The Past Simple Tense
The past tense is used to indicate actions or events that happened in the past time. It is of three types:
- The Simple Past Tense
- The Past Continuous Tense
- The Past Perfect Tense
(a)The Simple Past Tens This is used to indicate that an action which happened in the past is finished or completed. Examples:
- Ama bought a new television yesterday.
- Mr. and Mrs. Mensah travelled to Tamale on Monday.
- Mother cooked soup last night
- The messenger swept the office yesterday
(b) The Past Continuous Tense This is used to show that one of the two actions that occurred in the past was unfinished. The unfinished action is said to be in past continuous tense form while the finished action is in the simple past tense. Examples:
- While Abu and I were visiting our friends yesterday, we saw our teacher.
- When our plane landed this afternoon, it was raining.
- The past continuous tense is formed by putting the -ing verb form after was or were.
This tense is often used to show an action that was interrupted in the past, as in the following:
- I was eating a mongo, when i bit my finger.
- They were playing the game, when it started to rain heavily.
(c) The Past Perfect Tense We use this tense form to show that two actions took place in the past and one was finished first. The finished action is in the past perfect tense and the other is in the simple past tense. Simple Sentences in Past Perfect Tense (i) I had never seen an ostrich until I visited my Uncle’s farm in the North. (ii) The fire had destroyed the house before the fire-fighters arrived. (iii) Ama had already got home before it began to rain. (iv) Ayi had eaten his dinner by the time his friend Ami arrived.
Abibata031 12:12, 28 February 2007 (CET)