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.

Exercise

Section: 

Comments

Thank you very much Mr. AdamJk for your whole-heartedly respond I am glad to heard from your great opinion about the IELTS I will check it now. Because in a fast few days I am focused on my past perfect continues in grammar. Thank you English team.

If you are very clever and have enough knowledge share your ideas in a logical manner. Instead of sharing your bad opinion. Moreover we are here to learn not to criticize the people. Disseminate your thoughts in a better communication and broaden our minds in a good relations to each other unlike your given the bad impression

hello my name is hassan i am new here i want learn english
 

Could anybody please help me and share your idea how to pass my IELTS exam because my proximity test date are coming this November. Thanks In advance for those people who are willing to help me.

Hello,
I assume you've looked through our IELTS preparation section and clicked through to the TakeIELTS website?
It's good to have a clear plan when preparing for IELTS. Have you done any practice tests? Do you know what your strong and weak points are? Do you know what IELTS score you want to get?
Best wishes,
Adam
The LearnEnglish Team

"was there anyone from this college recruited by them ?"
Is the above sentence correct ? If not how to use it...?What is the correct form of it ?

I see no problems, so it's just ok.

Could you help me with these sentences? 
1. Nick (lie) ___down on the grass for a while, next to some tourists who were feeding the ducks. 
My answer is: was lying 
The textbook's answer is: lay
2. Sorry, I (not listen) ___ to you. I was thinking about something else. 
My answer is: didn't listen
The textbook's answer is: wasn't listening
3. We didn't go out yesterday because it (rain)____ 
My answer is:  rained
The textbook's is: was raining 
 
I don't know why I was wrong with these sentences. Please help me to understand them more. Thanks much. 

According to my opinion:
1. The verb "lie down" has implied movement or progressive action, it's an activity that you change your position from standing (for example) to lying on the ground. That's why it doesn't necessarily need to be expressed in progressive or continuous form.
2. the answer was "wasn't listening to you". It's from Betty Azar right?. The speaker in this case may try to stress the process of the action , therefore, not the result or the end of the action. Just imagine, the speaker had at least two choices in that case.
a. She was listening to her interlocutor
b. she was thinking about something else.
however, she preferred the second and the first remained undone.
therefore, if she wants to express it, she should express it in the similar form as found in the second i.e. in progressive.
3. you imagine that something was in progress whereas another activity happened in between its time duration.
so, the rain was in progress when the speakers (we) decided not to go out that day.
That's all I can render. Thank you, have a great time with Azar. :D
 

Hi,
I`m new in this site , I registered only to improve my grammar but it seems too complicated , i`m  kind of confused now because  the list of contents is too long and in a random order i assume ! (or it is not?)  , I was wondering if you could help me sort it out  that from which part i should start it? verbs? nouns? tenses? adjectives?adverbs?! 
Thanks for your help 
Anita

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