Past tenses

There are four past tenses in English. Use them to talk about things that started and ended in the past or things that started in the past and continue to the present.

  • Simple past for actions starting and ending in the past.
  • Past continuous for actions starting in the past and continuing to the present.
  • Past perfect for actions that started and ended in the past before another action that is also in the past.
  • Past perfect continuous for actions that were going on in the past up until another action in the past happened.