|Add a new lesson / test / 1 lesson per week|
Click here to log in
4 million accounts created!
JOIN our free club and learn English now!
Get a free English lesson every week! 2 MILLION subscribers!
- Our other sites
Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #109345: Choosing your past tense...
Choosing your past tense...
1) THE PRETERITE: is used to express the completed past ( the action is over), and is also the tense of narration. You just have to add - ed to the verb or to learn irregular verbs (!!!) in order to master it totally. That's easy, isn't it!
ex : She closed the door, sat down, picked up the phone and dialed.
2) THE PRESENT PERFECT:
A) How to build it?
Affirmative Form : subject + has/have + past participle (= verb + ed or 3rd column of the irregular verbs)
Interrogative Form: has/have + subject + past participle + ?
Negative Form: subject hasn't/ haven't + past participle
B) How to use it?
This tense doesn't exist in many languages; that's why foreigners find it so difficult to use...
- The action depicted has a relationship or a noticeable or an important effect in the present:
ex : Look, one of the boys has broken the window pane with their ball! ( there are pieces of glass on the floor.)
- It expresses the assessment of an action. The action is important, not the moment when it happened.
ex : 'Have you read Oliver Twist? Of course, I have!
- It's often used with: already, ever/ never, just.
ex : I have never met such an aggressive person!.
- This tense is often used with FOR ( duration), or SINCE (starting point) in order to show that the action is still in progress in the present and has a duration, then the -ing form of the present perfect is used : subject + HAS/HAVE been + V + ing.
ex : She's been learning Spanish for 6 years. She must be pretty good!
3) THE PAST PERFECT:
A) How to make it? In the same way as the present perfect, in the three forms, except that the auxiliary is HAD all along.
= subject + HAD + past participle.
B) How to use it?
- It refers to an action which happened before a reference in the completed past.
ex : When she came back from school, she had already learnt her lessons.
ex : The gate had been opened when he arrived home with his new car.
- Thus, it's sometimes used to jumble up the chronological order (narrative past) in order to create flashbacks:
ex : The new mother stopped singing because her baby had fallen asleep.
- The past perfect can also be in the -ing form in order to insist on the duration of the action.
ex : He had been working there for 3 years when he decided to resign.
There you are! Be careful, and your results should be excellent !
English exercise "Choosing your past tense..." created by here4u with The test builder
Click here to see the current stats of this English test
Please log in to save your progress.
End of the free exercise to learn English: Choosing your past tense...
A free English exercise to learn English.
Other English exercises on the same topics : | Past | Plu-perfect | Present perfect | All our lessons and exercises