Uses of Past Tense

Past Tense- Uses with Examples

We have seen what the past tense of sentence is in previous lesson explaining about tenses and types of tenses. In this lesson we shall see the uses of past tense.

In English, we use past tense-

  • To talk about the past
  • To show politeness
  • For referring the present or future in some conditions
  • To show wishes

Now we shall take some examples of this tense.

To talk about the past

Always we talk about the things happened in past. We shall see some examples of such types of sentences.

Let’s have a look-

  • I taught at Nalanda School.
  • She was teaching at Nalanda School.
  • He had taught at Nalanda School.
  • I had been teaching at Nalanda School.

We shall go in detail through the types of past tense.

To show politeness

We can use the past tense to show politeness while speaking about present.

These form of sentences show about something would happen what we wish, what could happen and the possibility about what would have happened.

In daily life we use so many sentences in this form. We shall take some examples here.

Have a look-

  • Could you please do me a favor?
  • Should I call you in the afternoon?
  • What would you like to have tea or coffee?

For referring the present or future in some conditions

In conditional sentences, we wish for something to be done but not sure whether it will be done or not. It is only your wish about something would happen.

Let’s have some examples.

Have a look-

  • She could score more in the exam if she really did hard.
  • If Sameer was helping to sketch their plan would probably select.

To show wishes

We always express our wishes through our speaking. Here are some examples. Let’s have a look-

  • I wish it wasn’t so difficult.
  • I wish I hadn’t wasted my precious time yesterday.
  • I wish if I were a fairy.

You will get more about past tense by clicking the links.

Hi, I am Madhuri Kherde, an educationist, ex-principal of a secondary school in Mumbai, and founder of I have been teaching English and Mathematics for the last thirty-four years. I like to share my knowledge and experience with others. So I hope you enjoy my posts on this website.