The Past Simple
SUBJECT VERB COMPLIMENT
Frank discovered a cave.
SUBJECT DID NOT VERB COMPLIMENT
Frank didn’t discover a cave.
DID SUBJECT VERB COMPLIMENT
Did Frank discover a cave?
We use the Past Simple to talk about:
1.) completed actions in the past.
For example: Frank went up to the mountains yesterday at 2PM.
2.) single occurances, habits and moods.
For example: Frank loved Nature when he was a child. He camped every weekend.
The Past Continuous
SUBJECT WAS/WERE VERB+ING COMPLIMENT
Frank was hiking in the mountains.
SUBJECT WAS/WERE NOT VERB+ING COMPLIMENT
Frank wasn’t hiking in a park.
WAS/WERE SUBJECT VERB+ING COMPLIMENT
Was Frank searching for a cave?
We use the Past Continuous to talk about:
1.) two actions that occured at the same time in the past.
For example: Frank was taking photos while he was walking.
2.) an action that was in the process of happening in the past.
For example: Frank was walking in the mountains at 2PM.
3.) an action that was in process, that was interrupted.
For example: Frank was climbing a tree when he fell.
The Past Perfect
SUBJECT HAD PAST PARTICIPLE COMPLIMENT
Frank had hiked in that location before.
SUBJECT HAD NOT PART PARTICIPLE COMPLIMENT
Frank hadn’t seen the cave the last time he was there.
HAD SUBJECT PAST PARTICIPLE COMPLIMENT
Had Frank ever seen a cave before he encoutered this one?
We use the Past Perfect to talk about:
1.) An action that occured before another action in the past.
For example: Frank had packed a lunch before he went hiking.
2.) You can indicate how long something occured.
For example: Frank had wanted to go hiking for a month before he finally went.
The Past Perfect Continuous
SUBJECT HAD BEEN VERB+ING COMPLIMENT
Frank had BEEN hiking in that location for two hours.
SUBJECT HAD NOT BEEN PART PARTICIPLE COMPLIMENT
Frank hadn’t been looking the cave.
HAD SUBJECT BEEN PAST PARTICIPLE COMPLIMENT
Had Frank been expecting to find a cave?
We use the Past Perfect Continuous to talk about:
1.) the quantity of time of an action in the past.
For example: Frank had been hiking for two hours before he saw the cave.
2.) the cause of an action in the past.
For example: Frank had forgotten his sweater, so he was cold.