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Past Tense | Structure & Uses | English Grammar

Updated: Feb 27, 2023



Simple Past

Past Continuous

Past perfect

Past Perfect Continuous

Structure & Uses with Examples.



  1. Simple Present

e.g. I go/We go/He goes/ They go

​2. Present Continuous

I am going/We are going/You were going/He is going/They were going.

3. Present Perfect Tense

I have gone/We have gone/You have gone/He has gone/They have gone.

4. Present Perfect Continuous Tense

I have been going/We have been going/You have been going/ He has been going/They have been going.

​5. Simple Past

e.g. I went/ We went/You went/He went etc.

​6. Past Continuous

I was going/We were going/You were going/He was going/They were going.

7. Past Perfect Tense

​e.g. I had gone/ We had gone/You had gone/He had gone/They had gone.

​8. Past Perfect Continuous Tense

​e.g. I/We/You/He/They had been going .

9. Simple Future

e.g. I shall go/We shall go/You will go/He will go/They will go.

​10. Future Continuous Tense

e.g I shall be going/We shall be going/You will be going/He will be going/ They will be going.

11.Future Perfect Tense

I shall have gone/ We shall have gone/You will have gone/He will have gone/ They will have gone.

​12. Future Perfect Continuous Tense

​e.g. I shall have been going/We shall have been going/You will have been going/He will have been going/ They will have been going.

Structure of Simple Past

1.Sub+V2+ obj/Complement

Ex: I went to the market.

2. Negative Structure

Sub+ did not+V1+ Obj/Complement

Ex: I did not go to the market

3. Interrogative Structure


Ex: Did you go to the market.


1. To express an action completed in the recent past.

Ex: I visited the zoo last year.

2. To express a habitual or regular action in the past.

  • She got up at five every day.

  • Pt. Nehrau paid a visit to Manali every year.

3. To tell stories

  • Once there lived a lion in the forest

Past Continuous Tense

Affirmative Structure

Sub+was/were+ V1 + ing + obj/Complement

Ex: I was reading a book.

2. Negative Structure

Sub+was not /were not + V1 + ing + obj/Complement

Ex: I was not reading a book.

3. Interrogative Structure


Ex: Were you reading a book?


1. To express an action that was happening at some time in past.

Ex: They were washing their clothes.

2. To express an action that was going on at a given time in past.

Ex: I was reading a book when he called me.

Structure of Past Perfect

Sub+ had + V3 +obj/complement

Ex: I had met him long back


Used to denote an action which had been completed before another action started.

Ex: I had taken my breakfast before I went to the school.


1st Action:

I had taken my breakfast.(Past Perfect)

2nd Action:

I went to School.(Simple Past)



Sub+ had been + V1 + ing + obj/Complement

Ex: I was reading a book in the morning.


1. It is used to indicate an action which was going on in the past.

e.g. I was watching a movie last night.

2. It is also used to indicate that an action was going on for sometime before another started.

Ex: I had been living in Pune for two years before I came to live in Nagpur.



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