Meaning of past tense in English:

past tense


  • A tense expressing an action that has happened or a state that previously existed.

    ‘the story is told in the past tense’
    • ‘He only talks about the act in the past tense.’
    • ‘He did not know there is a past tense in English.’
    • ‘He'd spoken in the past tense, I noticed.’
    • ‘The shift to the past tense is in line with standard English usage.’
    • ‘For some reason, I just can't decide how to write this chapter - in present or past tense.’
    • ‘I suppose I should have put that last bit in the past tense.’
    • ‘In the midst of recounting an episode, the narrator suddenly and inexplicably replaces the present with the past tense.’
    • ‘The company - and please note the past tense here - had a prospective dividend yield of 7.1%.’
    • ‘Why was he referring to her in the past tense?’
    • ‘Quentin, would you please stop talking about my career in the past tense?’
    • ‘Though it's written in the past tense, there's an immediacy to the book.’
    • ‘Why is this story written in the past tense?’