVER, AS LONG AS, BY THE TIME, AS SOON AS, THE MOMENT THAT, NO SOONER…THAN, HARDLY …WHEN, ONCE, IMMEDIATELY, THE FIRST/LAST/NEXT TIME, ALL MORNING/ EVENING/NIGHT, ETC..
  23. 23. 2) When the time clause precedes the main clause, a comma is used. Whenever he is in town, he visits us. He visits us whenever he is in town. I have to finish these letters before I can leave the office. Before I can leave the office, I have to finish these letters.
  24. 24. 3) Sequence of tenses: Time clauses follow the rule of the sequence of tenses. That is, when the verb of the main clause is in a present or future form, the verb of the time clause is in a present form. When the verb of the main clause is in a past form, the verb of the time clause is in a past form too. Main clause Time clause Present / future/ imperative (simple or continuous) Present simple or present perfect. (simple or continuous) Past simple / past perfect (simple or continuous) Past simple / past perfect (simple or continuous)
  25. 25. Examples: She takes off her shoes the moment that she gets home I ‘ll call you as soon as I get to the hotel Turn off the lights before you leave He took a shower after he had finished painting the room The had reserved a table before they went to the restaurant. Once she had read the manual, she knew how to operate the machine.
  26. 26. Time conjunctions Ago-before -ago= before now My parents got married twenty years ago. - before= before a past time. Helen and Mike got married last month. They had met six months before.
  27. 27. Until / till – By that time (typically used for future tenses but can as well be used for past) -Untill / till= up to the time when I stayed in the office until I finished the report. - By the time + clause= not later than the moment something happens. I had already set the table by the time he came home. - By= not later than. I had to take a decision by Friday but I was done by Thursday.
  28. 28. During- while /as -During + noun= in the time period We learnt several interesting facts during the lecture. -While /as + clause= in the time period We learnt several intersting facts while /as we were listening to the lecture. When: When= (time conjuction) + past tense. We had already ordered some pizzas when our friends got there. When= (question word) + was/were going to. We weren’t sure when his next book was going to be publish.

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