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    Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #4295: The past
    > Other English exercises on the same topic: | Past [Change theme]
    > Similar tests: - Past simple or present perfect - Placement test 1 - Past simple (video) - Modal : may/might - Past simple or continuous - Past simple - Adverbs and past tense - Choosing your past tense...
    > Double-click on words you don't understand


    The past


    THE PAST

    PAST SIMPLE (PRETERITE)

    PRETERITE: BE + -ING

    MAIN USE
    past action (dated and definite)

    SYNTAX
    Affirmative
    -> Regular verbs: verb + -ED
    e.g. Yesterday, I played football.

    -> Irregular verbs: there is no easy rule; you must learn them by heart
    e.g. In 1998, I went to Australia.

    Interrogative & negative: use DID
    e.g. -> Did you go to Australia?
    -> Yes, I did. No, I didn't (go to Australia).

    MAIN USE
    action in the past, which was being done, when another short action interrupted it

    SYNTAX
    Affirmative
    auxiliary BE in the past (WAS/WERE) + verb + -ING
    e.g. I was taking a shower when the phone rang.

    Interrogative & negative: inversion
    e.g. Were you listening to the radio when he arrived?
    -> Yes, I was. / No, I wasn't (listening to the radio).


    PRESENT PERFECT

    PLUPERFECT

    MAIN USES
    a) Actions which began in the past and are still in progress.
    b
    ) Past actions with results/consequences in the present.

    SYNTAX
    Affirmative
    auxiliary HAVE (HAS with he/she/it) + past participle
    e.g. a) I have lived in Paris since 1992.
    b) Sarah has eaten all the cakes. (There is no cake left).

    Interrogative & negative: inversion
    e.g. Have you broken by vase?
    -> Yes, I have. / No, I haven't (broken the vase).

    MAIN USE
    Action which was done before another action (in the past).

    SYNTAX
    Affirmative
    auxiliary HAD + past participle
    e.g. Peter went to Sydney in 2002. I had been there two years before.

    Interrogative & negative: inversion
    e.g. Had you bought a car?
    -> Yes, I had. / No, I hadn't (bought a car).

     

     





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    a) - Peter, what (you/do) yesterday?
    - I (play) football with Mike.
    b) John's father (be) very unhappy: when he (get) back home, he (find) that thieves (break) into his flat.
    c) Mum, Sarah (break) my TV! I (watch) it when she (come) into my room and (break) it! I can't watch the football match! Do something!







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