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Past Simple

The Past Simple Form & Function

Completed & finished events

Irregular Verbs

Past Simple 2

Further functions of the Past Simple

Talking about:

a definite time in the past

the past without reference to time

states in the past

habitual events in the past

the order of events in a narrative

Past Continuous

Form and functions of the Past Continuous

  • Events happening at a particular time in the past

  • Incomplete/interrupted actions in the past

  • Narrative tenses

Past Continuous 2

Ongoing or repeated events in the past

Temporary activities in the past

Activities subject to change

Repeated, unplanned or unwanted events in the past

Context of a past event

Past Simple or Past Continuous

When to use the Past Simple or Past Continuous?


Completed/Incomplete events or actions

Used to

To refer to things that are no longer true

Used to or Would

Used to or be used to

Present Perfect

Form and function for Present Perfect

  • experiences in the past without specific reference to time

  • experiences in the past with an effect