There are two tenses in English – past and present.

The past tense in English is used:

  • to talk about the past
  • to talk about hypotheses – things that are imagined rather than true.
  • for politeness.

There are four past tense forms in English:

Tense Form
Past simple: I worked
Past continuous: I was working
Past perfect: I had worked
Past perfect continuous: I had been working

We use these forms:

  • to talk about the past:

He worked at McDonald’s. He had worked there since July..
He was working at McDonald’s. He had been working since July.

  • to refer to the present or future in conditions:

He could get a new job if he really tried.
If Jack was playing they would probably win.

and hypotheses:

It might be dangerous. Suppose they got lost.
I would always help someone who really needed help.

and wishes:

I wish it wasn’t so cold.

  • In conditions, hypotheses and wishes, if we want to talk about the past, we always use the past perfect:

I would have helped him if he had asked.
It was very dangerous, What if you had got lost?
I wish I hadn’t spent so much money last month.


  • We can use the past forms to talk about the present in a few polite expressions:

Excuse me, I was wondering if this was the train for York.
I just hoped you would be able to help me.



 i would like to have more exercises to test understanding of the language.

The exercises are coming soon - They have all been written, I just need to edit them and publish them - watch this space!

The british council is the best in lebanon so....
 i would like to have more exercises to test understanding of the language

It is interesting game by which English learning may improve very soon.

Thank you for this website. It is helping me a lot. Because I was forgetting English because I talk Dutch.
A lot of greetings from Belgium,

This space is so cool. This website is the only place where I can learn so fastly. TY!!!

I were failed the questions past  tense,they are harder than present tense!!How can I make improves ?


There is another exercise on the past on the site which you might find useful.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you ,I will try again till understand .

Hi Adam
I would be grateful if you explain this:
"You are studying at an International College for a few months"
"You have been studying at an International College for a few months"
Which of the above statements are correct?I read the first statement in a few books.Is it grammatically correct?Kindly explain.