Understanding how to correctly form past tense verbs within the English language doesn't have to be a difficult task.
The English language has three basic tenses: past, present, and future.
Within these three verb tenses, there is a progressive form to indicate ongoing action, a perfect form to indicate completed action, and a perfect progressive form to indicate ongoing action that will be completed at some definite time.
| Simple |
| Progressive |
|Perfect|| Perfect |
|Past||sang|| was singing ||had already sung||had been singing|
|Present||sing|| am singing ||have already sung||have been singing|
|Future|| will sing || will be singing ||will have already sung||will have been singing|
The purpose of past tense verbs within the English language is to express activity, action, state, or being in the past. For example:
To learn more about the various verb tenses visit the Past Tense Verb Chart and these online sites:
To form past tense verbs, it's helpful to remember these rules:
Be, have, and do are the most commonly used irregular verbs, but ESL Lounge has a large list of English verbs with irregular past tense forms. Unfortunately, memorizing these irregular verbs is the only way to completely master the past tense.
If you're a teacher looking for resources to use in your classroom, YourDictionary recommends visiting the following helpful websites for games, tutorials, printable worksheets, and lesson plans covering the use of past tense verbs in the English language.
For elementary students:
For high school and college students:
For ESL students: